Dragons lose on Sunday; Playoff hopes still alive

EASTLAKE, Ohio – The Lake County Captains hit five home runs on the way to a 12-0 win over the Dayton Dragons on Sunday afternoon. The two clubs have split the split the first two games of the series. The 2014 regular season will conclude on Monday afternoon.

The Dayton loss dropped the Dragons out of the wildcard lead. Great Lakes defeated West Michigan 4-3 on Sunday to move ahead of the Dragons by one-half game in the Midwest League East Division Second Half playoff chase.

For the Dragons to reach the playoffs, they will need a victory over Lake County on Monday afternoon and a loss by Great Lakes on Monday. The Dragons will also need at least one loss by Lansing (either Sunday night or Monday), and one loss by both Fort Wayne and Bowling Green, who are playing each other in a doubleheader Sunday and single game on Monday.  A Dayton loss or Great Lakes win on Monday would immediately eliminate the Dragons from playoff contention.

Lake County’s Nellie Rodriguez blasted a two-run home run in the first inning on Sunday to give his team an early lead.   In the third, Clint Frazier and Bradley Zimmer connected on back-to-back homers to make it 4-0. Claudio Baustista’s three-run home run in the fourth make it 7-0, and Grant Fink belted a three-run homer in the fifth as Lake County broke the game open with an 11-0 lead.

Dragons starting pitcher Jackson Stephens (2-7) suffered the loss. He worked three and two-thirds innings, allowing seven hits and seven runs with three walks and two strikeouts.

The game was a complete reversal of Saturday night’s series opener when the Dragons defeated the Captains 11-1, collecting 16 hits in the process. The Dragons picked up just three hits on Sunday and only one over the final seven innings. No player had more than one.

The Dragons (31-38) meet the Captains (38-30) in the last game of the regular season on Monday at 1:00 p.m. Nick Howard (1-1, 4.08) will start for the Dragons against Lake County’s Sean Brady (no record, first appearance).

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