DAYTON, Ohio – Four Dayton pitchers combined to allow only four hits and the Dragons took advantage of a four-run sixth inning to defeat the Lansing Lugnuts 4-1 on Saturday night. The Dragons improved their second half record to 2-1 before a crowd of 7,944 at Fifth Third Field.
The Dragons trailed 1-0 and had produced only one hit over the first five innings before they rallied for four runs on five hits in the sixth. The Lugnuts collected just one hit after the second inning and none after the fifth as Dragons pitchers Ricky Salinas, Eddy Demurias, Carlos Machorro, and Connor Bennett combined to strike out 11 in the game.
The Dragons four-run rally began when Randy Ventura lined a hit to center field with one out in the sixth, and Michael Siani’s bloop single to center moved Ventura to second. Miles Gordon followed with a base hit to right field. Ventura scored on a close play at the plate, and when the Lansing catcher lost control of the ball attempting to make the tag, Siani scored as well. Gordon wound up at third as the Dragons led 2-1. Brian Rey then bounced a single over a drawn in infield to drive in Gordon. After a double by Pabel Manzanero moved Rey to third, and wild pitch brought him in to give the Dragons a 4-1 lead.
Salinas, the Dragons starting pitcher, allowed one run in the first and pitched out of a bases-loaded, no out jam in the second to keep the Dragons within a run. Salinas left after five innings, throwing 87 pitches. He allowed one run on four hits with three walks and seven strikeouts.
Demurias (2-1) was credited with the win. He replaced Salinas to start the sixth and tossed two scoreless innings without allowing a hit. Machorro pitched a perfect eighth inning, and Bennett earned his ninth save with a scoreless ninth inning. He allowed a two-out walk but struck out two in the inning, including the final batter of the game.
The Dragons finished the night with seven hits. Manzanero had two hits including a double. Ventura also had two hits.
Up Next: The Dragons (2-1, 30-43) and the Lugnuts (1-2, 33-39) meet in the series finale on Sunday afternoon at 2:05 p.m. Connor Curlis (2-1, 2.37) will start for the Dragons against Lansing’s Troy Miller (2-3, 4.85). The game will be televised on Dayton’s CW.