DAYTON, Ohio—Dayton starting pitcher Tony Santillan combined with two relievers to allow just two hits while striking out 17 batters as the Dragons defeated the Cedar Rapids Kernels 4-1 on Monday night. A crowd of 7,416 at Fifth Third Field saw the Dragons notch their fifth straight win and their 10th victory in the last 11 games. The Dragons have outscored their opponents 61-12 in the 10 wins.
The Dragons improved to 21-10 on the season. They remain in first place in the Midwest League East Division. They led West Michigan by one game when the day began.
Cedar Rapids got the scoring started in the fourth inning with a lead-off home run by Jermaine Palacios. The Dragons took the lead in the bottom of the fourth with a big inning. Jose Siri singled, stole second, and eventually scored on a two-out single by James Vasquez to make it 1-1. Brantley Bell followed with a single to right field to drive in Tyler Stephenson from second to give the Dragons a 2-1 lead. Cassidy Brown then lined a single to left-center to drive in Vasquez and Bell to make it 4-1. Cedar Rapids did not a base hit the rest of the night.
Santillan became the second Dayton pitcher to reach double-digits in strikeouts this season, notching 10 over six innings without walking a batter. Santillan allowed just two hits and the only run against him was the solo homer by Palacios. Ryan Hendrix followed Santillan and worked two innings, allowing only one base runner while striking out five. Andy Cox picked up the save with a perfect ninth inning, striking out two.
The Dragons finished with six hits. Vasquez and Bell each had two hits with an RBI. Bell raised his batting average on the year to .310.
The Dragons host the Kernels (16-13) in the second game of the series on Tuesday at 7:00 p.m. Scott Moss (3-1, 2.61) will start for the Dragons against Cedar Rapids’ Tyler Beardsley (3-1, 3.91).