Dayton Wins in Shutout

Plans to play collegiately left Sal Romano undrafted until the Reds took a chance on him in the 23rd round in 2011. He's now nineteen years old and playing in his first full professional season. He hasn't an earned run in his last two starts and his ERA has dropped to a low-four against Midwest League hitters this season.

Dayton improved their second half record to .500 with a 5-0 win at West Michigan on Thursday. Sal Romano took the mound and picked up the win by limiting the Whitecaps to three hits and three walks over six scoreless innings with five strikeouts. He picked up the win to bring his record to 5-7 on the season. Wandy Peralta, Kyle McMyne, and Ben Klimesh each tossed a scoreless inning to finish out the game.

West Michigan made a pitching change to start the sixth inning and the Dragons took the lead from bases-loaded walk issued to Jeff Gelalich. That would be the only run they needed, but they added insurance with a four-run rally in the next inning. A Tanner Rahier single, Joe Hudson double, and brent peterson walk immediately loaded the bases again. The first run came on a Daniel Piggott sac fly and then two more crossed the plate from a single by Zach Vincej that was assisted by a throwing error. Jesse Winker brought the final run home with his team's second sac fly of the inning. Vincej led Dayton with three hits while Piggott added two. Gelalich, Hudson, and Peterson all reached safely twice with a hit and walk each.

After going through a rough stretch Romano is starting to come around and hasn't allowed an earned run in his last two appearances. In that stretch he's allowed only five hits and six walks while striking out twelve in twelve innings. He was recently named to the Midwest League All Star team and his overall ERA has dipped to 4.35.

In the recent draft the Reds made some ambitious picks on players like Willie Abreu and Brett Morales who weren't selected in earlier rounds because it's assumed they will go to college instead of signing. Perhaps their earlier success with picks like Romano influenced decisions to take a shot at those players. Romano had already enrolled in classes at the University of Tennessee before Cincinnati selected him in the 23rd round in 2011. They went over slot with the signing bonus and persuaded him to make a change of plans. The end result was gaining early round talent with a late round selection.

Romano was the Connecticut's Gatorade High School Player of the Year after he posted a 0.35 ERA his senior season. It was very easy to get excited about him after watching a mid-90's fastball come out of his 6'5"/250# frame. Though overall his results have been somewhat lackluster thus far let there be no doubt that the Reds are still hopeful he'll develop into the kind of top-rotation pitcher he projects. He and two other nineteen year-olds are currently the youngest pitchers on the Dayton roster.

Given the status of starting pitchers in the Cincinnati organization the Reds can afford to be patient with Romano. However, he's already playing in a full season as a teenager and has the stuff to force rapid advancement. He needs to improve command and polish off-speed offerings, which is typical of most young pitching prospects. At his age there won't likely be a push to promote him to Bakersfield this season but if his last two outings are an indication he could be looking at a move out west next season.

Other Organizational News:

The Reds had an off-day and will travel to Texas to open a weekend series against the Rangers.

Louisville rallied for four runs in the sixth inning to beat Columbus 5-1 at Louisville Slugger Field. Chad Reineke got the win from an outstanding start, allowing one run on four hits across eight innings. The minor league journeyman is now 7-4 with a 3.12 ERA. Billy Hamilton plated the first run of the game with a single in the third. Denis Phipps cleared loaded bases with a double in the game-winning rally and then scored himself on a Jason Donald single. Phipps and Felix Perez had two hits each for the Bats attack. Josh Fellhauer reached twice with walks.

Pensacola allowed two runs in the fourth inning in their 3-2 home loss to Mississippi. Yorman Rodriguez tied the game with an RBI-single in the third and a home run by Marquez Smith leading off the fourth was not enough for the comeback. Donald Lutz is back with the Wahoos after a stint with the Reds and he had two hits in the game. Daniel Renken took the loss for allowing three runs off five hits and two walks while striking out six in six innings. Drew Hayes and Loek Van Mil combined for three scoreless innings of relief.

Bakersfield rallied for four runs in the seventh inning in their 7-4 win at Visalia. Juan Duran started the Blaze scoring when he led off the fifth inning with a home run. Juan Perez knocked in the first run of their big rally with a single before Juan Silva hit a three-run homer. James Allen got no decision for allowing three runs on seven hits in five innings. Jake Johnson allowed one unearned run in two innings for the win. Pat Doyle tossed two perfect innings for the save.

Billings took a four-run lead but eventually lost to visiting Helena by a score of 8-5. Ty Washington started a four-run rally by leading off the third inning with a walk and scoring on a groundout. That was followed by an RBI-single by an RBI single by Carlos Sanchez and a two-run hit from Humberto Valor. Valor added another run in the eighth inning when he doubled and later scored on an error. Luke Moran got the start and no decision for allowing three runs in four innings. The Brewers jumped on Scott Brattvelt with five runs in less than two innings which pinned the loss on him.

The AZL Reds gave up six runs in the first inning in their 10-4 loss at the AZL Mariners. Franderlin Romero was hammered for eight runs in less than two innings pitched for the loss. Ronald Bueno had three hits and Logan Uxa added two doubles and a walk for the Reds. Second round selection and new signee Kevin Franklin reached twice with a walk and a hit.

The DSL Reds had the day off and will travel to meet the DSL Diamondbacks on Friday.

The DSL Rojos game at the DSL Orioles2 was postponed by rain and those two teams will meet at the DSL Reds venue on Friday.


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