DAYTON, Ohio – The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers collected 19 hits and scored runs in seven different innings as they rolled to a 16-5 victory over the Dayton Dragons on Sunday afternoon. The Timber Rattlers have won the first two games of the series that will conclude on Monday night.
Wisconsin scored two runs in the first inning, one in the second, and four more in the top of the third to jump out to a 7-0 lead. The Dragons scored single runs in the bottom of the third and fourth innings to pull to within five at 7-2, but Wisconsin responded with four runs in the fifth to extend their lead to 11-2 as they took command of the game.
Dayton catcher Chris Okey had a big game in a losing effort. Okey belted a three-run home run and added a double, drove in four runs and also stole a base. The home run was his third of the season in only 12 games with the Dragons. Okey was the Reds second round draft pick last month out of Clemson University.
Dragons starting pitcher Jose Lopez (6-8) suffered the loss. He worked two and one-third innings, allowing seven runs on eight hits with one walk and two strikeouts. It was the first rough outing in two months for Lopez, who had posted a 1.48 ERA in eight starts since June 1 entering the game, allowing just eight earned runs in the eight starts.
Dragons relievers Jordan Ramsey (four runs allowed in two innings) and Manuel Aybar (three runs in three and one-third innings) followed Lopez to the mound before catcher Jose Duarte came on to finish the game over the final inning and one-third. Duarte allowed two runs as he became the second Dragons position player to pitch in a game this season. Dragons pitchers uncorked seven wild pitches, the most by any Midwest League team in a game in 2016.
The Dragons collected nine hits. In addition to Okey, Mitch Piatnik and Shane Mardirosian each had two hits for Dayton. Brantley Bell had a double and two walks.
The Dragons added three stolen bases, giving them 27 in the first 15 games in July. Their previous high for most steals in a month this season was 22 in June.
The Dragons (8-15, 29-64) close out the series and home stand against the Timber Rattlers (12-12, 46-48) at Fifth Third Field on Monday at 7:00 p.m. Tanner Rainey (2-7, 5.79) will start for the Dragons against Wisconsin’s Thomas Jankins (first appearance with Wisconsin; 0-0, 3.09 at Helena).
Notes: The game was played in three hours, 45 minutes, making it the longest nine inning Dragons game this season (11 minutes short of the club record)…The 16 runs and 19 hits for Wisconsin were both season highs for a Dragons opponent.