Big ninth by Lugnuts dooms Dragons

DAYTON, Ohio - The Lansing Lugnuts broke a 4-4 tie with one run in the eighth inning and four more in the ninth to defeat the Dayton Dragons 9-5 on Sunday afternoon.  A crowd of 7,675 was in attendance at Fifth Third Field.  

The Dragons built a 4-2 lead over the first four innings, keyed by a two-run home run by Jeter Downs in the third.  J.D. Williams had a run-scoring double for Dayton in the second, Alejo Lopez added an RBI double in the fourth.

But Lansing battled back with single runs in the fifth and sixth innings to tie the game at 4-4.  They took the lead on an infield single with the bases loaded in the eighth, and then scored four in the ninth to build their lead to 9-4.  The Lugnuts hit two home runs in the ninth inning, including a solo shot by Reggie Pruitt and a three-run shot by Mark Grudzielanek.  

The Dragons scored one run in the bottom of the ninth on Andy Sugilio’s RBI double and they loaded the bases with two outs to get the tying run to the plate, but Reshard Munroe flied out to center field to end the game.

Dayton starting pitcher Jared Solomon went five innings, allowing three runs (two earned) on two hits with four walks and one strikeout.  Miguel Aguilar replaced Solomon and worked two innings, allowing one run.  John Ghyzel (2-7) took the loss.  He worked one and two-thirds innings, allowing five runs on five hits with three walks and two strikeouts.

The Dragons collected 14 hits in the game.  Sugilio went 4 for 5 with a double and an RBI.  Lopez was 3 for 4 with a double, RBI, and two runs scored.  Williams and Leandro Santana each had two hits.   

In the Standings:  The Dragons fell to 25-38 in the second half.  They are four and one-half games behind West Michigan and Fort Wayne (tied for the position) in the Midwest League’s East Division Second Half wildcard race.  There are seven games to play.  

Up Next:  The Dragons host the Lugnuts at Fifth Third Field in the series finale on Monday night at 7:00.  Packy Naughton (5-10, 4.25) will start for Dayton against Kyle Weatherly (3-2, 3.81).  

The Dragons have four home games remaining during the regular season.  After the conclusion of the series with Lansing, the Dragons will open a three-game series at Fifth Third Field against the West Michigan Whitecaps on Wednesday night at 7:00. 

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