GRAND RAPIDS, Michigan – Quin Cotton and Quincy McAfee blasted home runs while four Dayton pitchers combined to scatter seven hits as the Dragons defeated the West Michigan Whitecaps 4-1 on Wednesday night. The Dragons have won the first two games of the six-game series.
The game marked another outstanding pitching performance by the Dragons. Dayton pitchers have combined to allow just one run in 18 innings in the series. The Dragons have given up two runs or less in five of their last seven games including two shutouts.
Dragons starting pitcher Jacques Pucheu, in a spot starting assignment after working out of the bullpen 11 times this season, gave the club four strong innings. He allowed one run on three hits with three walks and two strikeouts.
Pedro Garcia (3-1) replaced Pucheu to start the fifth inning with the Dragons leading 2-1, and tossed a pair of scoreless frames to earn the win. Spencer Stockton also threw two scoreless innings before turning it over to Braxton Roxby for the ninth. Roxby allowed a lead-off double in that inning but struck out the next two batters and then got a game-ending ground out to notch his fourth save of the year.
The first eight Dragons batters were retired by West Michigan starting pitcher Adam Wolf before Eric Yang tripled to deep center field in the third. Cotton followed Yang’s triple with a two-run home run to left field, his team-leading seventh homer of the year, to give the Dragons a 2-0 lead.
McAfee belted a solo home run in the seventh, his fourth homer of the year, that gave Dayton a 3-1 lead. The Dragons added another run in the eighth on a two-out, run-scoring single by Francisco Urbaez to close out the scoring.
The Dragons collected just six hits in the game but four of them went for extra bases. Jose Tello had a double to go along with Yang’s triple and the home runs by Cotton and McAfee.
The win lifted the Dragons record to 26-18. They are eight games above the .500 mark for the first time since July 7, 2017, when they were 47-39 for a team that included fan favorites Jose Siri, Taylor Trammell, Tyler Stephenson, Tony Santillan, and Scott Moss.
The Race: The first place Dragons held their two game lead over second place Lake County in the East Division standings. Lake County won at Great Lakes on Wednesday.
Notes: Roxby lowered his ERA on the year to 0.53 with a scoreless ninth inning…Pucheu was pressed into service as a starter in place of Graham Ashcraft, who was promoted to Double-A Chattanooga. Ashcraft made his debut with the Lookouts on Wednesday night and fired a nine inning complete game two-hit shutout, walking no one and striking out eight. Brian Rey, Ashcraft’s teammate with the Dragons earlier this season, hit his first Double-A home run in the game after hitting six for the Dragons in the season’s first three weeks…The Dragons activated first baseman/outfielder Bren Spillane from the development list before the game.
Up Next: The Dragons battle West Michigan (20-23) in the third game of the six-game series on Thursday at 7:05 p.m. Carson Spiers (1-0, 4.76) will pitch for Dayton against Sandel De La Cruz (0-0, 4.50).
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