How it Happened
This game got out of hand extremely quickly. The first batter of the game for Bowling Green lined to center field and Jawuan Harris misplayed it. The ball rolled to the wall for a three-base error, which was a decent representation of the way the first two innings went for the TinCaps.
Following Harris's error, starting pitcher Efrain Contreras gave up an RBI double, a walk, an RBI single and another walk, loading the bases with nobody out and two runs already in. That brought left-fielder Brian Rey to the plate and Rey did not miss his pitch when he got it. The 21-year-old outfielder got a cookie fastball over the middle and he unloaded, blasting it 416 feet to left-center for a grand slam and a 6-0 Dayton lead. That was all for Contreras, who left the game without recording an out.
Reliever Brandon Komar retired the first three hitters he faced to escape the first inning, but he ran into trouble in the second. He walked two and hit a batter in the inning and, along with a single, that made it 7-0 with the bases loaded again for Rey. Once again, Rey made the TinCaps pay, smoking a double in the gap that cleared the bases and made it a 10-0 game. The outcome was pretty much cemented at that point, but in case there was any doubt, Miguel Hernandez added a three-run homer later in the second inning to balloon the advantage to 13-0 by the time the TinCaps came to bat in the second. Through the second, there was never anyone up in the bullpen: Komar wore this one to save the relievers for the rest of the series.
The TinCaps showed a few signs of life in the second, slicing the lead back to 10 when Justin Lopez yanked a three-run long ball 366 feet over the fence in right. Blake Hunt and Agustin Ruiz had shown admirable hustle on the previous play, taking an extra base when a single got past the left-fielder. It wasn't much, but down 13 runs at the time, it was good to see the TinCaps continue to play hard.
Rey hit to lead off the fourth inning. He took a couple of balls before getting a hanging curve from Komar and launching it down the left-field line for another home run, this one landing beyond the seats and in the concourse 386 feet from home plate. His second homer of the night left his bat at 105 mph and made it 14-3.
The TinCaps kept battling in the late innings, picking up a two-run single from Harris in the seventh on a blooper to right. In the eighth, Michael Curry hit a towering two-run home run to left, his seventh long ball of the year. When I say towering, I mean it: the ball left his bat at a 45-degree angle, the second-highest home run hit at Parkview Field this season. That homer made it 14-7, but the TinCaps couldn't get any closer before time ran out on the comeback.
Player of the Game: Brian Rey
Rey had the best game of his two seasons in pro baseball, going 3 for 5 with two home runs, a double, three runs scored and a career-high eight RBI. He had never had more than three RBI in his first 103 games as a pro and this was also his first multi-home run game. He had not homered since June 13 and now has eight long balls this season, to go along with 35 RBI.
Facts and Figures
The seven runs the Dragons scored in the second were the most the TinCaps have surrendered in an inning this season. ... Dayton had just 10 hits. ... Dwanya Williams-Sutton came in riding a 14-game on-base streak and went 1 for 4 to extend the streak to 15. He came in leading the league in OBP among hitters with at least 200 plate appearances at .409. That number has been helped by the 19 times he's been hit by a pitch, which leads the league. ... Harris also came in on a 10-game on-base streak and went 1 for 4 with a walk and two RBI to extend his streak to 11. ... Contreras came in fourth in the league in K/BB rate (4.54) among pitchers with at least 70 IP, but walked two without a strikeout. His ERA ballooned more than half a run, from 3.51 to 4.09. ...Lopez now has nine home runs this season, the most on the TinCaps. All nine of those have come since May 15. He's driven in 37 runs. ... Dragons third baseman Juan Martinez did not put the ball in play once, going 0 for 1 with three walks, a hit-by-pitch and a strikeout.
These teams will meet again Sunday for the second of a three-game series at Parkview Field. First pitch will be at 3:05 p.m. The TinCaps will send 21-year-old left-hander Cullen Dana (0-0, 9.00 ERA) to the mound. Dana will be making his second career start in the Midwest League after pitching 15 scoreless innings in Low-A Tri-City. He gave up three runs in three innings in his debut July 21. The Dragons will counter with 22-year-old right-hander Jhon De Jesus (2-9, 5.18 ERA). De Jesus is tied for second in the league in losses.