(Dayton, OH) - Patrick McGuff helped pitch the Dayton Dragons (21-31, 52-68) out of a season-long eight-game losing streak on Wednesday night. The right-hander combined with John Ghyzel to shutout the Lake County Captains (21-30, 50-71) in the opener of a three-game series at Fifth Third Field. Lake County managed just three hits in a 7-0 loss.
McGuff began the game by retiring the first 11 batters he faced, including four strikeouts. The Dragons' starter finally allowed a baserunner when he walked Joshua Rolette with two outs in the fourth and Jose Vicente followed with the Captains' first hit, a single through the shortstop hole. McGuff gave up just one more hit the rest of the way. After Richard Palacios singled to center with one out in the fifth, the righty set down the last eight men he faced. McGuff (2-4) ultimately earned the win with six strikeouts, one walk and two hits allowed over seven scoreless innings.
Ghyzel took the torch in the eighth and faced minimal resistance. The right-hander induced three pop outs to left field in the eighth and allowed two baserunners in the ninth before finishing the shutout. Rolette walked for the second time and Vicente hit his second single, but Jesse Berardi lined out to deep right for the final out of the game.
Captains starter Jean Carlos Mejia kept the Dragons off the scoreboard until the fifth. The righty gave up just two singles and did not issue a walk over his first 4.2 innings, but a two-out walk opened the door for Dayton in the fifth. Munroe worked a free pass on a 3-2 pitch and Raul Wallace followed with a single to right. Munroe hustled from first to third and Oscar Gonzalez uncorked a throw from right that sailed over third baseman Erlin Cerda . The netting over the wall beyond the third base dugout ultimately caught Gonzalez's throw, which by Fifth Third Field ground rules is out of play. Munroe was awarded home plate and Wallace moved up to second. Jose Garcia came up next and hit a chopper to third that took a bad hop and skipped over Cerda into left. Wallace scored to give Dayton a 2-0 lead, but Todd Isaacs threw Garcia out at second, as he tried to stretch his single into a double.
Another walk led to an insurance run in the sixth. Jonathan India worked a one-out and stole second base. With two outs, Andy Sugilio hit a hard grounder that narrowly skipped past the diving glove of shortstop Elvis Perez . India scored easily, as the ball bounced to the left-centerfield gap. Gabriel Mejia raced toward the alley and slid to cut the ball off before it could get to the track, but Sugilio turned on the jets and made it to third with an RBI triple to give Dayton a 3-1 lead.
The Dragons accomplished a rare feat in the seventh, en route to a four-run inning against reliever Maiker Manzanillo . The first four batters of the frame combined to hit for the cycle. Leandro Santana led off with a homer to left, Munroe followed with a triple into the right field corner, Wallace singled up the middle to score Munroe and Garcia laced a double to left. Manzanillo then hit Jeter Downs with a pitch to load the bases and Hendrik Clementina hit a fly ball to center that scored Wallace with the third run of the inning, as Garcia also tagged up and went to third. Downs stole second with Sugilio at the plate and the Dragons had two in scoring position with two outs. Sugilio then hit a liner toward first that took one short hop before Vicente made a diving stop on the backhand side. Vicente flipped to Manzanillo at first, but Sugilio beat the toss. Garcia scored from third and Downs, who was running on contact with two outs, kept running around third and tried to score. Vicente fired home and Rolette tagged out the runner to end the inning. The four-run frame was over with the Dragons leading, 7-0.
Mejia (4-6) took the loss. The right-hander allowed three runs - two earned - over six innings. He gave up five hits, walked two and struck out five.
Lake County has lost the opener in the three-game series and will try to rebound in game two on Thursday night. First pitch at Fifth Third Field is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.
Information about Classic Park or the Captains can be found online at www.captainsbaseball.com and by phone at 440-954-WINS (9467). Affordable ticket packages and group party and picnic options are available now.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.