Kernels snap Dragons win streak with wild 6-5 win

Dayton, Ohio—The Cedar Rapids Kernels scored one run in the top of the 10th inning to break a 5-5 tie and then held off the Dayton Dragons in the bottom of the inning to defeat the Dragons 6-5 on Wednesday night.  The Dayton loss snapped their six-game winning streak.  A crowd of 8,593, the largest of the year for the Dragons, attended the game at Fifth Third Field.

The Kernels won the game in the 10th after the Dragons had come back from a 5-3 deficit in the ninth to score twice and send the game to extra innings.  With one out and the bases empty in the bottom of the ninth, Dayton’s Michael Beltre drew a walk to bring the tying run to the plate.  Taylor Trammell then blasted an opposite field home run to left field to even the score at 5-5.  The Dragons had a chance to win the game in the same inning when Jose Siri followed Trammell by reaching on a walk and stole second.  John Sansone then drilled a line drive at Kernels third baseman Travis Blankenhorn, who made the catch and fired back to second to double off Siri and end the threat.

The Kernels scored in the 10th against Dragons reliever Patrick Riehl, getting back-to-back walks with one out followed by a run-scoring single by Shane Carrier to break the tie.  In the bottom of the 10th, James Vasquez doubled for Dayton with one out, but Brantley Bell grounded out to shortstop and Avain Rachal struck out to end the game.

The Dragons fell to 22-11 on the season.  They remain in first place in the Midwest League East Division.  They lead West Michigan by one game.

The Dragons took an early lead when Sansone blasted a solo home run in the first inning, his third of the year.  After the Kernels scored in the second, Vasquez connected on a two-run home run in the fourth to give the Dragons a 3-1 lead.  It was Vasquez’s fourth homer of the year.  Cedar Rapids tied the game with two runs in the fifth and then added single runs in the seventh and ninth to build their lead to 5-3.

The game featured a controversial reversal of a home run call.  In the fifth inning, Sansone delivered a deep drive down the left field line that easily cleared the fence and was initially ruled a home run by plate umpire Ricky Estrada.  After the Kernels argued that the ball was foul, Estrada conferred with base umpire Robert Nunez, who was standing near second base when the ball left the playing field.  The two umpires decided to reverse the call and ruled Sansone’s drive foul, despite a lengthy protest by Dragons manager Luis Bolivar.  The Dragons did not score in the inning.

The Dragons finished with 10 hits.  Vasquez led the way, going 3 for 5 with a home run and two runs batted in.  Sansone and Trammell added homers to give the Dragons their first three-home run game of 2017.

The Dragons open a new three-game series at Fifth Third Field against the Quad Cities River Bandits (16-15) on Thursday at 7:00 p.m.  Max Wotell will makes his first appearance in a Dragons uniform as the Dayton starting pitcher.  Quad Cities will send Forrest Whitley (1-1, 3.60) to the mound.

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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