DAYTON, Ohio – Tanner Rahier drilled a three-run home run in the first inning and three Dayton pitchers combined to allow just four hits as the Dragons earned their sixth straight win with a 4-2 victory over the South Bend Silver Hawks. A crowd of 8,456 saw the game at Fifth Third Field.
The Dragons scored in the first inning for the sixth straight game and then never trailed as starter Dan Langfield and relievers Tony Amezcua and Nolan Becker kept South Bend from building a big inning. The Silver Hawks were 0 for 8 with runners on base as a team.
Dayton’s Alex Blandino walked to open the Dragons first inning and advanced to second on Ronald Bueno’s single to right. Robert Ramirez grounded a single off the glove of first baseman Marty Herum into right field to drive in Blandino and give the Dragons a 1-0 lead. One batter later, Rahier launched a three-run blast to left to extend the lead to 4-0. The homer was Rahier’s eighth of the season.
Langfield (3-2) enjoyed a good bounce-back start after failing to get through the first inning in his last outing. He went five innings, allowing just two hits and one run with four walks and four strikeouts to earn the win. Amezcua entered the game to start the sixth inning and tossed three scoreless frames, giving up only one hit and no walks with three strikeouts.
Becker came in the game to start the ninth inning with the Dragons leading 4-1. He surrendered a lead-off home run to Daniel Palka to make it 4-2. The home run was the Midwest League-leading 21st of the year for Palka. But Becker struck out the next two batters and then got Jamie Westbrook to ground out to Blandino at shortstop to end the game. Becker earned his first career save.
The Dragons finished with just five hits. Ramirez extended his hitting streak to seven straight games while Rahier and Gabriel Rosa have each hit safely in five straight. Blandino walked three times but did not have a hit.
The Dragons (21-20) host the Silver Hawks (23-18) in the last game of the series on Sunday at 2:00 p.m. at Fifth Third Field. Sal Romano (7-9, 3.71) will pitch for the Dragons against South Bend’s John Omahen (4-6, 3.72).
All Dragons games can be heard on WONE Radio (980 AM) and via the internet at wone.com and through the Dragons Mobile App.
Notes: The Dragons will try to go two games above .500 for the first time in the second half on Sunday. They have been one game above the mark on three occasions at 1-0, 10-9, and the current record of 21-20…All six wins during the Dragons winning streak have come by two runs or less…The earned run allowed by Becker in the ninth inning was just the third he has given up over his last 17 outings covering 23.2 innings…Amezcua has allowed just one run over his last 14.2 innings (six relief appearances).