Dayton, Ohio—Luis Gonzalez blasted a two-run home run and Bruce Yari went 3 for 3 with two doubles as the Dayton Dragons defeated the Great Lakes Loons 4-2 in the second game of a doubleheader on Tuesday night. The Loons won the first game of the twin-bill, 3-1.
The Dragons finished the night with a record of 39-26 on the season. They hold a one game lead on the South Bend Cubs in the playoff wildcard race, pending the completion of the Cubs game vs. Lansing on Tuesday night (Click here for an update of the South Bend-Lansing game). The Dragons have five games remaining in the first half race.
The Dragons are in second place, three games behind West Michigan. The top two teams in the East Division first half standings will earn playoff spots.
Great Lakes won the first game 3-1 behind starting pitcher A.J. Alexy, who fired six shutout innings. The built a 3-0 lead over the first four innings and took that lead to the final inning before the Dragons scored one run to close out the scoring.
In the second game, Dayton’s Luis Gonzalez blasted a 419-foot home run in the second inning after Bruce Yari had doubled to give the Dragons a 2-0 lead. Great Lakes tied the game with two runs in the top of the fourth, but the Dragons responded with a run in the bottom of the fourth to regain the lead. Tyler Stephenson singled to right field to start the inning before John Sansone’s fielder’s choice grounder forced Stephenson at second. Yari followed with a double to the gap in right center that scored Sansone from first base on a close play at the plate to make it 3-2.
The Dragons added another run in the sixth, getting a single from Taylor Trammell, a walk to Stephenson, and a single by Yari to load the bases with one out. Brantley Bell walked on a 3-2 pitch to force in a run and make it 4-2.
The Dragons bullpen was outstanding. Aaron Fossas (3-0) fired two perfect innings to earn the win, and Ryan Hendrix pitched a 1-2-3 final inning for his fifth save.
Up Next: The Dragons host the Loons in the third game of the series on Wednesday night at 7:00 p.m. Cincinnati Reds pitcher Homer Bailey will start for the Dragons on a Major League injury rehabilitation assignment. Bailey is expected to throw five innings or approximately 80 pitches. The Great Lakes starting pitcher will be Jordan Sheffield (1-3, 2.76). The series will conclude on Thursday at 7:00 p.m.