Dragons hold off Captains, take series

EASTLAKE, Ohio – The Dayton Dragons jumped out to an early 4-0 lead and held off the Lake County Captains 5-4 on Sunday afternoon at Classic Park. With the win, the Dragons took two-out-of-three in the series and finished their seven-game road trip with a 4-3 record.

The Dragons got a solo home run from Avain Rachal in the top of the fifth inning and led at the time 5-2 before Lake County battled back with single runs in the fifth and seventh to cut the Dayton lead to 5-4. The Captains left the tying run in scoring position in the seventh, eighth, and ninth innings as Dragons pitchers continuously worked out of trouble.

Dragons reliever Jake Ehret earned his first save by recording the final four outs. Ehret entered the game with runners at first and second and two outs in eighth and got Bobby Ison to fly out to left to end the inning. In the bottom of the ninth, Lake County’s Ordomar Valdez opened the inning with a bunt single and went to second on a sacrifice. But Ehret struck out Taylor Murphy and then got Yu-Cheng Chang to fly out to center to end the game.

The Dragons scored one run in the first and then took advantage of three Captains errors in the second to add three more. Dayton’s Luis Gonzalez had a run-scoring single as part of the second inning and Brian O’Grady drove in a run with a sacrifice fly. The Captains then scored two in the bottom of the second to pull to within two at 4-2. Rachal’s homer restarted the scoring in the fifth.

Dragons starting pitcher Mark Armstrong (2-1) battled through five innings for the win. He allowed four hits and three runs while walking two, hitting two, and striking out two. Jake Paulson followed Armstrong and went two and two-thirds innings, allowing two hits and a run with two walks and two strikeouts.

The Dragons collected 11 hits for the second straight game. Jonathan Reynoso was 3 for 4 to raise his batting average to .344. Gonzalez and Garrett Boulware each had two hits. Gonzalez extended his hitting streak to 12 straight games and O’Grady’s hitting streak advanced to 11.

The Dragons will make several roster moves prior to Monday night’s game. Infielder Ty Washington will be placed on the disabled list with a shoulder sprain. Relief pitcher Alejandro Chacin will be promoted to Daytona. First baseman Paul Kronenfeld, who was assigned from Dayton to the Billings roster on Saturday, will rejoin the Dragons. Relief pitcher Joe Mantoni will be promoted to Dayton from extended spring training.

The Dragons (20-17) moved back into a three-way tie for second place with Lake County and Lansing in the East Division. The Dragons began the day on Sunday two games behind first place Bowling Green.

The Dragons will open a four game series on Monday at 7:00 p.m. vs. the Great Lakes Loons at Fifth Third Field. Tyler Mahle (2-3, 3.86) will start for Dayton against Great Lakes’ Kevin Guzman (1-3, 3.38).

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