Bowling Green, KY – The Dayton Dragons enjoyed two big innings on the way to a 10-3 victory over the Bowling Green Hot Rods on Saturday night. The win was the fifth straight for the Dragons and improved their second half record to 8-8.
The Dragons will try for their second straight series sweep on Sunday afternoon. They have outscored their opponents 30-8 over their five-game winning streak.
The Dragons scored three runs in the fourth inning to jump out to the lead, keyed by a two-run double off the right field fence by Avain Rachal. They added one more in the top of the fifth to make it 4-0 before Bowling Green responded with two runs in the bottom of the fifth to pull to within two at 4-2.
But the Dragons exploded for six runs in the sixth inning to take a commanding 10-2 lead. The Dragons scored one run on six consecutive at-bats in the inning. Carlton Daal, Phillip Ervin, and Daniel Pigott each delivered hits to bring home runs. Another run scored on an error. The fifth run of the inning scored on Rachal’s RBI ground out, and Jose Ortiz closed out the rally with a run-scoring double to give the Dragons an eight-run advantage. Bowling Green’s Darryl George connected on a solo home run in the seventh to end the scoring.
The Dragons had some unusual help in generating their run total. The Hot Rods committed two catcher’s interference infractions and also were guilty of a fielder’s obstruction call during a run-down play that allowed the runner to be awarded the next base. Those mistakes came in the two big innings for the Dragons and played a part in the final tally.
Dragons starting pitcher Sal Romano (5-8) earned the win and pitched extremely well, not allowing a run until the last batter he faced in the outing. Romano lasted five and two-thirds innings, giving up five hits and two unearned runs with no walks and four strikeouts.
The Dragons collected 12 hits. Daal, Pigott, and Rachal each had two. Matthews had one hit and three walks. All nine Dayton batters had at least one hit, and everyone except Rachal scored at least one run. Rachal drove in three.
The Dragons (8-8) and Hot Rods (5-11) meet again on Sunday at 3:05 (EDT) in the last game of the series. Dan Langfield (2-0, 2.37) will start for Dayton against Bowling Green’s Jorge Rodriguez (2-5, 5.84). The Dragons do not play on Monday. Their next home game is Tuesday, July 8 vs. the South Bend Silver Hawks at Fifth Third Field.
Notes: Tanner Rahier extended his hitting streak to 12 straight games…Jon Matthews pushed his hitting streak to 10 straight and Carlton Daal advanced his to seven straight.