GRAND RAPIDS, Michigan – Dayton starting pitcher Noah Davis and relievers Matt Gill and John Ghyzel combined on a three-hit shutout as the Dayton Dragons defeated the West Michigan Whitecaps 2-0 on Tuesday night. The game was the first of a six-game series in West Michigan.
Davis put together his second straight scoreless start, nearly duplicating his effort from last Wednesday. He tossed six shutout innings, allowing just two hits and two walks with six strikeouts for the victory. Over Davis’ last three starts, he has worked 16 innings and allowed just one run.
The Dragons scored in the top of the first inning to take the lead. Jacob Hurtubise walked to start the game and advanced to second on Francisco Urbaez’s single to right. Hurtubise went to third on Juan Martinez’s ground out and scored on a fielder’s choice off the bat of Jose Tello to make it 1-0. That scored held until the ninth.
Meanwhile, Matt Gill replaced Davis to start the seventh and retired six of the seven batters he faced. Gill pitched a perfect seventh inning and gave up an infield single to start the eighth before retiring the next three hitters to hold the lead.
The Dragons added an insurance run in the top of the ninth when Urbaez opened the inning with a hit and scored from first with two outs when Quincy McAfee’s infield single to third base led to a two-base throwing error. When the throw to try to get McAfee at first base went wide of the bag and rolled away, Urbaez rounded third and scored on a close play to make it 2-0.
John Ghyzel, who had just re-joined the Dragons to start the road trip after beginning the year in Chattanooga, replaced Gill to pitch the bottom of the ninth with a two-run lead. Ghyzel, who spent the 2018 season with the Dragons and pitched in the all-star game that season, allowed a lead-off walk, but got a pair of groundouts and a game-ending strikeout to earn his first save.
Ghyzel replaced Graham Ashcraft on the Dayton roster. Ashcraft was promoted to Chattanooga after not allowing an earned run in four consecutive starts.
The Dragons finished with just five hits. Urbaez went 2 for 4 with a run scored and raised his batting average to .323. Urbaez would lead the league in hitting but 12 plate appearances short of the minimum number to qualify.
McAfee also had two hits including a double for Dayton. Alex McGarry’s double accounted for the other hit. Hurtubise had two walks and scored a run.
The Race: The first place Dragons (25-18) increased their lead to two games over second place Lake County in the East Division standings. Lake County lost at Great Lakes on Tuesday.
Up Next: The Dragons battle West Michigan (20-22) in the second game of the six-game series on Wednesday at 7:05 p.m. Jacques Pucheu (2-0, 6.16) will pitch for Dayton against Adam Wolf (0-0, 3.00).
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