Reds top pick McClain comes up big in Dragons debut

Sports

LANSING, Michigan (WDTN) – Cincinnati Reds 2021 first round draft pick Matt McLain went 4 for 5 with a home run while driving in five runs in his first game at the High-A level, leading the Dayton Dragons to a 12-4 victory over the Lansing Lugnuts on Wednesday afternoon.  McLain, playing in just his third professional game, led a 14-hit Dragons attack. 

Dayton has won the first two games of the series by a combined score of 22-5.  The Dragons have won three straight games overall and five of their last seven.

McLain delivered a base hit in his first at-bat in the top of the first inning, then belted a two-run home run to left field in the third to give the Dragons a 2-0 lead.  After a Michael Siani two-run home run in the fifth made it 4-0, McLain added a three-run double in the sixth to extend the Dragons lead to 7-0.  McLain also added a line drive single to left field in the fifth inning.

After winning 10-1 in the series opener on Tuesday, the Dragons jumped out to a 10-0 lead on Wednesday afternoon before Lansing scored their first run.  Along with McLain, Siani had a big day at the plate, going 2 for 4 with three runs scored, a double, and his fourth home run of the season. 

James Free also had two hits and three RBI for Dayton, while Ivan Johnson, in just his second game since being called up from Daytona, had two hits with an RBI.  Johnson was 2 for 3 with a home run on Tuesday.

On the mound, Dragons starting pitcher Jacques Pucheu, who had allowed just four runs over his last four starts covering 20 innings, tossed four scoreless innings, surrendering just two hits and no walks.  Reliever Andy Fisher (3-1) was credited with the win after pitching a perfect fifth inning prior to a 92-minute rain delay.  Stevie Branche had his third straight strong outing since joining the Dragons, tossing two innings and allowing one unearned run without a hit or walk and three strikeouts.

Notes:  McLain, a product of UCLA, joined the Dragons on Wednesday, along with outfielder Jack Rogers, the Reds ninth round draft pick earlier this summer out of Sam Houston State University.  Rogers was also in the lineup on Wednesday playing left field.  He went 1 for 5 with an RBI triple.  Second baseman Francisco Urbaez was promoted to Double-A Chattanooga.

The Race:  The Dragons win moved them into a virtual tie for first place with Great Lakes in the East Division of the High-A Central League.  Great Lakes is playing a doubleheader on Wednesday night at Wisconsin. 

Up Next:  The Dragons (46-40) continue their six-game series at Lansing against the Lugnuts (41-45) on Thursday at 7:05 p.m.  Carson Spiers (4-1, 3.70) will start for the Dragons against Lansing’s Colin Peluse (6-2, 3.50). 

On the Air:  All Dragons games are broadcast on radio on 980 WONE AM Fox Sports.  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. 

For Dragons 2021 ticket information, call (937) 228-2287 or go to daytondragons.com.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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