South Bend, INDIANA (WDTN) Brian Rey’s two-out, two-run double highlighted a three-run seventh inning as the Dayton Dragons overcame a four-run deficit to defeat the South Bend Cubs 6-5 on Tuesday night. The win in the opener to a six-game series improved the Dragons record to 9-4.
Dragons reliever Ricky Salinas fired three and two-thirds near-perfect innings to earn the win, retiring 11 of the 12 batters he faced. He struck out seven and walked no one, allowing just one hit. Francis Peguero pitched a perfect bottom of the ninth inning for the save, protecting the one-run lead. He struck out the last two batters of the game.
The Dragons fell behind 5-1 after three innings but scored two runs in the fourth and three in the seventh to get the lead.
The Dragons scored an unearned run in the top of the first inning to take a brief lead. Dayton’s Jacob Hurtubise reached on an error to start the game, went to second base on a wild pitch, stole third, and scored on Rey’s sacrifice fly to make it 1-0. But South Bend scored three runs in the bottom of the first and two more in the third to jump out to a 5-1 lead.
The Dragons cut into the deficit in the fourth inning when Eric Yang singled with one out and the next two batters, Quincy McAfee and Quin Cotton, drew walks. With two outs, Jose Tello lined a single to center to drive in Yang and McAfee to make it 5-3.
The Dragons put together a big inning in the seventh to take the lead. Michael Siani singled, stole second, advanced to third on a ground out, and after Victor Ruiz walked, Siani scored on Hurtubise’s single to right to make it 5-4. Rey followed with a double over the head of the center fielder to drive in both Ruiz and Hurtubise and give Dayton a 6-5 lead.
Dragons starting pitcher Noah Davis worked four and one-third innings, allowing five runs on eight hits with two walks and five strikeouts.
Salinas replaced Davis with one out in the fifth and combined with Peguero to allow just one base runner over the remainder of the game.
The Dragons finished the night with six hits. Eric Yang was 2 for 3 with a walk. Rey drove in three runs to raise his league-leading total to 19. No other player in the league had more than 10 entering Tuesday’s games.
The win kept the Dragons (9-4) in a first place tie with Lake County, who defeated Great Lakes on Tuesday.
The Dragons will play at South Bend (4-8) again on Wednesday at 7:05 p.m. Graham Ashcraft (1-2, 3.00) will start for the Dragons against South Bend’s Max Bain (0-1, 5.87). The game can be heard on radio on WONE 980 AM or via the Dragons Mobile App.
Notes: Rey has hit safely in all 11 games he has played in this season.