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Dragons’ Naughton blanks Loons

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MIDLAND, Mich. – Dayton Dragons starting pitcher Packy Naughton tossed 8.0 innings of two-hit baseball to lead his team to a 5-0 victory over the Great Lakes Loons at Dow Diamond on Monday.

Luke Heyer and Eric Peterson were the only Loons (3-16) hitters to earn a hit off Naughton in the loss.

Great Lakes starting pitcher Jeronimo Castro, making his Single-A debut, was stellar through 3.0 innings before stumbling in the fourth. The 21-year-old gave up an RBI double to Jeter Downs and a single to Andy Sugilio, which scored Downs for a 2-0 lead.

Castro (L, 0-1) pitched his way out of the inning with a double play and weak pop-out to end the inning. He was replaced by Devin Hemmerich. He finished his outing allowing two runs on four hits and one walk with four strikeouts.

Pitching for the AZL Dodgers, Castro was 2-0 with a 0.87 ERA in three appearances, all of which were out of the bullpen. His most impressive outing was his last in the Arizona League, throwing 4.1 perfect innings with six strikeouts.

Hemmerich tossed 2.0 innings and did not give up an earned run, but errors from the Loons defense caused Lorenzo Cedrola and Downs to find home plate. The Loons finished with three errors against the Dragons (9-10).

In the top of the seventh, Downs tacked on his second RBI of the night, ripping a single to left field off Luis Pasen. The hit scored Jose Garcia for a 5-0 edge.

Sven Schueller tossed a clean top of the ninth. However, the Loons bats were unable to make a comeback in the bottom half of the frame against reliever Aneurys Zabala, who pitched for Great Lakes this season before being dealt from the Los Angeles Dodgers to Cincinnati Reds on July 4.

Garcia, Cedrola and Downs were a combined 6-for-13 with two RBI, one walk and five runs scored for the Dragons. Naughton (W, 4-8) earned his first pitching win since May 5. He went 11 outings without a victory before Monday.

The Loons have an off day on Tuesday before heading on the road to play the Clinton LumberKings for a three-game series. Great Lakes will return to Dow Diamond on July 18 to start a six-game homestand.

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