Dayton, Ohio—The Lake County Captains scored two runs in the eighth inning to overcome a 3-2 deficit and defeat the Dayton Dragons 4-3 on Tuesday night. A crowd of 8,438 saw the game at Fifth Third Field in the start of a three-game set.
Lake County’s Nathan Lukes delivered a soft fly ball to shallow left field that fell for a tie-breaking RBI single with one out in the eighth to give the Captains a 4-3 lead. The Dragons threatened in the bottom of the eighth but left a runner at second before going out in order in the ninth.
The game marked the third straight loss for the Dragons, all in close games. The last four Dragons losses have come by two runs or less. They have had the lead in the eighth or ninth inning in three of their last four losses.
Neither team scored in the game until Lake County took a 2-0 lead in the top of the fifth inning, collecting five hits in the frame. But the Dragons answered with three runs in the bottom of the fifth to take a 3-2 lead. Ed Charlton started the inning with a base hit to center field and Shane Mardirosian followed with another single to center. With one out, Luis Gonzalez singled to left to load the bases. After Kevin Garcia lined out hard to third base for the second out, Brantley Bell singled up the middle to drive in both Charlton and Mardirosian to tie the game. Shed Long followed with a single to right to drive in Gonzalez and give the Dragons a 3-2 lead, but the Dragons could not push across another run over the final four innings as Lake County battled back to get the lead and the win.
The Dragons collected nine hits. Charlton and Mardirosian each had two. All nine hits were singles.
Dragons starting pitcher Ty Boyles, in his first game back with a the club after spending a month in extended spring training, was strong over the first four innings before weakening in the fifth. He left after four and two-thirds, allowing six hits and two runs with no walks and three strikeouts. Four of the six hits and both runs came in the fifth.
Reliever Juan Martinez (3-2) suffered the loss. He retired the first seven batters he faced after entering the game with two outs in the fifth. But he was charged with both runs in the eighth, allowing three hits in the inning while also committing a balk.
The Dragons (13-32) host the Captains (25-20) at Fifth Third Field again on Wednesday night at 7:00. Jesus Reyes (1-1, 3.07) will start for Dayton against Lake County’s Matt Esparza (3-2, 4.24).
All Dragons games are broadcast on radio on Fox Sports 980 WONE and on the internet at wone.com. Games are also available on the Dayton Dragons mobile app.
Notes: Three Dragons players extended hitting streaks in the game. Shed Long had one hit to give him a nine-game hitting streak, the longest of the season by a Dayton player. Shane Mardirosian’s two-hits extended his streak to eight, and Tyler Stephenson had one hit to advance his hitting streak to six. James Vasquez was 0 for 4 as his hitting streak ended at eight…The Dragons have scored at least three runs in 10 of their last 11 games after scoring two runs or less in 11 of the previous 15 contests.