LANSING, Mich. – Three Lansing pitchers combined on a one-hit shutout and the Lugnuts broke a scoreless tie in the sixth inning on the way to a 3-0 victory over the Dayton Dragons on Saturday night.
The Dragons will need a win on Sunday night to split the six-game set in Lansing and to post a winning road trip. They are 5-5 on the trip with one game to play.
The only Dayton hit was a third inning double by Quin Cotton. The two-base hit came with one out and Francisco Urbaez at first base. Urbaez tried to score on the play and was tagged out at the plate after a well-executed relay by Lansing. The Dragons could not produce another hit over the remainder of the night.
In the sixth, Dragons reliever Daniel Duarte, in his first game with the team after being signed by the Reds as a Minor League free agent on June 24, issued four consecutive walks with two outs and the bases empty. The fourth walk forced in the first run of the game. Lansing added two more runs against Dayton reliever Matt Gill in the seventh to close out the scoring.
Dragons starting pitcher Eduardo Salazar effectively worked out of jams in every inning, as Lansing went 0 for 9 with men in scoring position over the first five innings. Salazar allowed just three hits over four and two-thirds innings but walked five while striking out four. He was replaced by Duarte with the bases loaded and two outs in the fifth with the game still tied, and Duarte induced an inning-ending pop out before running into trouble in the sixth.
The Dragons have lost the last two games in Lansing after winning two of the first three in the series and five of the first eight on the road trip.
Notes: The single hit tally was the lowest in a game for the Dragons this season. They had recorded three hits in a game on four occasions…On day 12 of a 13-day road trip, the Dragons were shutout for the fifth time this season, but for the first time since June 3.
The Race: The first place Dragons (29-23) saw their lead trimmed to one-half game over Great Lakes and Lake County, who share second place in the High-A Central League East Division standings with identical records of 29-24.
Up Next: The Dragons play at Lansing (24-28) in the last game of a six-game series and the finale of an 11-game road trip on Sunday night at 6:35 p.m. JC Keys (2-0, 2.08), a product of the University of Southern Mississippi who has spent most of the season with Double-A Chattanooga, will pitch for Dayton against Colin Peluse (2-2, 5.15).
The Dragons will open a six-game home series at Day Air Ballpark against West Michigan on Tuesday, July 6 at 7:05 p.m. That series will be followed by another six-game home set on July 13 against Great Lakes.