Peoria’s Ivan Hernandez broke a 3-3 tie in the bottom of the 10th inning with a run-scoring single as the Chiefs came from behind to defeat the Dayton Dragons 4-3 on Thursday night. The win gave the Chiefs a sweep of the three-game series.
Dayton took a 3-2 lead to the bottom of the ninth inning. Dragons reliever Andy Cox retired the first two batters of the inning before allowing three consecutive singles as Peoria tied the game and sent it to extra innings.
The Dragons started the top of the 10th with their free runner at second base but could not advance him. Carlos Rivero popped up a bunt attempt for the first out, Michael Siani flied out to left field, and Miguel Hernandez grounded to second. In the bottom of the 10th, Peoria opened the frame with their free runner at second and on the first pitch, Hernandez singled through the middle to drive in the runner and end the game.
The Chiefs got the scoring started with two runs in the third inning. The Dragons entered the fifth inning still trailing 2-0 and did not have a hit up to that point on the night. Juan Martinez drew a two-out walk to start the rally and Reniel Ozuna followed with a single to move Martinez to second. Rivero then lined a hit to center field to drive in Martinez and make it 2-1.
The Dragons tied the game in the top of the eighth inning, getting a big assist from the Chiefs. Ozuna singled to start the inning but was forced out at second on a failed sacrifice attempt by Rivero. Siani grounded out to second, moving Rivero to second base. Hernandez then hit a bouncer to shortstop that was fielded by Peoria’s Delvin Perez, but Perez threw wildly to first base for an error, allowing Rivero to score and tie the game.
The Dragons took the lead in the top of the ninth inning. Pabel Manzanero singled to start the frame. Shard Munroe failed to get a bunt down and struck out, and Bren Spillane grounded into a fielder’s choice. But Juan Martinez lined a double to left-center field that brought Spillane around to score to give the Dragons a 3-2 lead. Peoria answered with their two-out rally in the bottom of the ninth and then won the game in the 10th.
Dragons starting pitcher Jared Solomon had a strong outing, throwing 84 pitches, the most by any Dragons hurler this season. Solomon went five innings, allowing two runs on four hits with one walk and six strikeouts.
Left-handed reliever Jerry D’Andrea replaced Solomon to start the sixth inning. He tossed two scoreless innings without allowing a hit, striking out two. Cox pitched a scoreless eighth before giving up the tying run in the ninth. Matt Pidich (0-2) threw just one pitch, the base hit in the 10th by Herrera, and was charged with the loss.
Up Next: The Dragons (8-18) continue their six-game road trip in Cedar Rapids, Iowa on Friday night at 7:35 p.m. (EDT) against the Cedar Rapids Kernels (12-14). Ricky Salinas (0-1, 6.75) will make his second start of the year for Dayton against Blayne Enlow (2-2, 7.64). The next home game is Monday, May 6 when the Dragons host the Clinton Lumber Kings at 7:00 p.m. at Fifth Third Field in the start to a six-game home stand.