Dayton, Ohio—The Quad Cities River Bandits rallied from a 6-1 deficit by scoring three runs in the eighth inning and four more in the ninth to defeat the Dayton Dragons 8-7 on Tuesday night.  The game was the opener to a six-game series.

Reds all-star Joey Votto played the first seven innings of the game on an MLB injury rehab assignment, going 1 for 4 with a hard single and run scored.  Votto flied out to the warning track in left field in his first at-bat.  Votto will return to the Dragons again on Wednesday night for the second game of his rehab assignment.

A crowd of 8,722, the largest of the year, was in attendance at Day Air Ballpark in the heart of the Water Street District.

The Dragons hit five home runs in the game to establish a season high.  The also had a season high three home runs in an inning when they pounded a trio of long balls in the fifth.

Game Recap:  The Dragons roared to a 6-1 lead by hitting four home runs over a two-inning stretch of action in the fifth and sixth frames.  Allan Cerda hit a home run in each inning, his fourth and fifth homers of the season.  Elly De La Cruz broke a 1-1 tie with a three-run home run in the fifth and Jose Torres followed with a homer as well to give the Dragons back-to-back home runs for the second time this season. 

Dragons starting pitcher Joe Boyle allowed one run over six strong innings and left the game with a five-run lead.  He surrendered three hits and two walks while striking out eight.  Boyle’s fastball was still reaching 98 mph in his final inning.

But Quad Cities scored three runs in the eighth to pull to within two runs at 6-4.  In the ninth, Dragons reliever Carson Rudd retired the first two batters, but the next five all reached safely as Quad Cities collected three extra base hits in the inning and scored four runs to go ahead 8-6.

Dayton’s Mat Nelson hit a solo home run with one out in the bottom of the ninth to make it 8-7, and the next two batters, Nick Quintana and Justice Thompson, drew walks to put the tying and winning runs on base.  But J.V. Martinez flied out to shallow center, and De La Cruz flied out to deep left to end the game.

The Dragons fell to 22-11 on the season while remaining in first place, three and one-half games ahead of Great Lakes.

Up Next:  The Dragons host Quad Cities on Wednesday at 7:05 p.m at Day Air Ballpark.  Bryce Bonnin (0-1, 3.86) will start for Dayton.  For ticket information, go to daytondragons.com or call (937) 228-2287.