BOWLING GREEN, Ky – Dayton Dragons starting pitcher Amir Garrett took a no-hitter into the sixth inning and Brandon Dailey belted a two-run home run as the Dragons defeated the Bowling Green Hot Rods 7-4 to earn a split of the doubleheader on Thursday. The Hot Rods came from behind to win the first game 4-3.
The Dayton split left the Dragons three games behind the West Michigan Whitecaps in the Midwest League East Division wildcard race with 10 games to play in the first half.
Garrett (1-4) was dominant over the first five innings of a seven-inning game, coming within five outs of the second no-hitter in Dragons history. He retired 16 of the first 17 batters he faced, giving up only a walk in the second inning before Bowling Green’s Alexander Simon hit a ground ball through the left side of the Dayton infield with one out in the sixth to break up the no-hitter.
The Dragons led 7-0 going to the bottom of the sixth when Bowling Green picked up their first hits. The Hot Rods hit two balls hard in the inning and benefited from three infield singles including two run-scoring dribblers between the mound and third base as Garrett’s final pitching line did not resemble his effectiveness in the game. He earned the win, going five and two-thirds innings and allowing six hits and four runs with one walk and seven strikeouts.
Dayton reliever Nolan Becker entered the game with two outs in the bottom of the sixth to record the final out of the inning with tying run at the plate. Pedro Diaz pitched a scoreless seventh for his second save.
Dailey got the scoring started with a two-run homer in the third and Phillip Ervin had an RBI single in the fifth to make it 3-0. The Dragons scored four runs in the top of the sixth without a hit, taking advantage of three walks and two throwing errors.
Dayton’s Jon Matthews was 5 for 7 in the doubleheader and is 11 for 15 in five games since his return from the disabled list.
The Dragons led the first game 3-2 after seven innings of a nine-inning game, but Bowling Green tied it with a run in the eighth and won it in the ninth.
The Dragons are now 30-28 in the first half. Bowling Green is 28-31. West Michigan, the wildcard leader, improved to 34-26 with their second straight win over Great Lakes.
The Dragons play at Bowling Green again on Friday in the last game of the series at 8:05 p.m. EDT. Nick Travieso (6-2, 3.17) will start for Dayton against Bowling Green’s Jacob Faria (3-3, 3.91).