MIDLAND, Mich. - One bad inning and one good pitcher were too much for the Great Lakes Loons to overcome Friday.
The visiting Dayton Dragons used a seven-run third inning and the pitching of former first-round draft pick Nick Traviseo to roll past the Loons 10-2 at Dow Diamond. The win pushed the Dragons a half-game ahead of the Loons in the Midwest League Eastern Division standings.
"We've had a lot of games like these that have gone our way," said Loons manager Bill Haselman. "We ended up on the short end of it tonight."
The loss was only the third in 12 games for the Loons, but the second on their current seven-game homestand. They're now 13-8 while Dayton improved to 13-7.
Traviseo, the Cincinnati Reds' top draft pick in 2012, pitched five shutout innings against the Loons league-best offense. He gave up four hits, struck out five and walked two. He's now 3-0 on the season with a 1.23 ERA.
"He threw well but it's kind of hard to judge anything when you give him a seven-run lead," said Haselman. "But he did a nice job, mixed up his pitches, and stayed ahead in the count for the most part."
The Dragons broke a scoreless tie with a big third inning. Sammy Diaz started the barrage with a leadoff double off of Loons starter Greg Harris - the first of six Dayton hits in the frame. Harris walked the next two batters, and then surrendered a two-run single to Phillip Ervin for the game's first runs.
Sean Buckley contributed another two-run single two batters later, while Joe Hudson double home two runs and Carlton Daal singled home another. By then, Harris had given way to reliever Brandon Martinez, who pitched 3.2 innings and gave up two runs.
Francisco Villa took over for Martinez in the seventh and pitched an inning and a third before having to leave with an apparent shoulder injury in his right arm.
"He felt something in the front of his shoulder," said Haselman. "I don't know anything more than that."
Mark Pope pitched the final 1.2 innings for the Loons. Harris, now 1-2, took the loss.
The Loons scored both of their runs in the seventh inning. Joey Curletta led off with a single - his third hit of the game - took third on a double by Justin Chigbogu, and then scored on an Alex Santana single. Chigbogu then came home on a sacrifice fly by Brandon Trinkwon.
Santana and Paul Hoenecke each added two hits for the Loons.
The series resumes Saturday at Dow Diamond with Loons early-season ace Jonathan Martinez, who's 3-1 with a 2.63 ERA while ranking among the MWL leaders with 26 strikeouts. He'll be opposed by the Dragons' Daniel Wright (0-0, 1.69 ERA). Game time is 6:05 p.m.
The Loons are an eighth-year Single-A partner of the Los Angeles Dodgers. For tickets or more information about the team, call 989-837-BALL or visit loons.com.