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Dragons Score 2 in 9th to Earn Walk-Off Win
Dayton, Ohio—The Dayton Dragons rallied for two runs in the bottom of the ninth inning to come from behind and defeat the Bowling Green Hot Rods 6-5 on Saturday night. A crowd of 8,760 attended the game at Fifth Third Field.
The win was the Dragons fifth “walk-off” victory of 2014 and improved their second half record to 27-27. The Dragons took the lead in the wildcard race with 16 games to play. They lead Great Lakes by one game.
The Dragons trailed 5-4 going to the bottom of the ninth inning. Jose Ortiz led off the inning with a single to center field and was replaced at first base by pinch runner Nick Benedetto. Jon Matthews then lined a single to right field as Benedetto advanced to second. After Avain Rachal struck out, Jonathan Reynoso grounded to shortstop into a possible game-ending double play, but Reynoso beat the throw to first on a close play after Matthews was forced at second. Benedetto went to third. Jamodrick McGruder then lined a single to right to drive in Benedettto and tie the game as Reynoso went to second. Alex Blandino then hit a fly ball to center field that landed just beyond the reach of Bowling Green’s Spencer Edwards’ diving attempt, allowing Reynoso to score the winning run to end the game.
The Dragons trailed 4-1 before scoring three runs in the fifth inning to tie the score. Rachal and McGruder hit solo home runs in the inning and Blandino scored the tying run on a base hit by Robert Ramirez. Bowling Green regained the lead in the seventh inning on a controversial balk call on Dragons reliever Tony Amezcua that brought a runner in from third base to make it 5-4.
The Dragons hit three home runs in a game for the first time this season. Jose Ortiz drilled a long home run to left-center in the second along with the homers by Rachal and McGruder in the fifth.
The Dragons finished with 11 hits. Blandino was 3 for 5 including the game-winning as he extended his hitting streak to 11 straight games.
The Dragons (27-27) host the Hot Rods (24-30) on Sunday in the last game of the series at 2:00 p.m. at Fifth Third Field. Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips is expected to play for the Dragons on an injury rehabilitation assignment. Nick Howard (1-0, 3.29), the Reds 2014 first round draft pick, will start on the mound for the Dragons against Bowling Green’s Isaac Gil (0-1, 5.40).
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