For the second straight game, the Dayton Dragons couldn’t solve the Burlington Bees’ pitching staff.
The Dragons scored four runs in the first inning but wouldn’t cross the plate again, falling to Burlington 9-4 in front of 8,132 fans on Friday night at Fifth Third Field.
Dayton shortstop Miguel Hernandez went 2-for-4 with a double, triple and three RBIs and outfielder Shard Munroe hit a solo home run for the Dragons (12-22).
Dayton was nearly no-hit on Thursday night, breaking up the no-hit bid in the ninth inning.
After scoring four runs on four hits in the first inning on Friday, the Dragons would tally two hits the rest of the night.
“They fought and battled out there,” said Dayton manager Luis Bolivar. “They gave it their best. That’s part of the game. That’s all you can ask from them is to give it their best effort and they did it. We’ll keep learning and things will get better.”
Burlington’s Jordyn Adams led off the game with a home run to give the Bees an early 1-0 lead, but the Dragons tied the game in the bottom half of the inning on Munroe’s lead-off homer. Dayton followed with singles by Mariel Bautista and Pabel Manzanero and a walk to Bren Spillane. Hernandez then cleared the bases with a triple to deep centerfield to give Dayton a 4-1 first inning lead.
“They came back right away and took good at-bats there,” Bolivar said.
From that point forward, the Bees pitching duo of Cole Duensing and Hector Yan would allow just two hits the rest of the way with eight strikeouts and one walk.
Dragons starter James Marinan fell to 1-4 on the season, allowing six earned run on six hits with six strikeouts. It was his third straight start without allowing a walk.
After scoring two runs in the second inning to make it 4-3, the Bees’ big inning came in the fifth. Adams doubled to open the inning and moved to third on a single by Kevin Maitan. Dayton’s Marinan struck out the next two batters, but a single by Gleyvin Pineda tied the score at 4. A wild pitch gave the Bees runners at second and third and Alexis Olmeda singled, scoring both runs to make it 6-4.
“(Marinan) attacked and attacked, but balls found holes,” Bolivar said. “He was so close to getting out of that jam, but that’s part of the game.”
The Bees added runs in the sixth, seventh and ninth innings. Dayton would get just one hit in the final four innings against Yan, a single by Reniel Ozuna in the sixth.
“We’ve got to keep working to get a pitch to drive and take good at-bats to put runners on base,” Bolivar said. “That will dictate everything.”
The Dragons will have the day off on Sunday before departing for a seven-game road trip, including three games at Great Lakes and four games at South Bend.
● Former Dragon second baseman Shed Long became the 99th player from the team to be called up to the Major Leagues on Friday, earning a promotion to the Seattle Mariners. The former Cincinnati Reds prospect played parts of two seasons in Dayton in 2015 and 2016. Long was traded twice this winter, including from the Reds to the Yankees in the Sonny Gray deal. He was then traded to the Mariners for outfielder Josh Stowers.