Lansing relief pitcher Andrew Deramo stranded runners at third base in the eighth and ninth innings as the Lugnuts held off the Dayton Dragons on Thursday night, winning 4-3 in the second game of the three-game series.
Lansing held a 4-0 lead going to the eighth inning before the Dragons scored three runs and had the chance to take the lead. Reshard Munroe opened the inning with a base hit and went to second on Leandro Santana’s single. Lorenzo Cedrola walked to load the bases, but Jose Garcia grounded into a double play as a run scored to make it 4-1. Andy Sugilio walked and Jonathan India followed with an infield single to bring in Santana and make it 4-2. After Hendrik Clementina walked to load the bases, Alejo Lopez was hit by a pitch to force in a run and pull the Dragons to within a run at 4-3. Deramo entered the game with the bases loaded and two outs as the Dragons were potentially a hit away from taking the lead. But Deramo got J.D. Williams to fly out to right field to end the threat.
In the ninth inning, still trailing 4-3, the Dragons got a two-out triple from Cedrola to put the tying run back on third, but Garcia struck out to end the game.
Lansing took the lead with one run in the third and then added two in the fifth on a two-out, two-run triple by Samad Taylor to make it 3-0. The Lugnuts added one more run in the seventh to extend their lead to 4-0 before the Dragons got their offense going in the eighth.
Dragons starting pitcher Mac Sceroler worked six innings, allowing three runs on seven hits with one walk and three strikeout. Four of the eight base runners who reached against Sceroler came in the fifth inning when Lansing scored two runs. Sceroler fell to 2-4 with the loss.
Aneurys Zabala replaced Sceroler to start the seventh inning and ran into immediate problems as Lansing loaded the bases with one out. They eventually scored one run on a sacrifice fly to make it 4-0. John Ghyzel pitched a scoreless inning after replacing Zabala, striking out two while giving up one hit.
Dragons infielder Alejo Lopez had a base hit to right field on his first swing of the night to extend his hitting streak to 12 straight games. That gives Lopez the longest hitting streak of the season for a Dayton player. Entering the game, Lopez was batting .407 over his last 22 games since July 15, the highest average since that date of any Single-A player in Minor League Baseball (30 teams).
The Dragons finished with eight hits by eight different players. Cedrola’s ninth inning triple was the only extra base hit.
In the Standings: The Dragons fell to 20-26 in the second half and 2-6 on their current 13-game road trip. They are one and one-half games behind Fort Wayne in the race for the final playoff spot in the Midwest League’s East Division Second Half race. There are 24 games to play.
Up Next: The Dragons and Lugnuts meet on Friday night at 7:05 p.m. in the last game of the series. Patrick McGuff (1-3, 3.52) will start for Dayton against Lansing’s Maximo Castillo (8-5, 4.96).