DAYTON, OH - The Dayton Dragons (14-30, 55-59) escaped a last-ditch Lansing Lugnuts (18-26, 55-55) rally, snapping a nine-game losing streak with a 3-2 win on Monday night at Fifth Third Field.
With two outs and no one on base in the top of the ninth, Javier Hernandez lined a single off reliever Moises Nova. Luis Silva followed with a double past diving first baseman Bruce Yari, breaking an 0-for-29 slump and moving Hernandez to third base. New reliever Aaron Fossas (Save, 4) walked Rodrigo Orozco to load the bases. Edward Olivares followed with a soft grounder to shortstop Carlos Rivero, who dashed to step on second base for the game-ending forceout.
The game featured early offense and squandered opportunities, setting the stage for the late drama.
A Taylor Trammell homer in the first inning and a Jose Siri RBI double and a Bruce Yari RBI single in the third inning staked the Dragons to a 3-0 lead against Lugnuts starter Osman Gutierrez (Loss, 4-9). Gutierrez went on to pitch six innings for his second consecutive quality start, walking three and striking out three.
The Lugs countered against Dayton starter Matt Blandino (Win, 2-4) in the fifth, thanks to a two-out, two-run single from Nash Knight .
With their lead cut to one run, the Dragons set about trying to rebuild it - but were unable to score despite loading the bases with none out in the fifth, and again loading them with one out in the seventh.
In the eighth inning, left fielder Orozco threw out Rivero at the plate trying to score on a flyout by Randy Ventura.
It was all part of a strong all-around game for Orozco, who finished 2-for-4 with a walk and a run scored at the plate, extending his on-base streak to 19 games.
The final game of the four-game series is set for 7:00 p.m. Tuesday, featuring Lugnuts right-hander Justin Maese (5-3, 5.13) against Dayton right-hander Alex Webb (0-2, 5.48). A Lugnuts win would give the Nuts three wins in four games in the series.
Gear up for the next Nuts homestand, stretching from Thursday, August 10, through Sunday, August 13, and beginning with a Labatt Thirsty Thursday featuring $2 beers/sodas and half off craft beers! Tickets may be purchased at the Cooley Law School Stadium box office, by calling (517) 485-4500 or via lansinglugnuts.com.
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This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.