MIDLAND, Michigan – The Great Lakes Loons scored five runs in the first inning and held off the Dayton Dragons 7-6 on Tuesday night. The Loons swept the four-game series as the Dragons completed their 13-game road trip, going 2-11. Six of the last eight losses for the Dragons came by one run.
In contrast to the last two games, when the Dragons and Loons played scoreless baseball until the ninth inning Sunday and then combined to score just one run over the first seven innings Monday, Tuesday’s game featured high run totals early in the game. Great Lakes opened the first by putting their first six hitters on base, and five scored as the Loons jumped ahead 5-0.
But the Dragons responded in the second, getting a pair of two-run home runs from Hendrik Clementina and Raul Wallace to make it 5-4. Clementina’s home run was his 17th of the year, while Wallace connected on his fourth.
Great Lakes added two runs in the fourth to extend their lead to 7-4, but Dayton’s Jose Garcia belted a solo home run in the fifth to make it 7-5. Then in the sixth, Andy Sugilio lined a single to right with one out, and J.D. Williams followed with a ground ball double down the third base line to bring in Sugilio and make it 7-6.
But the Dragons could not score over the final three innings. Their only threat came in the ninth when Raul Wallace reached on a one out error and stole second with two outs. But Garcia popped out to first base to end the game.
Dragons starting pitcher Mac Sceroler (2-5) lasted four innings, allowing seven runs on eight hits with four walks and four strikeouts to suffer the loss. Cory Thompson followed Sceroler and had an excellent night, facing the minimum nine batters over three scoreless innings. Thompson allowed two hits but no walks and struck out two. Aneurys Zabala pitched a perfect eighth inning.
The Dragons finished with six hits, including the home runs by Clementina, Wallace, and Garcia. No player had more than one hit.
In the Standings: The Dragons fell to 20-31 in the second half. They are four and one-half games behind Fort Wayne and West Michigan, who are tied for the two playoff spots in the Midwest League’s East Division Second Half race. There are 19 games to play including 13 home games for the Dragons.
Patrick McGuff (1-4, 4.39) Jean Carlos Mejia (4-5, 2.64)