Dayton, OHIO (WDTN) – The Dayton Dragons blasted three home runs in the sixth inning and rallied to overcome a 7-1 deficit as they defeated the Quad Cities River Bandits 11-7 on Tuesday night in the opener to a six-game series.
Dragons first baseman Alex McGarry hit two home runs in the game, including the second of back-to-back homers in the sixth inning. McGarry is batting .455 in three games since being called up from Daytona to replace slugging second baseman Brian Rey on the roster.
Quad Cities opened a commanding lead early in the game, scoring two runs in the first inning and three more in the second to lead 5-0.
The Dragons trailed 7-1 in the sixth and had shown little life offensively with just three hits when they exploded for a big inning to get back within striking distance. Jacob Hurtubise reached on an infield single to start the inning and Michael Siani walked with one out. Juan Martinez followed with a three-run home run to left field to make it 7-4. McGarry followed with a homer to left, and one out later, Quin Cotton lined a home run to left to make it 7-6.
The Dragons scored five more runs in the seventh to take the lead. They tied the game on a bases loaded walk to Eric Yang, then took the lead with two runs on a throwing error. Miguel Hernandez added a two-run single to close out the scoring.
The Dragons overcame a deficit of at least six runs to win for the first time since May 8, 2018, when they trailed 6-0 and battled back to win 8-6.
The Dragons finished the night with eight hits. McGarry was 3 for 4 with two home runs. Hurtubise had to hits and scored two runs. He is now batting .292 and has a seven-game hitting streak.
It was another good night for the Dayton bullpen. Sam Hellinger, Jake Gilbert, Braxton Roxby, and Jacques Pucheu combined to throw seven and one-third innings, allowing just two runs. Gilbert (2-0) was credited with the win. He tossed three innings, allowing one run on three hits with two walks and three strikeouts.
Dragons starting pitcher Graham Ashcraft lasted one and two-thirds innings, allowing five runs on five hits with two walks and four strikeouts. Hellinger replaced Ashcraft in the second and worked two and one-third innings, allowing one run on one hit with two walks and three strikeouts. Roxby followed Gilbert and did not allow a hit or run in one and two-thirds innings before Pucheu got the final out.
With the win, the Dragons (11-8) climbed back into a tie for first place in the East Division with Lake County, who lost on Tuesday. Quad Cities fell to 13-5, still the best record in the league.
The game can be heard on radio on WONE 980 AM or via the Dragons Mobile App.
For ticket information, call (937) 228-2287 or go to daytondragons.com.
Notes: The back-to-back home runs by Martinez and McGarry were the first for the Dragons since May 28, 2019, when Reniel Ozuna and Brian Rey did it…McGarry’s two-homer game was the second of the season for the Dragons. Rey had the first at Great Lakes on May 8…The Dragons had not hit more than two homers in a game before hitting four on Tuesday. Three of them came within a four-batter window in the sixth inning.