The Dayton Dragons welcomed the Burlington Bees to Fifth Third Field on Sunday to start a three-game series in hope of curing those early-season blues.
Burlington had seven wins coming into Sunday and is an affiliate of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, one of the thinner farm systems in the majors according to Baseball America. But it didn’t matter. The Bees had enough to beat Dayton 10-4, giving the struggling Dragons their sixth loss in its last eight games.
“It’s nothing someone like a manager has the answer for,” Dayton manager Jose Nieves said. “When we pitch, we don’t catch. When we catch, we don’t hit or we can’t throw. To get it right, the players have to do it. We’ll work on it on a daily basis, but it is something they have to do.”
Burlington led 1-0 after the top of the first, but Dayton tied it in the bottom of the inning when Brent Peterson took home on a double steal. Burlington added three more in the second and third, then torched Dayton’s bullpen with six in the top of the eighth.
Joe Hudson was driven in by Tanner Rahier in the seventh for a Dragons run. Hudson scored again on a wild pitch in the ninth.
“The pace of the game was bad, slow,” Nieves said. “When you start a game like that it’s tough. At the beginning, we were trying to control the running game, but there were situations where the pitcher wasn’t paying attention. Today we were asleep for a huge part of it. We tried to make something happen at the end, but by then it was too late.”
Pedro Diaz made his second start for Dayton. The Dominican right-hander, who has drawn comparisons to Cincinnati Reds ace Johnny Cueto and Reds prospect Daniel Corcino, lasted two innings. He gave up two earned runs, two hits and two walks while striking out one. He was pulled after suffering a repetitive injury to his finger, the result of tossing breaking balls.
Nieves was confident he would make his next start. He’s also confident that Dayton, which has seven of the top 20 prospects in the Reds farm system on roster presently, will quit singing the blues.
“We haven’t combined the facets game, at least for a good stretch,” Nieves said. “When that happens, with the talent these kids have, I think we’ll turn things around.”
Burlington at Dayton, 7 p.m.