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WKEF-TV ABC 22 News :: Sports - Local Sports - Dragons Win Third Straight, Top Loons 6-1

Dragons Win Third Straight, Top Loons 6-1

Midland, Mich.—Brandon Dailey’s two-run double keyed a four-run second inning and four Dayton pitchers combined on a four-hitter as the Dragons defeated the Great Lakes Loons 4-1 on Saturday night.  The win was the third straight for the first place Dragons, who improved their record to 14-7.  Great Lakes fell to 13-9.
 
For the second straight night, the Dragons had a big inning early to take a commanding lead.  They scored four runs in the second to jump ahead 4-0.  The rally started with Sebastian Elizalde’s base hit to center field, and Tanner Rahier doubled high off the left field fence to score him.  Daniel Mateo singled to center to move Rahier to third, and with two outs, Dailey doubled to right-center to drive in Rahier and Mateo.  Carlton Daal followed with a single to center to bring in Dailey and make it 4-0.
 
Great Lakes’ Paul Hoenecke hit a solo home run to right field in the bottom of the second.  The Loons did not advance another runner past first base the rest of the night.
 
Phillip Ervin singled in Daal in the top of the ninth to give the Dragons a 5-1 lead, and later in the inning, Ervin scored on Sebastian Elizalde’s ground out to close out the scoring.
 
Dragons starting pitcher Daniel Wright (1-0) was outstanding to earn his first Midwest League win.  He worked six innings, allowing one run on four hits with no walks and two strikeouts.  Wright allowed just four base runners and the Dragons turned three double plays behind him.
 
Joel Bender pitched a perfect seventh inning in relief of Wright and Evan Mitchell tossed a 1-2-3 eighth.  Scott Brattvet closed it out with a perfect ninth inning as the Dragons bullpen trio combined to retire all nine batters they faced.
 
The Dragons finished with 11 hits.  Daal had his second straight three-hit game, raising his batting average to .333.  Elizalde had two hits, two walks, and an RBI.
 
The game included a baseball rarity as the Loons did not strand a runner.  Three of the four batters who reached base were erased on double plays and the other, Hoenecke, scored.
 
The Dragons battle the Loons in Midland again on Sunday at 3:05 p.m. (EDT) as the Dragons try for a sweep of the series.  Sal Romano (2-1, 2.86) will start for Dayton against Great Lakes’ Zachary Bird (1-2, 7.36).  The Dragons are 3-3 through six games of their seven-game road trip.
 
The next home game is Monday, April 28 vs. the Lansing Lugnuts at 7:00 p.m. at Fifth Third Field.  All Dragons games can be heard on WONE Radio (980 AM) and via the internet at wone.com and through the Dragons Mobile App.
 
Notes:  Dragons pitchers have allowed a total of five runs in the last four games…The Dragons league-leading ERA dropped to 2.45…Three of the five Dayton starting pitchers have ERA’s of 1.62 or lower...The Dragons have collected 26 hits over the last two games after getting only 16 in the four games at South Bend…The Dragons did not commit an error for the second straight night…The Dragons have now turned 28 double plays defensively, most in the Midwest League…Dragons pitchers did not issue a walk in the game…The Dragons stole four bases including two by Elizalde to give him seven on the year.
 
Transactions:  Outfielder Beau Amaral was promoted to Pensacola before the game and infielder Humberto Valor was activated.Dragons Win Third Straight, Top Loons 6-1

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BREWERS-REDS

CINCINNATI (AP) -- Johnny Cueto pitched seven solid innings, and the Cincinnati Reds stayed in the chase for the NL's top record by beating the Milwaukee Brewers 4-2 on Tuesday night after learning they'll be without their manager for the rest of the week.

The Brewers dropped back-to-back games for the first time in more than a month, and it came at a bad time. They started the day 3 1/2 games behind St. Louis for the final NL wild card spot.

They got no break from the Reds, who clinched the NL Central title on Saturday night.

Manager Dusty Baker met players before the game and revealed he suffered a mini-stroke in addition to being treated for an irregular heartbeat last week. The 63-year-old manager hopes to return to the dugout next week.

REDS-BAKER

CINCINNATI (AP) -- Dusty Baker won't manage the Cincinnati Reds until the final series in St. Louis, giving him time to recover from an irregular heartbeat that left him hospitalized last week.

Baker met with owner Bob Castellini and his team on Tuesday before a game against the Brewers. Bench coach Chris Speier said he'll manage the final three home games against Milwaukee and three in Pittsburgh over the weekend, with Baker taking over for the last three games next week.

The 63-year-old manager was hospitalized in Chicago last Wednesday for an irregular heartbeat, a problem he's had for a while. He was in the hospital for four days, missing the Reds' 6-0 win over the Dodgers on Saturday night that clinched the NL Central title.

INDIANS-WHITE SOX

CHICAGO (AP) -- The Chicago White Sox have lost sole possession of first place in the AL Central race, with the Indians playing spoiler. Gordon Beckham hit into a game-ending forceout with the potential tying run on second base yesterday as the Indians downed the White Sox 4-3.

Down 4-0 in the fourth inning, the White Sox closed within a run when Paul Konerko homered off Chris Perez leading off the ninth. Perez walked a pair of batters with two outs, and Beckham grounded to shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera, who threw to second baseman Jason Kipnis for the force.

Chicago (82-72) had held sole possession of the division lead since September 3. Detroit pulled into a tie for the division lead with its win over Kansas City last night.

T25-OHIO ST-MATCHING UP

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- Through four games and four victories, Ohio State's defense has faced a continual drumbeat of short passes, quick routes, screens and sweeps.

Every opponent, it seems, has relied on a sleight of hand.

Now the Buckeyes are looking forward to getting into familiar territory when they open Big Ten play.

When No. 14 Ohio State travels to 20th-ranked Michigan State on Saturday, the Buckeyes anticipate they'll run into a more conventional Midwestern attack. Granted, that means having to counteract the 244-pound blasts of the Spartans' massive Le'Veon Bell.

But after a month of chasing people, the Buckeyes think they might benefit from a change of pace from the subterfuge and rush-avoiding quick-hitters in a trade for raw man-on-man power struggles at the line of scrimmage.

T25-UPTIGHT SPARTANS

EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) -- Michigan State's lackluster win last weekend got to coach Mark Dantonio.

After the Spartans beat Eastern Michigan 23-7 Saturday, Dantonio hurried through a terse news conference full of abrupt answers. The Michigan State coach said "next question" seven times in under a minute and was clearly annoyed with the way his team played.

On Tuesday, Dantonio spoke with reporters for around a half-hour, but Michigan State isn't making any players or assistants available this week. The Spartans' coach is trying to send a clear message to his players that it's time to get serious.

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