Dragons end Lansing drought with 9-4 win

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LANSING, Mich. – Dayton’s Juan Martinez collected three hits including two doubles and drove in two runs as the Dragons defeated the Lansing Lugnuts 9-4 on Friday night.  The win was the first victory for the Dragons at Cooley Law School Stadium since September 4, 2017, snapping a streak of 12 straight losses for the Dragons in Lansing.  The Dragons and Lugnuts will play the rubber match of a three-game series on Saturday at 1:05 p.m. 

The Dragons trailed 4-2 before they scored three runs in the fifth inning to take the lead.  The loaded the bases with no outs when Pabel Manzanero singled to center field to drive in two runs and tie the game.  Miguel Hernandez drove in the tie-breaking run with a bunt single later in the inning to score Jay Schuyler from third and make it 5-4. 

The Dragons added two more runs in the seventh inning and two in the ninth.  Martinez had RBI hits in both innings. 

Dragons reliever Alexis Diaz (3-0) earned the win with two perfect innings of relief.  He struck out two.  Diaz, who has made five relief appearances on the year, has been credited with the victory in three of the Dragons six wins.  Julio Pinto retired all four batters he faced to earn his first save.  Pinto got the final out in the eighth with the tying run at third and then worked a perfect ninth inning.  The Dragons bullpen combined to work five scoreless innings, allowing just two hits. 

The Dragons collected 11 hits.  Martinez was 3 for 4 with two runs scored and two driven in to raise his batting average on the year to .333.  Manzanero was 3 for 5 with a double, two runs scored, and one driven in as his average improved to .304.  Reniel Ozuna, who was 2 for 30 on the year to start the day, reached base four times with a run-scoring single and three walks.  Jonathan Willems had a hit to drive in a run as he extended his hitting streak to six straight games. 

Dragons starting pitcher Jared Solomon worked the first four innings, allowing four runs on six hits with four walks and three strikeouts. 

Transactions:  Dragons reliever Jesse Stallings was promoted to Daytona prior to Friday’s game.  The Dragons activated relief pitcher Jerry D’Andrea, who had been on the Billings roster, to replace Stallings. 

Up Next:  The Dragons (6-9) play in Lansing against the Lugnuts (8-7) in the last game of the series on Saturday at 1:05 p.m.  Jacob Heatherly (1-1, 5.19) will start for Dayton against Lansing’s Josh Winckowski (0-0, 2.08).  The Dragons do not play on Easter Sunday before opening a three-game set at Lake County on Monday night.
 

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