Dragons fans are used to seeing Hunter Greene bring the heat at Fifth Third Field, but the 18-year old turned up the thermostat a bit Saturday night.
The Reds first round draft pick a year ago lit up the radar gun against Bowling Green. He threw several pitches that touched 100 miles an hour but it wasn’t enough to keep the Dragons from dropping a 1-0 pitcher’s duel.
Greene, who consistently throws his fastball between 97-99 mph, hadn’t hit triple digits on the radar gun in either of his last two starts.
Saturday he threw several pitches that topped out at 101 mph on the gun.
The Hot Rods pushed across a run in the second inning when Greene gave up a pair of hits and the run came home on an infield ground ball.
That was the only run Greene allowed in five innings. The right-hander struck out six Bowling Green hitters and walked only two.
On the other side, Dragons hitters only managed two hits in the first eight innings and both of those hits were off the glove of Bowling Green outfielders.
Jeter Downs led off the fourth inning with a double off the glove of center fielder Emilio Gustave, but he was later thrown out at the plate on a great defensive play for Hot Rods third baseman Zach Rutherford.
The Dragons left the bases loaded in the fourth when Mile Gordon hit a broken-bat blooper that was tracked down in shallow right field by second baseman Vidal Brujan.
John Sansone had a one out single in the bottom of the ninth, but any thoughts of a walk-off win went quietly on Stuart Fairchild’s fly out to right field and Hendrik Clementina strikeout to end the game.
In 11 starts this season Greene (1-4) has allowed one run or less seven times.
The loss is the fifth in a row for the Dragons (29-31) who fall two games under .500 for the first half of the season, and with a Lansing win at Ft. Wayne, Dayton is officially eliminated from the first-half playoff race.