Lansing, Mich.—The Lansing Lugnuts turned five double plays and held off a Dayton comeback effort as they defeated the Dragons 7-5 on Wednesday night. Lansing has won the first two games of the three-game set that will conclude at noon on Thursday.
The Dragons remained one game ahead of South Bend in the Midwest League East Division wildcard race. First place West Michigan won on Wednesday, dropping the second place Dragons to three games out of first, but still a game ahead of third place South Bend, who lost for the second straight night to Bowling Green. The Dragons have 12 games to play in the first half season. The top two teams in the East Division first half standings will earn playoff spots.
The Dragons took an early 2-0 lead, getting back-to-back doubles to start the game from T.J. Friedl and Jose Siri in the first inning and a second third inning run on sacrifice fly from John Sansone after another Siri double. But Lansing scored four runs in the bottom of the third and two more in the fourth to take a 6-2 lead.
The Dragons scored three runs in the fifth to make it 6-5, keyed by a run-scoring single by Tyler Stephenson, an RBI double by James Vasquez, and a sacrifice fly by Brantley Bell. But they left runners in scoring position in the fifth, sixth, seventh and ninth and could not score again. The Dragons hit into double plays in each of the last three innings.
In the ninth, Sansone doubled with two outs and Bell walked to put the tying run on base, but Michael Beltre grounded out to shortstop to end the game.
Dragons starting pitcher Ty Boyles (1-1) took the loss. He worked three and two-thirds innings, allowing six runs on 10 hits with no walks and three strikeouts.
The Dragons collected 14 hits including six doubles. Siri and Beltre each had three hits while Friedl, Stephenson, Vasquez, and Sansone each had two. In all nine innings, the Dragons lead-off batter reached base safely on six hits, two walks, and an error. Three of the nine lead-off men who reached base eventually scored.
Up Next: The Dragons battle the Lugnuts on Thursday at 12:05 p.m. in the last game of the three-game series in Lansing. Andrew Jordan (3-4, 4.53) will start for the Dragons against Lansing’s Osman Gutierrez (0-4, 16.36). The Dragons begin a four-game series at West Michigan on Friday night.
The Dragons have four home games left in the first half, all against the Great Lakes Loons. They will host the Loons in a doubleheader on Tuesday, June 13 at 6:00 p.m. and they meet the Loons again at 7:00 p.m. on June 14 and 15.
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.
For Dragons 2017 ticket information, call (937) 228-2287.