DAYTON, Ohio—Jonathan Willems had two hits including a two-run home run and three Dayton pitchers combined to allow only three base hits as the Dragons defeated the South Bend Cubs 5-2 on Friday night. The Dragons have won three of the first four contests in the six-game series.

The Dragons finished the night with a record of 33-15 on the season. They are in first place, six and one-half games ahead of the Great Lakes Loons in the Midwest League East Division with 18 games to play.

The win lifted the Dragons to 18 games above the .500 mark for the first time since the end of the 2011 season when they ended the regular season with a record of 83-57, 26 games over .500.

Game Recap: The Dragons jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning when Austin Hendrick lined a two-run double over the head of the right fielder. Then in the second, Jonathan Willems blasted a two-run home run to left field to give Dayton a 4-0 lead. The homer was the second of the year for Willems. In the fourth, Allan Cerda connected on a long home run to left field, high off the netting above the fence to make it 5-0. Cerda’s home run was his eighth of the season.

South Bend started back in the sixth when Yohendrick Pinango hit a two-run home run to center field, his eighth of the season, to make it 5-2. Dayton reliever Braxton Roxby entered the game in the seventh with the tying run at the plate and one out, getting an inning-ending double play on the second pitch he threw. South Bend did not put another man on base over the final two innings.

Dragons starting pitcher Connor Phillips (3-2) went six and one-third innings, allowing two runs on three hits with three walks and six strikeouts for the win. Jake Stevenson pitched a perfect ninth inning for the save, his first of the year.

The Dragons finished the game with five hits. Elly De La Cruz had a first inning single to extend his hitting streak to 11 straight games.

Up Next: The Dragons host South Bend on Saturday at 7:05 p.m. at Day Air Ballpark. Christian Roa (0-1, 5.73) will start for Dayton.

On the Air: The games against South Bend on Saturday night and Sunday afternoon at 1:05 will be televised on Dayton’s CW (Channel 26; Spectrum Cable channels 13 and 1013).