DAYTON, Ohio – Dayton starting pitcher Sal Romano struck out a career-high 10 batters over five strong innings and the Dragons went on to defeat the Cedar Rapids Kernels 3-2 on Monday night before a crowd of 8,118 at Fifth Third Field. The Dragons salvaged a victory in the three-game set with the Kernels.
Romano (7-9) allowed one run on five hits with only one walk as he reached double figures in strikeouts for the first time over his three-year professional career. He has allowed just four earned runs in five starts during the month of July.
The Dragons took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning when Jonathan Reynoso reached on an infield single and scored from first on Robert Ramirez’s double to the right field corner. Cedar Rapids tied the game on a two-out wild pitch to bring in a runner from third in the second.
The Dragons regained the lead in the bottom of the fifth when Ronald Bueno tripled down the right field line and scored on a triple to the right field corner by Jamodrick McGruder. McGruder scored on Jonathan Reynoso’s double down the left field line to make it 3-1. The Kernels pulled to within one in the sixth on a solo home run by Mitch Garver, his 14th of the year.
Dragons closer Alejandro Chacin entered the game to pitch the ninth and protect the 3-2 lead. He struck out the first two batters in the inning before issuing a walk, but struck out Engelb Vielma swinging to end the game and earn his 12th save.
The Dragons finished with eight hits. McGruder and Reynoso each had two hits, a run scored, and a run batted in.
The Dragons (16-20) travel to Lansing, Michigan to meet the Lansing Lugnuts (18-18) in the first game of a three-game series on Tuesday at 7:05 p.m. Dayton’s Dan Langfield (2-2, 3.38) battles Lansing’s Chase De Jong (0-6, 5.27).
Notes: Nick Howard, the Cincinnati Reds 2014 number one draft pick, made his fourth career appearance and allowed his first base runners and first run of his professional career. After four perfect innings over his first three outings, Howard allowed a solo homer to the first batter he faced, Garver, in the sixth. He retired the next five batters he faced before giving up a two-out single in the seventh and left the game when he reached his pitch limit.