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High: 40 Winds: N 15-20 G 35 mph
Sunday: Mostly sunny, still cool.
Dragons Win 7-4 on Thursday
Dayton, Ohio—Jeff Gelalich lined a double to the left field corner to drive in Jamodick McGruder from first base to break a 4-4 tie in the eighth inning and the Dayton Dragons went on to defeat the Fort Wayne TinCaps 7-4 on Thursday night. A crowd of 9,209 saw the Dragons win their fourth game in their last five as they improved their record to 20-13. The Dragons are in second place, one-half game behind West Michigan.
The Dragons winning rally began when McGruder walked with one out in the bottom of the eighth. With McGruder running on the pitch, Gelalich drilled a liner to the fence in left field to bring in the run and give the Dragons a 5-4 lead. Gelalich scored on Phillip Ervin’s single to center to make it 6-4. After Ervin stole second and third, Tanner Rahier’s sacrifice fly brought him in to score the game’s final run.
Dragons reliever Dan Langfield pitched the final two innings to earn the win. In Langfield’s two appearances this season coming back from shoulder surgery that caused him to miss the entire 2013 season, he has retired all 12 batters he has faced over four perfect innings, striking out eight.
The Dragons scored single runs in the each of the first three innings to take a 3-0 lead, taking advantage of three TinCaps errors. But Fort Wayne tied the game in the top of the fifth with three runs of their own as Dragons starting pitcher Ismael Guillon left the game following a visit to the mound by Dayton trainer Tyler Steele. Guillon appeared to have a left thumb problem. Guillon’s fifth inning problems followed four near-perfect innings when he retired 11 of the 12 batters he faced, striking out six of the 12, and picking the only batter to reach against him off first base.
The Dragons regained the lead briefly in the fifth with an unusual run. Tanner Rahier struck out swinging, but when the third strike pitch eluded the Fort Wayne catcher, Rahier raced for first base. The throw hit him in the back, allowing him to reach safely. The next batter, Daniel Mateo, grounded out to first, but after Fort Wayne’s Jake Bauers stepped on the base, he threw to second to try to get Rahier, and his throw struck Tanner in the back, allowing him to go to third. Joe Hudson then hit a ground ball to third, but Fort Wayne’s Fernando Perez threw home, again striking Rahier in the back to allow him to score. Rahier was struck on the back by three different throws in the inning.
The Dragons finished with eight hits. Both Gelalich and Ervin had three.
The Dragons battle the TinCaps again on Friday at 7:05 p.m. at Fifth Third Field in the second game of the series. Amir Garrett (0-2, 6.56) will start for Dayton. Fort Wayne will counter with Adrian De Horta (0-1, 4.24). The three-game series with Fort Wayne will continue through Saturday.
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