Lansing 9, Dragons 3
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Dayton, Ohio-Jason Leblebijian went 4 for 5 and drove in two runs to lead the Lansing Lugnuts to a 9-3 victory over the Dayton Dragons on Thursday night. A crowd of 8,723 attended the game at Fifth Third Field.
Despite the loss, the Dragons stayed in the lead in the Midwest League East Division Second Half wildcard race with only four games to play. The Dragons and Fort Wayne TinCaps have identical second half records, but the Dragons would win the tie-breaker over Fort Wayne. Bowling Green and Great Lakes are only one-half game off the lead, while Lansing is one game back. All five teams in the race are separated by only one game.
The game was tied 1-1 going to the third inning when Lansing took advantage of two Dragons throwing errors to score two unearned runs and lead 3-1. The Lugnuts added two more runs in the fourth to lead 5-1.
The Dragons started back in the fourth when Jon Matthews doubled and eventually scored on a dropped fly ball to make it 5-2, and Dayton's Robert Ramirez belted a solo home run in the fifth to make it 5-3. Ramirez's homer was his fifth of the year and second in the last two nights.
But Lansing shutout the Dragons the rest of the night, and the Lugnuts added one run in the eighth inning and three more in the ninth to close out the scoring.
Dragons starting pitcher Amir Garrett (7-8) worked five innings, allowing four hits and five runs (three earned) with one walk and seven strikeouts. Austin Muehring replaced Garrett to start the sixth and made his Dragons debut. He worked an inning and one-third of scoreless baseball. Nolan Becker was charged with one run in one inning, and Pedro Diaz surrendered three runs over one and two-thirds.
Ramirez and Jonathan Reynoso each had two hits for the Dragons. The team finished with seven hits, all in the first six innings.
The Dragons (30-36) host the Lugnuts (29-37) again on Friday at 7:00 p.m. in the last game of the series and final home game of the regular season for the Dragons. Sal Romano (8-10, 4.01) will start for the Dragons against Brad Allen (6-5, 3.57). The game is critical for both teams. The winner of the game will also claim the head-to-head advantage for the year, which is the tie-breaker. A Lansing win would create a tie.
All Dragons games can be heard on WONE Radio (980 AM) and via the internet at wone.com and through the Dragons Mobile App.