Rivera pitches Dragons past Great Lakes

Dayton starting pitcher Javi Rivera struck out eight batters over five scoreless innings and Cam Collier blasted his eighth home run of the season as the Dragons defeated the Great Lakes Loons 5-2 on Friday night. 

The Dragons jumped out to an early lead with two runs in the second inning. Ruben Ibarra walked to start the inning and Carlos Jorge singled to right to move Ibarra to second. Victor Acosta then lined a double down the left field line to drive in both Ibarra and Jorge to make it 2-0.

The Dragons scored again in the fourth. With one out, Leo Balcazar reached on a slow roller to second base for an infield single, and Balcazar raced to third on a double down the left field line by Logan Tanner. Jay Allen II then lined a hit under the glove of the shortstop into left field to drive in both Balcazar and Tanner to make it 4-0.

In the fifth, Cam Collier hit a drive above the center field fence that was initially ruled as “in play” by the Midwest League umpires as Collier stopped at second base. The Dragons immediately argued the call, and after a conversation between the umpires, the ruling was changed to a home run. The Loons did not dispute the change of the call by the umpires. Collier’s homer, his eighth of the year, gave Dayton a 5-0 lead.

Meanwhile, Javi Rivera (1-2) was exceptional, allowing just two hits and two walks over five scoreless innings while notching eight strikeouts. He left the game with a 5-0 lead.

“I just stuck to my plan,” said Rivera. “Stuck with the process. Tried doing, honestly, what I’ve tried to do all year. I guess today it just worked out in my favor.  Just attack the zone. Try to throw everything as hard as possible and live with the outcome.”

Great Lakes scored two runs in the sixth against Dragons reliever Myles Gayman to make it 5-2.  But Gayman bounced back and retired six of seven batters over the next two innings before turning it over to Brock Bell for the ninth inning. Bell pitched a scoreless ninth, allowing only a two-out single, to earn his third save.

“We’re all turning the corner,” Rivera said. “I think that we are really going in the right direction as a team and we’re going to have a lot of success.”


Great Lakes at Dayton, 1 p.m., Dayton CW, 980

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