GENEVA, Ill. – The Kane County Cougars scored five runs in the fourth inning on the way to an 8-5 victory over the Dayton Dragons on Sunday afternoon. The two clubs have split the first two games of the three-game set that will conclude on Monday afternoon.
The Dragons took a 2-0 lead in the third inning before Kane County scored five in the fourth and three in the fifth to jump ahead 8-2. The Dragons responded with three runs in the sixth to pull within three at 8-5, but they did not have a base runner over the final three innings.
Dragons manager Luis Bolivar was ejected from the game in the fourth inning by base umpire Emma Charlesworth-Seiler. With a runner at first base, one out, and the Dragons leading 2-0, Kane County’s Dominic Fletcher lifted a high drive to left field that hit against or above the wall, bounced back onto the warning track, was picked up by Dragons left fielder Mariel Bautista, and fired back to the infield. Charlesworth-Seiler ruled that the ball had cleared the fence, signaling home run, then entered into a discussion about the call with the plate umpire, A.J. Choc, before eventually staying with the call of home run. Bolivar argued the call for an extended time before being ejected from a game for the second time this season.
The Dragons finished the day with seven hits. Michael Siani was on base three times with two singles and a walk while driving in a run as he extended his hitting streak to nine straight games. Jay Schuyler also had a good day at the plate for the Dragons, going 2 for 4 including a run-scoring single. He also scored a run. Miguel Hernandez and Cameron Warren each had a double to account for the Dragons extra base hits.
Dragons starting pitcher Eduardo Salazar (4-2) was charged with the loss. He pitched well over the first three innings, striking out four batters while allowing just two hits with no walks and no runs. But Salazar could not get through the fourth inning and was charged with five runs (four earned). Carlos Machorro had a good day on the mound, working three scoreless innings, allowing just two hits with no walks and one strikeout.
The loss, just the second in the last eight games for the Dragons, dropped their record to 14-15. They are one game behind Lansing in the race for the wildcard spot in the East Division second half playoff battle.
Up Next: The Dragons (14-15, 42-57) close out the six-game road trip on Monday afternoon against Kane County (19-10, 54-44) at 1:00 p.m. (EDT). Jhon De Jesus (2-9, 5.20) will start for the Dragons against Kane County’s Levi Kelly (4-2, 2.24).
The next Dragons home game is Wednesday, July 24 against the Great Lakes Loons at 7:00 p.m. at Fifth Third Field.