EASTLAKE, Ohio—Albert Almora, Jr. delivered a pair of two-out, run-scoring singles as the Dayton Dragons erased an early deficit and battled back to defeat the Lake County Captains 4-3 on Friday night. The two teams have split the first four games of the series with a doubleheader scheduled for Saturday afternoon to complete the six-game set.
The Dragons trailed 3-0 after one inning but shutout the Captains over the remaining eight innings of the contest and eventually tied the game in the fifth inning before taking the lead in the seventh. Dayton relievers Frainger Aranguren, Myles Gayman, and Carson Rudd combined to work four and two-thirds scoreless innings as the offense battled back to win.
Game Recap: Lake County scored three runs in the first inning to take an early lead. They took advantage of a pair of walks to start the inning and two wild pitches later in the frame to jump ahead 3-0.
The Dragons responded with two runs in the top of the second. Allan Cerda got the rally started with a double off the left field fence. Cerda advanced to third on an infield single by Jose Torres with one out and scored on a throwing error by the catcher as Torres stole second base. Torres scored when Nick Quintana singled to center field with two outs to make it 3-2.
The Dragons tied the game in the fifth inning when Quintana walked with one out, stole second, and scored on a two-out single by Almora, Jr., a Triple-A player who is with the Dragons on an injury rehabilitation assignment. Almora’s RBI hit tied the game at 3-3.
In the seventh, Quintana walked with two outs, went to second on Quin Cotton’s walk, and scored on Almora’s second two-out RBI hit of the night to give the Dragons the lead. The Dayton bullpen held Lake County scoreless the rest of the way.
Dragons starting pitcher Connor Phillips struck out eight batters over four and one-third innings, a Dragons team high for 2022. Phillips was charged with three runs (all in the first inning) on three hits while walking five.
Aranguren (2-0) was credited with the win, going two and one-third scoreless innings. Gayman entered the game to get a strikeout to end the seventh inning with a runner at third before pitching a scoreless eighth. Rudd tossed a perfect ninth inning for his first save.
The Dragons finished with seven hits. Almora was 2 for 4 with two RBI. Elly De La Cruz had a single, double, and stolen base. Quintana had an RBI hit, two walks, two runs scored, and a stolen base.
Up Next: The Dragons (4-3) will play a doubleheader at Lake County (4-3) to close out the road trip at noon on Saturday. James Marinan (0-1, 18.00) and Andrew Abbott (0-0, 2.25) will start for the Dragons against Lake County’s Doug Nikhazy (0-0, 0.00) and Tommy Mace (0-1, 27.00).
Dayton returns home to Day Air Ballpark in the heart of the Water Street District on Tuesday, April 19 when they host the West Michigan Whitecaps at 7:05 p.m. The series with West Michigan will continue through Sunday.