Dayton, Ohio (WDTN) Reds all-star Aroldis Chapman tossed a perfect first inning before the Lansing Lugnuts rallied for a six-run seventh inning on the way to a 9-6 victory over the Dayton Dragons on Thursday night. A crowd of 9,130 attended at Fifth Third Field. Lansing won three-of-four games in the series.
Chapman, on a Major League injury rehabilitation assignment with the Dragons, struck out two of the three batters he faced, throwing two pitches at 101 mph and two more at 100 in his first official game action of 2014. The left-handed reliever was struck by a line drive in a spring training game on March 19 and had not pitched in a regulation game until Thursday in Dayton.
Lansing led 2-1 going to the seventh inning when the Lugnuts erupted for six runs, keyed by a grand slam home run by L.B. Dantzler. The Dragons battled back from the 8-1 deficit and had the tying run in the on-deck circle as the game ended.
Daniel Wright (1-1) replaced Chapman in the second and took the loss, going five innings and allowing four hits and two runs with three walks and seven strikeouts. Both runs against Wright came on solo home runs.
Dayton’s Jeff Gelalich delivered a two-run double in the bottom of the seventh as the Dragons pulled to within five at 8-3. After Lansing scored one in the eighth, Dayton’s Jamodrick McGruder hit a solo home run in the ninth and Tanner Rahier added a run-scoring single to close out the scoring. The Dragons had only four hits in the game. Rahier was 2 for 3 with two walks. Gelalich was 1 for 3 to extend his hitting streak to six straight games.
The Dragons fell to 16-10 with the loss. They remain in first place, one and one-half games ahead of three teams who are tied for second.
The Dragons begin a six-game road trip on Friday in Eastlake, Ohio against the Lake County Captains. Sal Romano (3-1, 2.33) will start for Dayton against Lake County’s Jordan Milbrath (1-1, 1.52).
Notes: The Dragons added infielder Avain Rachal to the roster before the game and placed outfielder Sebastian Elizalde on the disabled list with a strained hamstring.