DAYTON, OH - Juan Silva doubled down the right field line to snap a 6-all tie in the bottom of the ninth and give the Dayton Dragons a dramatic 7-6 win Friday night. The game - the final road contest of the year for the Loons - was played in front of a 913th consecutive sold out crowd of 8,407 at Fifth Third Field. The Loons still have won seven of their last nine.
The Dragons celebrated the win by chasing Silva into center field and tackling their heroic outfielder.
The Loons retired the first two Dragons quickly in the ninth. But Geoff Brown gave up a single to Yorman Rodriguez. Then with the count full, Silva recorded the game-winner driving in Rodriguez, who was running on the pitch.
The loss nullified a two-homer performance from Loons second baseman Pedro Guerrero. Guerrero's first homer was a solo shot in the fourth off starter Wes Mugarian. He later connected on a three-run job in the sixth inning to pull the Loons to within a run, 5-4.
The Dragons jumped out to a four run lead in the bottom of the first against right-hander Victor Araujo, who was making his Midwest League debut after spending the season with the Arizona League Dodgers. The inning was highlighted by Junior Arias' long two-run home run. Half of the runs were unearned after an error by Jesse Bosnik.
But Araujo settled down in the game. He allowed a solo homer to Silva in the fifth inning but finished the game with three earned runs allowed over five innings. He also retired rehabilitating Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto all three times he faced him.
Later in the top of the seventh, Darnell Sweeney drove in two with a bases loaded single to give the Loons their first lead of the game, 6-5. But the Dragons tied the score in the bottom of the seventh with a Silva sac fly. The Dragons scored one in the inning despite loading the bases with none out.
Brown (1-1) took the loss with just the one run in 2 2/3 innings. Dan Jensen (7-10) did not allow a run in three innings for the win.
Votto went 0-for-2 with a sac fly and a walk. He showed better mobility rehabbing a left knee injury than he did in his previous Dragons game Wednesday.
The Loons (31-36 second half, 65-72 overall) wrap up the 2012 season with three games at Dow Diamond Saturday, Sunday and Monday against the South Bend Silver Hawks (31-36, 66-71). Game time Saturday is 7:05pm, and the game features a post-game Fireworks Loontacular, powered by Dow Corning. Right-hander Joel Lima (1-0, 4.90) is slated to start for the Loons. The Silver Hawks will send lefty Keith Hessler (2-4, 3.43). Tickets are available at Loons.com or 989-837-BALL.
The Great Lakes Loons are a sixth-year Single-A partner of the Los Angeles Dodgers and are in the middle of their 5th Anniversary Celebration, which kicked off in August 2011 and continues throughout the 2012 season. For more information about the Loons, visit Loons.com or call 989-837-BALL.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.