LANSING, Mich. - The Dayton Dragons (6-9) rallied from a pair of two-run deficits, defeating the Lansing Lugnuts (8-7), 9-4, on a blustery, chilly Friday night at Cooley Law School Stadium.
The Dragons snapped a 12-game losing streak in Lansing, picking up their first win in Michigan's state capital since September 4, 2017. Dayton had gone 0-11 at Cooley Law School Stadium in 2018.
The Lugnuts scored two runs in the first inning and one run apiece in the third and fourth, building leads of 2-0 and 4-2 - but the Dragons scored three runs in the fifth inning, taking a 5-4 lead on a Miguel Hernandez squeeze.
The Dragons added insurance with two-run rallies in the seventh and ninth innings, supplying the final cushion and ending Lansing's four-game winning streak.
Lugnuts starter Cobi Johnson (Loss, 0-1) allowed five runs (four earned) on five hits and four walks in four innings-plus, striking out two. He was followed to the mound by Joey Pulido , who gave up one hit in two scoreless innings and struck out two, and Fitz Stadler , who allowed four runs (one earned) on five hits and two walks in three innings, striking out two.
Dayton starter Jared Solomon did not fare all that much better, tossing four innings, and allowing six hits, four walks and four runs, striking out three.
The Dragons received strong relief, however, with Alexis Diaz (Win, 3-0), Eddy Demurias and Julio Pinto (Save, 1) combining to blank the Lugnuts the final five innings. In the bottom of the seventh, Demurias struck out Otto Lopez with runners at first and third to end a Lugnuts threat. And in the bottom of the eighth, with the bases loaded, Demurias retired Reggie Pruitt on a liner to short and Pinto set down Alejandro Kirk on a flyout to center to end the Lugnuts' last gasp.
In the loss, Lopez went 2-for-5 with two singles and an RBI; D.J. Neal finished 2-for-4 with a run scored; Jordan Groshans drilled an RBI double, drew a walk and scored a run; and Kirk drew three walks and scored two runs.
The Lugnuts and Dragons play the rubber match of the three-game series at 1:05 p.m. Saturday, with gates opening at 11 a.m. for a noon Easter Egg Helicopter Drop! Lansing right-hander Josh Winckowski (2.08 ERA) starts against Dayton left-hander Jacob Heatherly (5.19).
To purchase tickets and live the Lug Life at Cooley Law School Stadium, visit lansinglugnuts.com or call (517) 485-4500.
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This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.