Domingo Leyba’s one-out double brought in Jose Zambrano from second base with the winning run in the bottom of the 10th inning as the West Michigan Whitecaps defeated the Dayton Dragons 3-2 on Saturday night. The win gave the Whitecaps a sweep of the three-game series. The Dragons finished their six-game road trip with a record of 1-5.
The Dragons began the day in a tie with Great Lakes in the wildcard race. At the time of this posting, Great Lakes led Bowling Green 3-0 in the fifth inning in Kentucky, but the game was under a rain delay prior to becoming an official contest. There are nine games remaining to play.
Zambrano led off the 10th inning with a bunt single and went to second on a sacrifice. Leyba lined the first pitch down the right field line to bring in Zambrano from second to end the game.
Grand Rapids, MI – West Michigan led 2-0 before the Dragons rallied with two outs in the top of the seventh to tie the game. Jon Matthews reached on an infield single to start the inning and went to second on an error. With two outs, Jonathan Reynoso tripled to right-center to bring in Matthews, and Reynoso scored on an infield single by Nick Benedetto to make it 2-2.
The Dragons best chance to break the tie came in the ninth. Avain Rachal reached on an infield single and stole second with two outs, but Benedetto struck out to end the threat.
Dragons starting pitcher Amir Garrett pitched well, going six innings and allowing five hits and two runs with two walks and four strikeouts. Zack Weiss (2-3) also pitched well but was charged with the loss. He worked three and one-third innings, allowing two hits and one run with one walk and five strikeouts.
The Dragons broke the club record for triples in a season. Reynoso’s triple in the seventh was the Dragons 46th three-base hit of the year, breaking the old record of 45 set in 2005 and 2011.
The Dragons (28-33) return home on Sunday to host Great Lakes (28-32) in the first game of an important three-game series at Fifth Third Field. The game will have a special start time of 4:00 p.m. Sal Romano (7-10, 4.08) will start for the Dragons against Jose De Leon (2-0, 0.75).