Dayton, Ohio (WDTN) —Three Dayton pitchers combined to scatter eight hits and Jimmy Pickens drove in the tie-breaking run with a fifth inning single as the Dayton Dragons defeated the Lansing Lugnuts 2-1 on Friday night. The win was the Dragons second straight at Fifth Third Field and improved their home record for the year to 26-17.
Dragons starting pitcher Jake Paulson, added to the rotation to replace injured right-hander Mark Armstrong, worked four and two-thirds innings, allowing five hits and one unearned run with no walks and seven strikeouts. Brennan Bernardino followed Paulson and worked the next two and one-third innings, allowing just one base runner on an infield single with three strikeouts. He earned the win to improve to 2-1. Conor Krauss tossed the final two innings, allowing two hits and no runs with two strikeouts for his fourth save.
Lansing’s David Harris delivered a run-scoring two-out double in the top of the fifth to give the Lugnuts a 1-0 lead. The Dragons answered immediately in the bottom of the fifth. Narciso Crook doubled to left-center field to start the inning and went to third on Luis Gonzalez’s sacrifice. Jose Ortiz lined a single to center to bring in Crook and tie the game. Two batters later, Pickens singled to right to drive in Ortiz from third with two outs and give the Dragons a 2-1 lead. Lansing did not have a runner past first base the rest of the night.
The Dragons finished with six hits by six different players. Crook’s double was the only extra base hit.
Dragons pitchers did not issue a walk in the game, marking the sixth straight contest in which they have walked two or less.
The Dragons (7-9 in the second half; 46-40 overall) host the Lugnuts (9-7, 51-35) on Saturday at 7:00 p.m. at Fifth Third Field in the second game of the four-game series. Wyatt Strahan (5-6, 2.88) will start for the Dragons and Lansing’s Starlyn Suriel (5-4, 3.21).