Dragons Win, Complete Series Sweep over West Michigan
DAYTON - Avain Rachal’s run-scoring single broke a 2-2 tie in the seventh inning and the Dayton Dragons held on for a 3-2 victory over the West Michigan Whitecaps on Sunday afternoon. A crowd of 8,465 attended the game at Fifth Third Field as the Dragons completed a sweep of the three-game series.
The win lifted the Dragons back to the .500 mark at 9-9. West Michigan fell to 8-10 with the loss.
The Dragons trailed 2-1 when Dayton’s Luis Gonzalez reached on an error to start the bottom of the seventh inning. Gonzalez advanced to second on Jonathan Reynoso’s sacrifice. Wendell Soto followed with a double down the left field line that drove in Gonzalez from second to tie the game. A pair of walks to Brian O’Grady and Gavin LaValley loaded the bases, and Rachal followed with a single through the right side of the infield to drive in Soto and give the Dragons a 3-2 lead.
Dayton reliever Scott Brattvet pitched a scoreless eighth inning, allowing a two-out walk and a wild pitch before getting an inning-ending ground out to preserve the lead. Brian Hunter struck out the side in order in the ninth to earn his second save.
Dragons starter Tyler Mahle (2-1) became the first Dragons pitcher to go seven innings this season and earned the win. He allowed seven hits and two runs with no walks and eight strikeouts. Mahle retired the last nine batters he faced including six on strikeouts.
The Dragons trailed 2-0 before scoring one run in the fourth. Jimmy Pickens doubled to right, went to third on Jose Ortiz’s ground out, and one batter later, scored on Gonzalez’s broken bat infield single to make it 2-1. Dragons pitchers did not allow a hit after the fourth inning.
The Dragons collected eight hits. Rachal and Gonzalez each had two.
The Dragons earned their first series sweep of 2015. They won the series opener Friday 8-5 before posting back-to-back come-from-behind wins. They scored twice in the bottom of the ninth to win 4-3 on Saturday.
The Dragons (8-9) do not play on Monday. They open a six-game road trip against the Fort Wayne Tin Caps on Tuesday at 7:05 p.m. Wyatt Strahan (2-1, 3.45) will pitch for the Dragons against Fort Wayne’s Taylor Aikenhead (1-0, 8.74).
All Dragons games are broadcast on radio on Fox Sports 980 WONE and on the internet at wone.com. Games are also available on the Dayton Dragons mobile app.
Notes: The Dragons are 7-2 at home this season…Pickens has hit safely in four straight games, going 7 for 14 (.500)…Dragons outfielders notched two assists in the game. Left fielder Brian O’Grady threw out a runner at second to end the third inning, and right fielder Narciso Crook nailed a runner at the plate to end the fourth.