Big Lansing inning dooms Dragons

Dragons-Lansing 6-23

DAYTON, Ohio – The Lansing Lugnuts scored seven runs in the fourth inning on the way to a 9-6 victory over the Dayton Dragons on Sunday afternoon. A crowd of 7,684 was in attendance at Fifth Third Field. The two clubs split the four-game series to start the second half.

Lansing led 1-0 before taking a commanding lead with seven runs in the fourth, collecting four hits in the inning and taking advantage of two Dragons errors that led to five unearned runs. The inning also included a bases loaded walk and a hit batsman with three men on base to force in a run.

The Dragons battled back with four runs in the bottom of the fourth and one more in the fifth to make it 8-5. Their fourth inning rally was keyed by a pair of run-scoring doubles by Pabel Manzanero and Morgan Lofstrom and an RBI single by Miguel Hernandez. Manzanero had another double to drive in a run in the fifth on a ball that was lost in the sun by the Lansing center fielder.

But the Dragons could never mount a serious threat to erase their remaining deficit. Lansing scored in the sixth to make it 9-5, and the Dragons scored in the eighth on a Lofstrom triple followed by a Hernandez single to make it 9-6. In the bottom of the ninth, Dayton’s Jay Schuyler drew a one-out walk, but the next two hitters were retired to end the game.

The Dragons finished the day with 11 hits. Hernandez was 3 for 4 with two runs batted in. Lofstrom, Manzanero, and Miles Gordon each had two hits.

Dragons starting pitcher Connor Curlis (2-2) was charged with the loss. He threw 79 pitches over three innings, allowing one run in the third and then leaving the game with the bases loaded and no one out in the fourth. All three runners eventually scored after reliever Moises Nova struggled over the remainder of the inning. Curlis was charged with four runs (three earned) on five hits with four walks and seven strikeouts. Nova was charged with four runs, all unearned, in his inning of work. The Dragons most effective pitcher on the day was Adrian Rodriguez, who tossed the final three innings, allowing only one hit and no runs with one walk and two strikeouts.

Up Next: The Dragons (2-2, 30-43) do not play on Monday. They will open a seven-game road trip on Tuesday night at 7:05 p.m. in Grand Rapids, Michigan against the West Michigan Whitecaps (0-4, 21-52). Jhon De Jesus (1-6, 4.97) will start for the Dragons against West Michigan’s Brad Bass, who will make his first appearance of the season with the Whitecaps.

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