DAYTON, Ohio—The Great Lakes Loons built a 9-0 lead over the first five innings and held off a Dayton comeback bid to defeat the Dragons 9-5 on Sunday afternoon. The Loons won the last five games of the series after Dayton took the series opener on Tuesday.
A crowd of 8,333 was in attendance at Day Air Ballpark in the heart of the Water Street District.
The Dragons fell to 36-20 on the season. They remain in first place, three and one-half games ahead of Great Lakes in the Midwest League East Division with 10 games to play in the first half season. The Dragons “magic number” to eliminate Great Lakes from the first half playoff race remained at seven (any combination of Dayton wins and Great Lakes losses totaling seven over the final 11 games would eliminate Great Lakes). The Dragons “magic number” to eliminate third place Lake County is five.
Game Recap: Great Lakes led The Dragons 1-0 going to the fourth inning when the Loons erupted for five runs, taking advantage of three Dayton errors in the inning. The top of the fourth was interrupted by a two hour rain delay before play resumed. Great Lakes then added three more runs in the fifth.
The Dragons started back in the bottom of the fifth when Nick Quintana delivered a run-scoring single to make it 9-1, and Garrett Wolforth blasted a two-run home run in the seventh, his sixth homer of the year, to make it 9-3.
In the bottom of the ninth, the first three Dragons batters drew walks to load the bases with no one out. After a pair of strikeouts, Allan Cerda singled off the first baseman to drive in two runs and make it 9-5, bringing the tying run to the on-deck circle. But Austin Hendrick grounded out to second base to end the game.
The Dragons finished with seven hits. Elly De La Cruz was 2 for 4 with a triple. Cerda was 2 for 4 with a double. Hendrick also had a double.
Starting pitcher James Proctor (4-3) was charged with the loss, although he was victimized by the Dragons poorest defensive inning of the season in the fourth that led to five unearned runs. The Dragons, who had not committed more than one error in any inning all season, had three errors in the fourth along with two catchable fly balls that fell for hits.
The last three Dayton relievers, Jake Gilbert, Braxton Roxby, and Jake Stevenson, combined for four scoreless innings, allowing no hits.
Up Next: The Dragons do not play on Monday. They will open a six-game series in Cedar Rapids, Iowa against the West Division-leading Cedar Rapids Kernels on Tuesday at 7:35 p.m. (EDT). Joe Boyle (3-0, 0.84) will start for Dayton.
The Dragons return home to host the Lake County Captains on Tuesday, June 21 at 7:05 p.m. at Day Air Ballpark in the heart of the Water Street District. The seven-game series will include a doubleheader on June 22 at 5:35 p.m.