Dragons blow big lead, lose to Lugnuts 13-9

Dayton, Ohio—Lansing’s Bradley Jones blasted a pair of three-run home runs as the Lugnuts battled back from an early 7-1 deficit to defeat the Dayton Dragons 13-9 on Monday night at Fifth Third Field.  A crowd of 7,410 attended the first game of a three-game series between the two teams. 

The loss dropped the Dragons into a first place tie with the Lugnuts in the Midwest League’s East Division.  Both teams are now 7-4 on the season.

The Dragons enjoyed their biggest first inning of the season as they built a 7-1 lead through one inning.  T.J. Friedl tripled to start the inning and eventually scored on Tyler Stephenson’s run-scoring single.  John Sansone added an RBI single before Brantley Bell delivered a two-run double.  With two outs, Michael Beltre blasted a two-run home run, his first of the year, to give the Dragons a six-run lead.

But Lansing battled back, scoring three runs in the second, and after the Dragons added one in the fifth to build their lead to 8-4, Lansing responded with one in the sixth and three in the seventh on Jones’ first three-run homer to tie the game at 8-8.  In the eighth inning, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. delivered a tie-breaking RBI single to give Lansing a 9-8 lead, and Jones followed with his second three-run home run of the night to make it 12-8.  Each team added one run to close out the scoring.

Dragons starting pitcher Tony Santillan worked the first five innings and left the game with an 8-4 lead.  Santillan allowed four runs on seven hits with four walks and four strikeouts over his five innings and was not involved in the decision. 

It was a rough night for the Dayton bullpen.  Lucas Benenati replaced Santillan and allowed one run in the sixth before surrendering three runs in the seventh as Lansing tied the game.  Andy Cox worked one and one-third innings, allowing one hit, and was replaced by Ryan Hendrix with a runner at first base and one out in the top of the eighth with the score still tied at 8-8.  The runner eventually scored and was charged to Cox, which made him the losing pitcher as he fell to 1-1.  Hendrix was charged with four runs in one and two-thirds innings.  Overall, the bullpen allowed nine runs in four innings, surrendering three homers.  The bullpen’s collective earned run average for the year jumped from 2.91 to 4.50 over the course of the night.

Offensively, the Dragons collected eight hits.  Tyler Stephenson was 2 for 4 with one RBI.  Michael Beltre had a two-run homer and two walks.  Taylor Trammell had one hit to extend his hitting streak to seven straight games.

The Dragons (7-4) host Lansing (7-4) in the second game of the series on Tuesday night at 7:00 at Fifth Third Field.  Scott Moss (0-1, 6.23) will start for the Dragons against Lansing’s Justin Maese (1-1, 4.91).

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.

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