DAYTON, OH - Chad Spanberger crushed his first home run as a member of the Blue Jays organization and the Lansing Lugnuts (19-19, 62-46) held off the Dayton Dragons (18-20, 49-57), 8-7, on Tuesday night at Fifth Third Field.
The Lugnuts went 5-2 on their road trip, winning two of three games in South Bend and three of four games at Dayton.
The game featured a rain delay lasting 86 minutes in the top of the second inning, which opened with recent acquisition Spanberger - who hit 22 home runs with Asheville before he was traded by the Colorado Rockies to the Blue Jays as part of a package for Seunghwan Oh - blasting a 429-foot home run to right-center, and ended, over an hour and a half later, with Samad Taylor lasering a two-out, three-run double for a 4-0 Lugnuts lead.
The Lugs increased the lead to 7-2 in the fifth inning on a Spanberger RBI single, a double steal featuring Spanberger swiping second and Chavez Young taking home plate, and a Reggie Pruitt RBI single to third base that injured top Dragons prospect Jonathan India.
Pruitt came through again in the eighth inning with a triple, scoring on a Freddy Rodriguez RBI single up the middle for an 8-2 lead.
They would need every run.
With one out in the bottom of the eighth, J.D. Williams and Andy Sugilio supplied consecutive RBI singles off Brody Rodning to cut the Nuts' lead to 8-4. Hendrik Clementina followed with a three-run homer against Dany Jimenez , and the Lugnuts led by just one run.
Jimenez stiffened from there, recording the final two outs in the eighth and then mowing through three straight Dragons after allowing a leadoff single in the ninth, picking up his eighth save of the year.
Lugnuts starter Graham Spraker (Win, 2-2) pitched five innings, allowing a pair of third-inning runs, for his second straight victory.
Dayton spot-starter Wendolyn Bautista (Loss, 4-6), taking the mound in place of the scratched Hunter Greene, gave up seven runs (four earned) on nine hits in five innings.
Spanberger and Pruitt each collected three hits and scored two runs to lead the Lugnuts' offense. Brandon Grudzielanek drew a ninth-inning walk to extend his team-high on-base streak to 18 games.
The Nuts now return home, welcoming the South Bend Cubs to Cooley Law School Stadium from August 1st-3rd, each with a 7:05 p.m.: Wednesday, August 1st, is a Winning Wednesday; Thursday, August 2nd, is a Labatt Thirsty Thursday - Young Professionals Night; and Friday, August 3rd, is a Family Faith Night with postgame LAFCU Fireworks. To purchase tickets and live the Lug Life, visit lansinglugnuts.com or call (517) 485-4500.
# # #
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.