Last week, Brian Rey etched his name into the Dayton Dragons history book.
On Wednesday night, the outfielder gave his team a walk-off victory for the third time.
Rey’s double in the ninth inning scored Mariel Bautista from second base, lifting the Dragons to a 6-5 victory over the Bowling Green Hot Rods in front of 8,240 fans at Fifth Third Field.
Michael Siani went 3-for-4, while Rey, Bautista, Miles Gordon and Claudio Finol each had two hits for the Dragons.
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In the ninth inning, Bautista reached base on an error by Osmy Gregorio and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Siani. With a 1-2 count against Bowling Green fireballer Nathan Witt, Rey fouled off three straight pitches before ripping a double to the left center field gap, easily scoring Bautista.
“I really just wanted to simplify things, going up there with a plan rather than just free swinging up there,” Rey said. “When I go up there, I’m trying to hit the ball hard, obviously, but I was just trying to simplify things.”
On Saturday, Rey set the Dragons single-game record for RBIs with eight in a 14-7 over the Fort Wayne TinCaps. The previous single-game record of seven RBIs was held by Joey Votto, Adam Dunn, Juan Francisco, and David Vidal.
“It’s a great feeling,” Rey said. “To even be mentioned with greats like Joey Votto and Adam Dunn, it’s amazing. I don’t have any words for it to be honest with you.”
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The Dragons won for the second straight night, improving to 17-21 in the second half. They sit four games back of South Bend (21-17) for the second-half wildcard spot. Bowling Green leads the second half with a 23-17 record.
Dayton hosts Lake County for a four-game series beginning Saturday before going on the road for 17 of their final 26 games this season.
“It’s great momentum moving forward,” Rey said. “We need a push to hopefully get to the playoffs and win the second half. It’s good momentum for sure.”
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The Dragons took a 5-2 lead in the sixth inning on a double by Finol, but Bowling Green tied the game on a two-RBI single by Roberto Alvarez off in the eighth inning against reliever Eddy DeMurisas.
“We’re really resilient,” Rey said. “We remind each other that it’s not over until it’s over.”
Dragons starter Connor Curlis threw five innings, allowing two earned runs on five hits, striking out two and walking four batters. Reliever Jerry D’Andrea tossed one inning, allowing one earned run on two hits, but left the game in the seventh inning after being hit on his left pitching hand a shot up the middle by Jordan Qsar. D’Andrea isn’t expected to miss more than a few days, Dragons manager Luis Bolivar said.
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Matt Pidich picked up his second win, tossing 1.2 scoreless innings with two strikeouts.
“It was a good team win right there,” Bolivar said. “I’m happy for the guys. Any time you can do something like that, it’s very encouraging.”
• Limit reached: Reds 2019 first-round draft pick Nick Lodolo won’t pitch the remainder of the season after reaching his innings limit on Tuesday night, Bolivar said.
In two starts with the Dragons, the 6-foot-6 lefthander from Texas Christian University pitched seven innings, allowing two earned runs on six hits with nine strikeouts.
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“He got to his limit and I’m OK with that,” Bolivar said. “He’s a guy you’ve got to take care of. He’s going to be pretty good and do big things for the organization.”
Lodolo had already thrown 102 innings this season, including 91 at TCU and 11 for the Reds’ rookie ball team in Billings, Montana.
He finished his first season in the organization with an 0-1 record and a 2.45 ERA. Lodolo threw 18 total innings, allowing five earned runs on 18 hits with 30 strikeouts and no walks in eight appearances.
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Lodolo was great to work with and was in constant communication with both the strength and conditioning staff and pitching coach Seth Etherton, Bolivar said.
“He was just trying to learn how to adapt to the role as a professional,” he said. “You’ve got to prepare every five days to start and he did well. He looked very professional. He did a great job.”
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