Dayton, Ohio (WDTN)—The Dayton Dragons scored six runs over the final four innings to battle back from a 6-1 deficit and defeat the Lansing Lugnuts 7-6 on Tuesday night. The win was the second straight for the Dragons and marked their largest comeback win of the season.
The Dragons had pulled to within three runs at 6-3 in the top of the eighth when Tanner Rahier lined a two-run home run to left field, his seventh homer of the year, to make it 6-5. Then in the ninth, the Dragons took advantage of severe wildness by Lansing reliever Scott Silverstein to score two runs and take a 7-6 lead. Silverstein walked four in the inning, uncorked two wild pitches, and hit a batter. The tying run scored when Gabriel Rosa, who had walked to start the inning, raced in from third on a passed ball to beat the tag on a close play. Silverstein then threw a wild pitch to bring in Robert Ramirez to give the Dragons a 7-6 lead.
Alejandro Chacin tossed a perfect bottom of the ninth, striking out two, to earn his 13th save of the year and eighth in the month of July. Joel Bender (5-2) was credited with the win after pitching a scoreless eighth inning.
The game included a memorable start for new Dragons shortstop Alex Blandino, the second of two first round draft picks for the Reds in June. In the top of the first inning, Blandino, who had arrived at the ballpark just two hours before game time, belted a home run on his first swing as a member of the Dragons to give the club a brief 1-0 lead.
Lansing scored four in the bottom of the first, taking advantage of five walks by Dragons starter Dan Langfield, to take a 4-1 lead. They added single runs in the fourth and fifth innings to lead 6-1 before the Dragons started back.
The Dragons finished with 10 hits. Ramirez, Rahier, and Phillip Ervin each had two.
The Dragons (17-20) take on the Lugnuts (18-19) again on Wednesday afternoon in the second game of a three-game series at 12:05 p.m. Dayton’s Nick Travieso (9-5, 3.71) battles Lansing’s Brad Allen (3-3, 3.65).