Midland, Michigan – Dayton starting pitcher Tony Santillan and relievers Dauri Moreta and Jesse Adams combined on a five-hit shutout as the Dragons defeated the Great Lakes Loons 2-0 on Sunday afternoon. The Dragons have won eight of their last nine games and 11 of their last 14.
Santillan (9-7) worked six strong innings, allowing just three hits with one walk and five strikeouts. Over his last three starts, Santillan has allowed just one run in 16 innings. The Reds second round draft pick in 2015 lowered his earned run average to 3.25 in earning the win.
Moreta pitched two perfect innings in relief of Santillan, striking out three of the six batters he faced. Adams pitched the ninth inning to earn his fifth save. After retiring the first two batters in the inning, he allowed back-to-back singles before getting Starling Heredia to pop out to Dragons first baseman Bruce Yari, who made a nice play moving back toward right field to end the game.
The Dragons stole four bases in the game, and both Dayton runs were impacted by stolen bases. In the third inning, Jose Siri, the league leader in steals, reached on an infield single, stole second and third, and scored on Taylor Sparks’ double to give the Dragons a 1-0 lead.
In the fifth, the Dragons added another run in an unusual manner. Randy Ventura singled to start the inning and was at first base with no one out. Ventura apparently noticed that the Great Lakes catcher was lobbing his throws back to the pitcher, and after Siri took a pitch outside for a ball, Ventura broke for second just as the catcher released the ball on his throw back to Loons pitcher Alfredo Tavarez. Tavarez received the throw, spun toward second, and threw wildly into center field. Ventura slid into second, got up, and headed for third. When Dragons manager Luis Bolivar, in the third base coaching box, saw that the center fielder’s return throw was going to come into second base, he waved Ventura around. The relay throw to the plate was late as Ventura slid in to give the Dragons a 2-0 lead.
Siri led the Dragons offensively, going 2 for 3 with three stolen bases, a run scored, and a walk. Siri’s 44 stolen bases on the year ranks second in Dragons history for a single season, trailing Billy Hamilton’s historic total of 103 in 2011.
Notes: The Dragons issued only one walk in the game and have allowed just six bases on balls in the last nine games covering 81 innings…Over the last eight games, Dragons starting pitchers are 7-0 with a 1.88 earned run average (48 innings, 10 runs).
Up Next: The Dragons (25-38, 66-67) meet the Loons (30-33, 66-66) on Monday night at 7:05 in the last game of the series. Andrew Jordan (6-8, 4.74) will start for the Dragons against Great Lakes’ Riley Ottesen (0-1, 3.12).
The Dragons return home Wednesday to open a three-game series at Fifth Third Field against the Bowling Green Hot Rods at 7:00 p.m.