Eastlake, Ohio (WDTN) —Lake County’s Johnathan Rodriguez belted a two-out, three-run home run in the bottom of the seventh inning to lift the Captains to a 3-2 victory over the Dayton Dragons on Thursday night.
The Dragons fell to 5-12 in the second half with the loss. They have lost five straight games and 10 of their last 11. Their full season record dropped to 44-39. Lake County improved to 9-8 (44-39).
Game Recap: The Dragons took a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning when Elly De La Cruz doubled with one out, went to third on a wild pitch, and scored when Ruben Ibarra blasted a home run to left field. The home run was Ibarra’s third with the Dragons and 10th in the Reds organization this season.
Dragons starting pitcher Christian Roa consistently worked out of jams over the course of his outing, tossing five shutout innings. Roa stranded runners at third base in each of the first three innings with nine total runners left on during Roa’s five innings. He allowed four hits and four walks while striking out six and departed with a 2-0 lead. Lake County was 0 for 7 as a team with runners in scoring position against Roa.
Jacques Pucheu made his first appearance of the season with the Dragons and pitched a perfect sixth inning before running into trouble in the seventh. Pucheu allowed hits to the first two batters of the inning, then notched back-to-back strikeouts. But Rodriguez followed with a three-run home run to center field, his 10th homer of the year and fourth against the Dragons, to give Lake County a 3-2 lead.
The Dragons got a lead-off walk from Justice Thompson in the top of the ninth inning, but De La Cruz struck out and Daniel Vellojin hit into a game-ending double play.
The Dragons finished with just four hits. Along with Ibarra’s home run, De La Cruz and Jonathan Willems had doubles, and Austin Hendrick had a single. In the two games of the series, the Dragons have scored just two runs in 18 innings, collecting only seven hits while striking out 26 times.
Pucheu (0-1) was charged with the loss. He worked three innings in relief of Roa, allowing three hits and three runs with no walks and two strikeouts.
Up Next: The Dragons and Captains meet again in Lake County on Friday at 7:00 p.m. Evan Kravetz (4-3, 4.13) will start for Dayton.
The Dragons return home to Day Air Ballpark in the heart of the Water Street District to open a three-game series with the Fort Wayne TinCaps on Friday, July 22 at 7:05 p.m. For ticket information, go daytondragons.com/tickets or call (937) 228-2287.
On the Air: All Dragons home and road games are broadcast on radio on FOX Sports 980 AM WONE. Games can be heard on smart phones, iPads, and other mobile devices via the free Dragons Mobile App, or on a computer at wone.com. Games are also available on HD Radio on 104.7 WTUI HD 2.