DAYTON, Ohio – Lansing starting pitcher Jesus Tinoco and two relievers combined to allow just four hits as the Lugnuts defeated the Dayton Dragons 4-2 on Monday night. Lansing won three-of-four games in the series. A crowd of 8,243 attended the game at Fifth Third Field.
The Dragons (27-25) fell back into third place with the loss, four games behind the first place Lugnuts (31-21). The Dragons are one game behind the wildcard leader, second place Bowling Green.
Lansing jumped out to a 4-0 lead, scoring two runs in the second inning and two more in the fourth. The Dragons cut the deficit in half in the fifth when Jimmy Pickens singled to right field with one out and Narciso Crook followed with a triple to right-center to bring in Pickens. Crook then scored on a wild pitch to make it 4-2.
But the Dragons could not generate any offense the rest of the night. They did not have another base hit until Gavin LaValley led off the bottom of the ninth with a single to right, but the next three hitters were retired to end the game.
Dragons starting pitcher Mark Armstrong (3-2) worked the first five and two-thirds innings, allowing four hits and four runs (two earned) with two walks and three strikeouts. Armstrong left the game in the sixth inning alongside Dragons trainer Andrew Cleves due to elbow soreness. No further information was available Monday night on Armstrong’s condition.
Lansing left fielder Chris Carlson made a huge impact in the game in multiple areas. Carlson had a pair of two-out singles to drive in a total of three runs, and he made two sensational catches in the outfield, one of which saved at least one run.
The Dragons do not play on Tuesday. They open inter-division play when they begin a six-game West Division road trip on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. (EDT) against the Clinton Lumber Kings in Clinton, Iowa. Tyler Mahle (4-3, 2.95) will start for Dayton against Clinton’s Tyler Herb (2-1, 5.54).
Notes: Dragons starting pitcher Seth Varner, who left Sunday’s game with the trainer, suffered from lower back stiffness, but it is not expected to be serious enough to cause him to miss his next scheduled start on Saturday.