DAYTON, Ohio – West Michigan’s Rey Rivera broke open a close game with a three-run home run in the fifth inning and the Whitecaps went on to defeat the Dayton Dragons 13-4 on Sunday afternoon. A crowd of 5,655 was in attendance as the Dragons settled for four wins in the six-game series with West Michigan.
West Michigan scored four runs in the top of the third inning to take a 4-0 lead before the Dragons battled back. Dayton scored one run in the third on an RBI double by Francisco Urbaez, and then added two more in the fourth to make it 4-3. Michael Siani’s run-scoring single brought in the first run of the inning, and Siani later scored after he stole third and crossed the plate on the same play after the catcher’s throw sailed into left field.
But West Michigan answered with five runs in the fifth, keyed by Rivera’s three-run home run. They added three more in the sixth to take a commanding 12-4 lead.
Siani and Quin Cotton each had three hits as part of an 11-hit Dayton attack. Reyny Reyes, in his second game with the Dragons, had two hits.
Dragons starting pitcher Jacques Pucheu (3-1) was charged with the loss. He allowed just one base runner over the first two innings before allowing five consecutive hits and four runs in the third. The Dayton bullpen was charged with 10 runs (nine earned) over a combined six and one-third innings in the game.
The Race: The Dragons are two and one-half games ahead of both Lake County and Great Lakes in the East Division standings. Sunday’s game would have marked the end of the first half in the previous scheduling format that featured a split season. The 2021 season features a 120 game schedule without a split season.
Up Next: The Dragons (34-25) do not play on Monday. They will remain home and open a six-game series at Day Air Ballpark against the Great Lakes Loons (affiliates of the Los Angeles Dodgers) on Tuesday at 7:05 p.m. Carson Spiers (1-1, 4.55) will pitch for Dayton.