By Brad Golder
In a game that saw Dayton Dragons manager Jose Nieves ejected for arguing with home plate umpire Mike Provine, the Dragons (56-65, 28-24) scratched out a 3-1 win over the Great Lakes Loons (58-63, 31-20) in front of a crowd of 7,897 at Fifth Third Field.
The bottom of the sixth inning provided the fireworks with Provine involved in two key situations. First, on a fly ball down the right field line hit by Dragons first baseman Seth Mejias-Brean, Provine called the ball fair and Mejias-Brean was awarded a double. Loons manager Razor Shines argued otherwise, but the call stood. Two batters later, Dayton right fielder Jeff Gelalich drove a pitch from Great Lakes reliever Thomas Taylor down the left field line that appeared to clearly bounce in fair territory. However, Provine called the ball foul. Nieves was then ejected for arguing the call.
Gelalich later walked and Dayton went on to score two runs in the inning through a walk by Daniel Pigott and a sacrifice fly from Zach Vincej.
Great Lakes got off to a quick start in the first inning when Brandon Trinkwon and Leo Rodriguez each doubled in the first and second at-bats of the game. Trinkwon roped a pitch from Dayton starter Ismael Guillon down the right field line and Rodriguez drove a pitch deep to left-center field, splitting Dragons outfielders Jesse Winker and Jeff Gelalich, scoring Trinkwon.
Guillon gave Dayton a quality start, going six innings, allowing one run, which was earned, on five hits. He also struck out five and walked just one.
The Dragons were able to get on the board in the fifth inning when Dayton shortstop Zach Vincej hit a towering home run to left field to knot the game 1-1.
Tom Windle, the Los Angeles Dodgers No. 9 rated prospect, went three innings in his ninth start of the season, allowing two hits and no runs, while striking out four and not issuing a walk.
Down the stretch, the Loons left two runners on base in each of the final three innings. Devin Shines and Aaron Miller each went 2-for-4 for Great Lakes.
The Loons will play game two of a three-game series against the Dayton Dragons on Thursday. Game time is 7 p.m. Jonathan Martinez (2-2, 2.82 ERA) is expected to start for Great Lakes in place of the recently traded Miguel Sulbaran. Dayton is slated to go for Nick Travieso (6-3, 5.19 ERA), a 6-foot-2, 215-pound right-hander from Pembroke Pines, Fla. The game will be broadcast live on ESPN 100.9-FM and ESPN1009.com.
NOTES: Sulbaran was traded to the Minnesota Twins as the player-to-be-named-later for catcher Drew Butera. He was assigned to Cedar Rapids. Right-handed pitcher Zachary Bird has been promoted and re-added to the Loons roster from Ogden. He is scheduled to start Friday.
The Great Lakes Loons are a seventh-year Single-A partner of the Los Angeles Dodgers. For tickets and more information about the Loons, visit Loons.com or call 989-837-BALL.
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