The Great Lakes Loons (35-32) managed a split in its 4-game series with an 8-3 win over the (40-27) Dayton Dragons (Cincinnati Reds) at Fifth Third Field in Dayton, OH tonight.
The Loons wasted little time getting to Dayton starter Tony Santillan (4-3, 3.10 ERA) when DH Gavin Lux led off the game with a walk, moved to third on a single by center fielder Saige Jenco, before shortstop Oneil Cruz (5) cleared the bases with a 3-run home run over the center field wall, his fifth of the year for a 3-0 Loons lead in the top of the first inning.
Loons third baseman Brendon Davis followed Cruz with a walk, then moved to second on a ground out by left fielder Mitchell Hansen, before scoring on an RBI single off the bat of first baseman Erick Meza to take a 4-0 lead midway through the first inning.
The Dragons answered in the bottom of the third when shortstop Hector Vargas (3) touched Loons starter Dustin May with a solo home run, his third of the season to make it a 4-1 game.
Dayton center fielder Taylor Trammell (4) led off the bottom of the fourth with his fourth home run of the season, and the Dragons added another run to make it a 4-3 game in the bottom of the fourth inning.
Jenco walked to lead off the top of the fifth inning and eventually scored on a single from Hansen to extend the Great Lakes lead to 5-3 midway through the fifth inning.
May (4-3, 3.92 ERA) would go on to give up 3-runs on 6-hits and a walk, while striking out 6-batters through 6 2/3 innings to earn his fourth win of the season for the Loons tonight.
The Loons added three more runs in the top of the eighth inning, scoring 1-run on a Jenco sac fly RBI, and another 2-runs on an infield error by the Dragons for a 8-3 lead.
Loons reliever Nolan Long replaced May, allowing just 1-hit, while striking out 3-batters for 3 of his 4 outs over the next 1 1/3 innings, taking him through the eighth inning, as Patrick Duester gave up 2-hits with 1-strikeout to close out the ninth inning for the Loons.
Jenco extended his fourteen game on-base streak and continues to blister the baseball, going 2 for 3 for the second game in a row, adding a walk and an RBI tonight.
Davis and Meza were each 2 for 4 respectively tonight, while Hansen was 2 for 5 with an RBI as well.
The Loons will wrap up the first half of the Midwest League season with a 3-game road series against the Bowling Green Hot Rods (Tampa Bay Rays) Fri-Sun this weekend, before returning to Dow Diamond for the 2017 MWL Home Run Derby/All Star Game and festivities Mon-Tue Jun 19-20 next week.