LANSING, Mich — The Lansing Lugnuts erased a 4-1 deficit with six runs in the seventh inning and went on to defeat the Dayton Dragons 9-6 on Sunday afternoon. The two clubs have split the first two games in the series.
The Lansing comeback spoiled an outstanding pitching performance by Dayton starter Clate Schmidt, who was inserted into the lineup as a late addition. Schmidt, who had made 82 career relief appearances but only two starts (and none in 2019), worked the first five and two-thirds innings and allowed just one run on two hits. He walked one, struck out three, and left the game with a three-run lead, retiring the last 10 batters he faced.
The Dragons built their lead with two runs in the top of the first inning and two more in the second to lead Lansing 4-1. The Dragons held that lead all the way until the seventh inning.
The Dragons finished the game with 12 hits, their highest total in the month of August. Michael Siani led the way with three hits including his sixth home run of the season, a two-run blast with two outs in the ninth inning. Siani drove in three runs, scored two, and stole a base.
Siani opened the game with a double to right-center field on the first pitch after a 44 minute delay due to expected rain. Mariel Bautista singled to drive in Siani, and after Bautista stole second, Matt Lloyd drove him in with a hit to center field to make it 2-0. Lansing scored one run in the bottom of the first, but the Dragons responded with two more in the second. Cameron Warren singled to start the inning and eventually scored on Siani’s single. Randy Ventura also had a hit in the inning and eventually scored on a wild pitch to make it 4-1.
Lansing sent 11 batters to the plate in the seventh inning as they took a 7-4 lead. The first five batters of the inning all reached base and scored. Dragons reliever Jerry D’Andrea opened the inning and allowed a two-run home run to Rafael Lantigua to make it 4-3. After Lansing loaded the bases on a hit, error, and walk, D’Andrea was replaced by Andrew McDonald with no outs in the inning. McDonald allowed three hits before closing out the inning as Lansing scored six times in the frame. The Lugnuts scored two more in the eighth against McDonald.
Siani’s two-run home run in the ninth for Dayton closed out the scoring. Lloyd, Warren, and Ventura each finished with two hits for the Dragons.
The loss was charged to D’Andrea, who fell to 0-4. He worked one-third of an inning and was charged with five runs (four earned). McDonald was charged with three runs in two innings.
Notes: Jhon De Jesus, the Dragons scheduled starting pitcher on Sunday, was replaced in the starting lineup by Schmidt about two hours before the first pitch. Dragons manager Luis Bolivar said the change was made based on “manager’s discretion.”
Up Next: The Dragons (23-32, 51-74) will battle the Lugnuts (29-26, 61-63) in the third game of the four-game series on Monday night at 7:05 p.m. Adrian Rodriguez (5-2, 3.67) will start for the Dragons against Lansing’s Fitz Stadler (4-6, 4.84).
The next Dragons home game is Wednesday, August 21 against the Fort Wayne TinCaps at 7:00 p.m. at Fifth Third Field.