Dragons winning streak ends at 6

DAYTON, Ohio – Chuck Taylor collected four hits including a grand slam home run and drove in six runs to lead the South Bend Silver Hawks to a 13-2 victory over the Dayton Dragons on Sunday afternoon. The Dragons loss snapped their six-game winning streak as they settled for two-out-of-three in the series with South Bend. A crowd of 8,028 saw the game at Fifth Third Field.

South Bend pounded out 15 hits in the game. Along with Taylor’s four hits, Fidel Pena was 4 for 5 with a double and a triple. Daniel Palka delivered a three-run home run, his league-leading 22nd of the year, and Michael Perez added a solo homer, his ninth.

After South Bend scored two runs in the top of the first inning, the Dragons responded with a run in the bottom of the first, marking the seventh straight game in which the Dragons have scored in the opening frame. Alex Blandino led off the inning with a single to left field and stole second. He scored on Phillip Ervin’s two-out double to left-center to make it 2-1.

But the rest of the day belonged to South Bend. The Silver Hawks led 3-1 before exploding for five runs in the fourth inning, keyed by Taylor’s one-out grand slam home run. They added two more in the fifth and Palka’s three-run homer in the seventh made it 13-1. The Dragons closed out the scoring with a run in the ninth on an RBI single by Jose Ortiz.

Dragons starting pitcher Sal Romano (7-10) suffered the loss, allowing seven runs in three and one-third innings. He gave up eight hits and two walks while striking out three.

The Dragons collected nine hits. Jon Matthews had his third three-hit game in the last five and raised his batting average to .345. Tanner Rahier had two hits to extend his hitting streak to six straight games.   Robert Ramirez saw his seven-game hitting streak end with a 0 for 4 day.

The 13 runs by South Bend marked the first time the Dragons had allowed more than seven runs in a game in over a month. Lake County scored 13 against the Dragons on June 30.

The Dragons (21-21) open a new three-game series at Fifth Third Field against the Great Lakes Loons (19-22) on Monday at 7:00 p.m.   Nick Travieso (10-5, 3.50) will pitch for the Dragons against Brandon Martinez (1-7, 4.68).

Notes: The Dragons continue to hold a one and one-half game lead in the Eastern Division second half playoff chase with 28 games to play.  The top two teams in the division (excluding first half qualifiers West Michigan and South Bend) will qualify for the playoffs.

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