Hunter Greene strong again for Dayton Dragons

Hunter Greene’s hot streak continued Wednesday night at Fifth Third Field.

The 18-year-old pitcher allowed one run on three hits while striking out seven in six innings for the Dayton Dragons.

He threw 78 pitches, including 48 for strikes.

The outing against the Great Lakes Loons, a Single-A affiliate of the Dodgers, was his seventh in a row allowing two runs or fewer.

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Greene, the No. 2 pick in the 2017 draft and one of the Cincinnati Reds’ top prospects, lowered his season ERA to 4.73.

After struggling through much of April and May, Greene has not allowed more than two runs in a start since he gave up four in 3.1 innings against Great Lakes on May 19.

During that stretch, the only appearance that wasn’t an unqualified success was his June 14 outing at South Bend when he allowed seven hits in 4.1 innings. But even that day he gave up only two runs and walked none.

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Wednesday night, Greene cruised through the first three innings, striking out three batters (all looking) in the first two then getting a groundout, a fly out and a soft liner to third base in a seven-pitch third inning.

After a long delay during which the Dragons scored five runs, Greene walked the first two in the top of the fourth.

After a mound visit, he bore down and struck out the next three batters, finishing each in unique fashion.

Brock Carpenter swung through a 98-mph fastball for strike three, Carlos Rincon took a 100-mph heater for strike three and Romer Cuadrado swung and missed at a curveball to end the inning.

Greene gave up a run in the fifth on a double by Darrell Miller that went off the wall in center field and chased home Brandon Montgomery, who started the inning with a walk.

Greene stranded Miller by getting a groundout to the pitcher, a pop-up to third base and a swinging strikeout of Devin Mann.

He faced the minimum in the sixth inning thanks to a double play turned by shortstop Jose Garcia, whose error allowed Luke Heyer to reach base to start the inning.

Greene got Rincon to ground out to Garcia to end the frame and his night.

On the season, Greene has allowed 29 runs (28 earned) on 58 hits in 53.1 innings. He has struck out 67 and walked 19.

He left with an 11-1 lead, and the Dragons cruised from there to improve to 34-41 on the season and 3-4 in the second half.

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