The Dayton Dragons exploded for nine runs in the second inning on the way to a 13-5 victory over the Clinton Lumber Kings on Monday night at Fifth Third Field. The game was shortened by rain to eight innings.
The win was the Dragons fifth straight and improved their record to 7-3 on the season. The five-game winning streak is the Dragons longest since 2011.
The Dragons scored two runs in the first inning, keyed by a lead-off triple by Beau Amaral and run-scoring singles by Phillip Ervin and Sebastian Elizalde to make it 2-0. The second inning was one of the biggest single frames in Dragons history. The Dragons collected nine runs on eight hits to build an 11-0 lead. Six of the hits in the inning were extra base hits, including another triple by Amaral and doubles by Jamodrick McGruder, Carlton Daal, Tanner Rahier, Daniel Mateo, and Joe Hudson. The Dragons were two runs short of the club record of nine runs in an inning, set most recently in 2007.
There was no more scoring until Clinton plated five unearned runs in the top of the eighth inning to cut the Dayton lead to 11-5. But the Dragons answered with two runs of their own in the bottom of the eighth, both coming on a two-run double by Hudson, to make it 13-5. Before the eighth inning was over, the game was delayed by rain. After a 30-minute delay, umpires signaled that the game was official and the Dragons had their fifth straight win.
Dragons starting pitcher Daniel Wright, in his first professional career starting assignment, was outstanding. He allowed just one hit and no runs over four innings before reaching his pitch limit. He walked one and struck out three. Zack Weiss (1-0) replaced Wright to begin the fifth and worked three innings without allowing a hit or run to earn the win. He walked two and struck out three.
For the fourth straight game, the Dragons established a new season high for hits, collecting 17 in the game. Amaral led the way with three including two triples. He became the 11th player in Dragons history to pick up two triples in a game. Hudson had two doubles and drove in four runs. Ervin, Elizalde, Rahier, Mateo, and Jeff Gelalich also had two hits. McGruder had a two-run double and three walks.
The Dragons host Clinton again on Tuesday at 7:00 p.m. (EDT) at Fifth Third Field. Sal Romano (2-0, 3.00) will start for Dayton against Clinton’s Eddie Campbell (1-0, 0.00). The series concludes on Wednesday before the Dragons open a new three-game set on Thursday against Kane County at Fifth Third Field. All Dragons games can be heard on WONE Radio (980 AM) and via the internet at wone.com and through the Dragons Mobile App.
Notes: All nine players in the Dragons lineup had at least one hit by the end of the second inning…The Dragons lowered their league-leading team earned run average to 1.92. The team batting average jumped from .233 to .257…Elizalde is 9 for 15 (.600) over his last three games.