Dayton, Ohio— The Dragons scored a run in each of the first two innings, gained separation with a three-run sixth, and held on as the tying run reached base in the top of the ninth, to top Cedar Rapids 5-3 on Tuesday night. The Dragons extended their win streak to six straight games and won their 11th game in the last 12 in front of 8,521 fans at Fifth Third Field. The Dragons have outscored their opponents 66-15 in the 11 wins.
The Dragons improved to 22-10 on the season. They remain in first place in the Midwest League East Division. The lead is currently 1.5 games over South Bend.
The Dragons scored the first run in the bottom of the first inning. With two outs, Taylor Trammell lined a ball to the wall in right field. As Trammell raced for third base, the throw from second baseman Brandon Lopez bounded away and into the netting, resulting in a dead ball and Trammell being awarded home plate.
The lead doubled in the second frame with the aid of just one hit. Cassidy Brown worked a walk to open the inning and moved to second on Brantley Bell’s base hit. A wild pitch moved both runners to advance into scoring position. Luis Gonzalez followed with a chopper to the third baseman that allowed Brown to race home and make it 2-0.
Cedar Rapids cut the lead half on Shane Carrier’s RBI single in the fifth inning, only to watch the Dragons pull away to their biggest lead in the sixth. In that frame, Trammell walked and James Vasquez singled, leaving runners on the corners with nobody out. John Sansone made it 3-1 with a sacrifice fly. Brown put two men back on base with his single in front of Bell, who lofted a double off the glove of right fielder Jaylin Davis to increase the advantage to 4-1. The next hitter, Gonzalez, drove in his second run of the game with an infield single to make it 5-1.
Davis reduced the lead to 5-2 with a solo home run off of Jesse Adams to begin the seventh inning. In the ninth, against Joel Kuhnel, Cedar Rapids pulled a run closer after three consecutive two out singles and had the tying run on base, when Kuhnel closed out the win with a strikeout of Lopez.
Scott Moss picked up the win by allowing one run on three hits over 5.0 innings. He added five strikeouts to his league-leading total. Adams allowed one run in two solid innings as the first man out of the pen. Jesse Stallings turned in his sixth straight outing without allowing a run with a clean eighth. Kuhnel recorded a pair of strikeouts during the ninth.
The Dragons finished with eight hits. Vasquez and Bell each had two hits, with Bell tacking on an RBI.
The Dragons host the Kernels (17-14) in the final game of the series on Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. Wennington Romero (3-0, 1.91) will start for the Dragons against Cedar Rapids’ Tyler Wells (2-0, 2.17).
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: Before the game, the Dragons received pitchers Brian Hunter and Max Wotell from extended spring training. Pitcher Lucas Benenati was sent from Dayton to extended spring training while pitcher Alex Webb was placed on the disabled list.