Dayton, Ohio—Four Dayton relievers combined to allow just one run over six innings as the Dragons defeated the Quad Cities River Bandits 5-3 on Thursday night. A crowd of 8,325 attended the game at Fifth Third Field.
The Dragons improved to 23-11 on the season, maintaining the highest wins total in all of Minor League Baseball. They remain in first place in the Midwest League East Division. They lead West Michigan by one game and South Bend by a game and a half. The Dragons are 12-2 over their last 14 games.
Quad Cities scored in the top of the first inning on a home run by Jake Rogers, but the Dragons answered with a three-run bottom of the first. T.J. Friedl started the inning with a bunt single and went to second on an error. Jose Siri followed with a base hit to left field to drive in Friedl and tie the game. Siri eventually scored from third on Tyler Stephenson’s sacrifice fly, and John Sansone followed with a solo home run to left field to make it 3-1. The homer was Sansone’s fourth of the year and second in the last two nights.
Both teams scored one run in the second. Dayton’s Michael Beltre doubled with two outs and scored on Friedl’s triple to make it 4-2. Quad Cities added one run in the seventh to pull within a run at 4-3. The Dragons scored in the eighth when Taylor Trammell tripled and scored on a wild pitch to make it 5-3. Dragons reliever Joel Kuhnel pitched a perfect ninth inning for his sixth save.
The Dragons finished with eight hits. Friedl was 2 for 2 with a triple. Beltre was 2 for 3 with a double.
Dragons starting pitcher Max Wotell, who joined the ballclub on Tuesday, made his first appearance and went three innings, allowing four hits and two runs with two walks and three strikeouts. Ryan Hendrix followed Wotell and was outstanding, working three scoreless innings while allowing just one hit and no walks with seven strikeouts. Jesse Stallings worked the seventh inning and allowed three hits and one run but pitched out of a tough jam to strand the tying run at third. Andy Cox worked a scoreless eighth inning, allowing one hit with a pair of strikeouts. Kuhnel retired all three batters he faced in the ninth with one strikeout.
The Dragons battle the River Bandits (16-16) on Friday at 7:00 p.m. in the second game of the series. Andrew Jordan (3-3, 4.75) will start for the Dragons against Quad Cities’ Jorge Alcala (2-0, 2.22).
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.