Dayton Dragons starter Nick Lodolo allowed one run on three hits with four strikeouts in four innings of work in a 6-1 victory over the Bowling Green Hot Rods on Tuesday night at Fifth Third Field. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY MICHAEL COOPER
Photo: Michael Cooper
Photo: Michael Cooper

Lodolo impressive again in second start for Dayton

Lodolo, a 6-foot-6 left-handed pitcher from Texas Christian University, threw four innings, allowing one earned run on three hits with four strikeouts as the Dayton Dragons beat the Bowling Green Hot Rods 6-1 in front of 7,979 fans at Fifth Third Field on Tuesday night.

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With the victory, the Dragons snapped a two-game losing streak, improving to 16-21 in the second half. They sit seven games back of first-place Bowling Green (23-14) and four games back of wild-card leader South Bend (20-17).

Miles Gordon went 4-for-5 with a home run and two RBIs, while Michael Siani and Brian Rey each had two RBIs for the Dragons.

Lodolo threw 33 of his 49 pitches for strikes. His fastball touched 96 mph throughout his four innings on the mound. He didn’t walk a batter for the second straight outing.

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“The biggest thing for me was I was able to keep the ball down,” he said. “My fastball to both sides of the plate was working pretty well. My slider, when I was ahead in the count, was pretty good. In the third inning, I started falling behind guys and could’ve stuck some more sliders in there early.”

The Hot Rods’ Ruben Cardenas doubled in the first inning, scoring Osmy Gregorio from second base to give Bowling Green an early 1-0 lead.

“He settled in and made some good pitches after that,” said Dragons manager Luis Bolivar. “He went after them and mixing in his slider. It’s pretty good. That slider is going to play well.”

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Lodolo also worked in a few changeups, his third pitch. He’s been working on it in the bullpen, but is working on mixing it into his repertoire in games.

“It’s definitely coming around,” he said. “In college I threw it a little bit, but it’s something I haven’t thrown, so being comfortable with it is not necessarily there yet. The last two weeks though have been a step in the right direction. I’m getting it to go in the direction I want now consistently. It’s just a matter of mixing it in and when to do that.”

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The Dragons offense came through against the Tampa Bay Rays 2018 first round draft pick Matthew Liberatore, who allowed four earned runs on seven hits with four walks.

Siani singled in the second inning, scoring Claudio Finol from second base. Rey added an RBI double, scoring both Siani and Mariel Bautista to give the Dragons a 3-1 lead.

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In the third inning, Gordon homered into the right field lawn to extend the lead to 4-1. It was his first multi-hit game since July 5.

“He’s building his confidence back,” Bolivar said.

Siani added an RBI single in the fifth and Gordon gave the Dragons a 6-1 lead with an RBI single in the eighth inning.

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Dragons lefty Andy Fisher earned his first victory of the season, tossing four scoreless innings. He allowed just two hits and struck out three.

Clate Schmidt worked a scoreless ninth inning for Dayton.

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