EASTLAKE, Ohio – Starting pitcher Ismael Guillon fired seven strong innings and Avain Rachal drilled a two-run double to lift the Dayton Dragons to a 4-2 victory over the Lake County Captains on Sunday afternoon.
With the win, the Dragons remained four games behind the wildcard leader, second place West Michigan, with seven games to play in the first half. The third place Dragons are also four and one-half games behind first place South Bend in the East Division. The top two teams qualify for post-season play in each half.
Guillon (4-0) allowed only four hits and one walk over seven innings, surrendering two runs while striking out nine. He retired 13 straight at one point, notching all nine of his strikeouts against those 13 batters.
Lake County scored one run in the second inning to take an early lead, but the Dragons battled back to get the lead in the fourth. Daniel Pigott walked with one out, and with two outs, Pigott went to second on Gabriel Rosa’s single to right field. Rachal followed with a line drive double to the fence in left to bring in both Pigott and Rosa and give the Dragons a 2-1 lead. Rachal then stole third and scored on the same play when the catcher’s errant throw went into left field to make it 3-1.
The Dragons added another run in the fifth when Jamodrick McGruder tripled off the center field fence and then scored on Sebastian Elizalde’s one-out single up the middle to make it 4-1.
Lake County cut the deficit to two in the seventh, ending Guillon’s string of four straight perfect innings. Nolan Becker replaced Guillon and worked a scoreless eighth inning. Layne Somsen earned his first save with a scoreless ninth, allowing a two-out single followed by a walk as the tying runs reached base. But Somsen got Richard Stock to ground out to first base to end the game.
The Dragons finished with eight hits. Elizalde was 2 for 5 with an RBI to raise his average to .321. Tanner Rahier had a triple to go along with Rachal’s double and McGruder’s triple. Lake County had only five hits.
The Dragons (32-29) close out the six-game road trip at Lake County (23-40) on Monday at 7:00 p.m. Sal Romano (4-4, 3.00) will start for Dayton against Lake County’s Luis Lugo (3-4, 4.96).
The Dragons begin a six-game home stand on Tuesday, June 10 at Fifth Third Field against the Bowling Green Hot Rods at 7:00 p.m.
Notes: The start of the game was delayed by rain by 34 minutes…Prior to the game, the Dragons placed pitcher Pedro Diaz on the disabled list with a right elbow sprain. Tony Amezcua was activated to take his place on the roster.