LANSING, Mich. – The Lansing Lugnuts broke a 1-1 tie with five runs in the sixth inning and went on to defeat the Dayton Dragons 8-3 on Wednesday night. The two clubs have split the first two games of the six-game series.
Victor Ruiz and Michael Siani led an eight-hit Dayton attack. Ruiz had two doubles and a run batted in. Siani collected two hits and drove in a run.
The Dragons took a 1-0 lead in the fourth inning when Quin Cotton doubled, went to third on Siani’s infield single, and scored on a sacrifice fly by Ruiz. Lansing tied the game in the fifth.
Dragons reliever Jake Gilbert allowed the first four batters to reach in the sixth inning as Lansing initially took a 2-1 lead, giving up one hit and three walks, before being replaced by Spencer Stockton. All three runners inherited by Stockton scored after a bases loaded hit batsman and a two-run single. Stockton threw a wild pitch to bring in another run as Lansing sent nine batters to the plate in the inning and scored five runs to take a 6-1 lead.
The Dragons edged back within three runs, scoring one run in the seventh on a sacrifice fly by Mariel Bautista, and another in the eighth on Siani’s run-scoring single to make it 6-3. But Lansing scored two against Stockton in the bottom of the eighth to extend their lead to 8-3.
Dragons starting pitcher Jacques Pucheu worked four and one-third innings, allowing one unearned run on two hits with three walks and three strikeouts. Gilbert (3-1) was charged with the loss, allowing four runs in two-thirds of an inning. Stockton went the final three innings and was charged with three runs on five hits with five strikeouts and no walks.
The Race: The first place Dragons (28-21) hold a two and one-half game lead over both Lake County and Great Lakes in the East Division standings.
Up Next: The Dragons play at Lansing (23-27) in the third game of a six-game series on Thursday at 7:05 p.m. RH Carson Spiers (1-1, 4.71) will pitch for Dayton against Richard Guasch (1-3, 2.88).