Hunter Greene figured he would have to up his considerable game when he was promoted to the Dragons.
Sure enough, the Reds’ No. 1 draft pick from a year ago has dealt with elements that were foreign to his Los Angeles upbringing. There’s been rain, more rain, some snow and an entire three-game weekend series postponed in just two weeks of minor-league baseball.
It was more of the same for his delayed second start on Wednesday against visiting South Bend at Fifth Third Field.
“We’re going to face this,” said Greene following a 4-1 win that pushed the Dragons’ win streak to seven. “We’ve just got to be able to compete, bring our ‘A’ game and be ready to go.”
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Greene was supposed to have started last Saturday at West Michigan, but that road trip was completely washed out due to a winter storm that lingered throughout the Midwest. Instead, he unloaded on the Cubs and statistically was just as impressive as his debut nine days prior that drew national media.
He went 2.1 innings for a no-decision, allowing three hits, one walk, no runs and striking out three. And he brought the heat again.
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He hit 100 mph on his first three pitches in his opening assignment. On Wednesday, he topped that by hitting 101 mph in the second inning. That unofficially ties a stadium record that former Reds reliever Aroldis Chapman first registered during a major-league rehab assignment with the Dragons in 2014.
Cubs designated hitter Christian Donahue owns a black-and-blue souvenir of Greene’s magic moment: He was hit by the 101 mph missile.
Rain soon pelted the field before Greene could get out of the third inning. He was done following a 90-minute rain delay.
“It was great,” said Greene, who had 43 pitches and likely would not have gone past the third inning anyway. “It went really well and the team was strong. We stayed in it, competed and got the job done.”
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Dragons reliever Austin Orewiler (2-1) earned the win, going 4.2 innings, allowing a solo home run and striking out eight. Ryan Nutof and Sarkis Ohanian also each pitched scoreless innings to preserve what Greene and Orewiler started.
Dragons relievers have allowed just two earned runs during the win streak, a span of 31.2 innings.
“It’s a great staff,” Dragons pitching coach Seth Etherton said. “These guys have meshed really well. It’s all about preparing. Once they understand a lot about themselves at this stage in their careers, that’s what it’s all about, figuring out what works for them.”
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Dragons third baseman John Sansone had a two-run homer, his first. The Dragons made the most of three hits. The Cubs had just five hits and celebrated starter Jose Albertos (0-1) was tagged with the loss. He’s the No. 3 minor-league prospect for the Cubs.
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