The Dragons broke a nine-game losing streak on Monday night, but it wasn’t without drama. The Lansing Lugnuts loaded the bases in the ninth, but reliever Aaron Fossas recorded the final out to preserve a 3-2 win and earn his fourth save of the season.
Lansing’s Luis Silva hit a two-out double in the top of the ninth off relief pitcher Moises Nova which also moved a runner to third base. The Dragons removed Nova and brought in Fossas, who walked leadoff hitter Rodrigo Orozco but then threw two strikes on low curve balls to right fielder Edward Olivares. Olivares made contract on the third pitch but hit directly to shortstop Carlos Rivero.
It was a desperately-needed win for the Dragons (55-59), who are 14-30 in the second half of the season and in last place in the Midwest League Eastern Division.
“It’s good relief,” Dragons manager Luis Bolivar said. “Especially the situation the game ended up. It can’t be more exciting than that. The guys kept their emotions together and pulled it out. …I’m totally confident with (Fossas) in those situations. He’s been great in tough situations and close games all year.”
Game changer: Randy Ventura and Jose Siri sparked a two-run inning for the Dragons in the third.
Ventura led off with a line drive single to right field and stole second base with Siri at the plate. Siri then doubled to left field to score Ventura, and he later scored on a single by Bruce Yari to give the Dragons a 3-0 lead.
Dragons tales: Ventura, who joined the team on Saturday after the Reds traded for him with Atlanta, took a tumble in the sixth inning. He was running to right field when he fell between third and second base. The Dragons trainers looked at him for several minutes, but he eventually jumped up and jogged a bit before going to the outfield.
“He was walking and felt a really strong cramp and just fell,” Bolivar said. “The guys were messing around with him a little after, saying, ‘Come on man, drink water!’ But it’s a good thing he finished the game.”
Ventura hit two singles in five trips to the plate and scored one run.
Player of the Month: Siri was selected as the Midwest League Player of the Month for July. He hit in all 28 games the Dragons played in July and had a .344 average, 10 home runs and 21 RBIs.
Siri broke the league’s 40-year-old consecutive hitting record on July 31 at Fort Wayne. His hitting streak ended on Friday after 39 games.
“Things like this do mean a lot for these guys,” Bolivar said. “It’s big for him to build a little bit more confidence and show how his work is paying off.”
Siri was 2 for 3 on Monday with one walk and one RBI.
On deck: The teams wrap up a four-game series on Tuesday at Fifth Third Field. Alex Webb (0-2, 5.48 ERA) will start for the Dragons opposite Lansing’s Justin Maese (5-3, 5.13).