LANSING, Michigan – The Lansing Lugnuts broke a 9-9 tie with the winning run in the bottom of the 10th inning as they overcame a big Dayton comeback to defeat the Dragons 10-9 on Tuesday afternoon. The Lugnuts have won the first two games of the four-game series, both on two-out “walk-off” hits.
The Dragons trailed 9-3 in the top of the eighth inning when they exploded for six runs in the frame to tie the score. The game eventually went to extra innings before Lansing’s Yeltsin Gudino singled through the middle with two outs in the bottom of the 10th to bring in a runner from second and end the game.
The Dragons collected 13 hits, matching their second highest total of the year. Hendrik Clementina belted his eighth home run of the season, moving him into a tie for the Midwest League lead, while Miles Gordon had a single, double, and triple to lead the attack. Michael Beltre also had three hits and Stuart Fairchild had a pair of RBI singles.
Lansing scored six runs in the second inning to jump out to a huge lead against Dayton starting pitcher Adrian Rodriguez. The Lugnuts sent 11 batters to the plate in the second as Rodriguez lasted just one and two-thirds innings, allowing seven hits and six earned runs.
The Dragons started back in the third on Clementina’s home run to make it 6-1. Fairchild drove in a run with a hit in the fourth, and Jeter Downs delivered an RBI double in the fifth to make it 6-3, but Lansing responded with three runs in the bottom of the fifth to extend their lead to 9-3.
In the Dayton eighth inning, Andy Sugilio doubled with one out, went to third on a single by Beltre, and scored on Fairchild’s single to make it 9-4. John Sansone singled to load the bases, and Montrell Marshall’s sacrifice fly brought in Beltre to make it 9-5. Fairchild scored on a wild pitch, and Sansone scored on Clementina’s single to center to make it 9-7. Gordon followed with a triple to right to drive in Clementina, and Gordon scored on an error to tie the game. The Dragons collected a season-high six hits in the inning and matched their season high with six runs.
The game was still tied 9-9 going to the 10th inning. The Dragons, by rule, opened the inning with a runner at second base, but Sansone and Marshall both struck out, and after Clementina received an intentional walk, Gordon grounded out to second to end the threat.
In the bottom of the 10th, Lansing started the inning with a runner at second and Dayton reliever Ryan Nutof recorded two outs without the runner advancing, but Gudino rolled a grounder through the middle to drive in the run and end the game.
Notes: The Dragons are batting .308 as a team in the two games in Lansing, collecting 24 hits, but they have dropped both games after falling in all four games played in Lansing in April…The Dragons had gone 4 for 30 as a team with runners in scoring position over the previous four games, but they improved to 7 for 20 (.350) in those situations on Tuesday, including 4 for 6 in the eighth inning…The game marked the third time this season that the Dragons have erased a deficit of six runs, but the first time they failed to close out the comeback with a win. The Dragons won only one game over the previous four years after trailing by at least six runs at any point in that game.
In the Standings: The Dragons loss was their fifth straight as they fell to 18-17. They are five and one-half games behind first place Lansing and three games behind second place Bowling Green in the Midwest League East Division. Lansing has won seven straight games.
The Dragons and Lugnuts meet in game three of the series in Lansing on Wednesday night at 7:05 p.m. Packy Naughton (3-2, 3.92) will start for Dayton against Lansing’s Yennsy Diaz (3-1, 2.27).
The Dragons next home date is Friday, May 18 when they host the Great Lakes Loons in a doubleheader at Fifth Third Field.