The Dayton Dragons offense has been on a tear this month, averaging nearly five runs over its last 16 games.
On Friday night, the Dragons couldn’t figure out the Lansing Lugnuts pitching staff.
Lansing jumped out to an early 1-0 lead on a home run by Otto Lopez and three pitchers combined on a four-hit shutout to beat the Dragons 4-0 in front of 7,872 fans at Fifth Third Field.
It was the first time Dayton had been shutout since May 23. The Dragons fell to 1-1 in the second half and 29-43 for the season.
The Dragons left eight runners on base and struggled to find a hole, flying out 14 times.
“We couldn’t get anything going,” said Dragons manager Luis Bolivar. “We got a couple hard hit balls right at people, just nothing would fall for us. We didn’t get very many guys on base. The key for us right now is to get guys on base and manufacture runs, but it didn’t happen for us today.”
Lansing’s Troy Watson pitched six innings for Lansing, allowing just four hits with two walks to improve to 2-1 on the season.
“(Watson) threw strikes, he attacked everybody,” Bolivar said. “The guys put the ball in play. It was just one of those nights.”
Lansing’s Joey Pulido pitched two scoreless innings with two strikeouts, while Cre Finfrock pitched a perfect ninth inning with two strikeouts.
Dayton starter James Marinan fell to 2-7 on the season, allowing three earned runs on seven hits with two strikeouts and one walk.
“He did a pretty good job,” Bolivar said. “He mixed up the balls and attacked the hitters. He kept us in the game.”
Lansing’s Lopez hit a 387-foot home run over the left center field wall in the first inning to give the Lugnuts an early 1-0 lead.
Lansing extended its lead to 3-0 in the sixth. Reggie Pruitt singled and scored after Marinan overthrew first base on Otto Lopez’s sacrifice bunt. Gabriel Moreno later singled and Ryan Gold doubled into the right field corner, scoring Moreno from first base to give Lansing a three-run advantage.
Lansing added a run in the ninth on a single by L.J. Talley to make it 4-0.
Eduardo Salazar pitched 1.1 innings, allowing one hit and striking out three, while Adrian Rodriguez allowed one run in two innings of work.
“They were good,” Bolivar said. “Four runs in this league, you can make it up quick. They did a good job holding the game, giving the offense a chance. It was one of those games. Overall, it was a good game. We’ll get ready for tomorrow.”
Unique uniforms: The Dragons wore special camouflage jerseys in honor of 91-year-old Franklin resident and veteran John Brown, who served in three wars — World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War. The game-worn jerseys will be auctioned off this week on the Dragons website. The proceeds will support various veteran charities throughout the region. For more information, log on to daytondragons.com/jersey.