“It comes off his bat a little different than other guys — it’s a grown man swinging it,” Schofield said of the 6-foot-3, 235-pound third baseman/first baseman. “Probably when he feels like it or whatever goes on at Daytona he’ll probably shoot up there.”
The sixth inning mirrored the frustration the Dragons’ offense has endured most nights. Two doubles and a single produced only run and left them trailing 3-2. Brantley Bell’s double ricocheted off the pitcher and out of play beyond the first-base dugout to score Mitch Trees. But Ed Charlton and LaValley struck out to end the inning. LaValley didn’t swing at strike three.
The Loons jumped ahead 3-0 in the second inning on a two-run double by Ariel Sandoval and an RBI single by Omar Estevez. They put the Dragons away with a three-run ninth capped by Matt Jones home run to straightaway center.
A two-run homer by Shed Long, his fourth of the season, was nice to see but didn’t change the result.
For starters: Both starting pitchers made the first starts this season as spot starts because recent rainouts. Jesus Reyes, who had allowed two runs in six innings of relief, made it through 3 2/3 innings for the Dragons. He allowed three runs on seven hits and three walks. The Dragons were hurt by two passed balls, two wild pitches and an error.
The Loons’ Garrett Harrison made his first professional start. He allowed one hit, an unearned run and struck out three.
Next: The Dragons conclude this seven-game homestand today at 2:07 p.m. with Austin Orewiler (0-2, 3.20 ERA) on the mound. Dennis Santana (0-4, 2.36) starts for Great Lakes. After an off day Monday, the Dragons start a road trip at Lake County, which entered play Saturday in a three-way tie for first place in the Eastern Division.