Captains Split with Dayton
(Dayton, OH) - The Lake County Captains (26-18) split a quasi-doubleheader with the Dayton Dragons (15-30) on Tuesday night at Fifth Third Field. Lake County won game one, the resumption of a suspended game that began on April 14, 8-1. In game two, the Dragons defeated the Captains, 7-3.
The Captains and Dragons resumed their suspended game in the second inning. The game was still scoreless with runners on first and second, one out and Jesse Berardi facing a 2-1 count. Dragons right-hander Eduardo Salazar entered the game to relieve the original starter, Jared Solomon, and the Captains wasted no time in jumping ahead. Berardi slammed an RBI single and Tyler Freeman added an RBI single of his own later in the frame to give the Captains a 2-0 lead.
Lake County tacked on two more runs the following inning. Ruben Cardenas and Bo Naylor began the frame with back-to-back singles before Mitch Reeves knocked in Cardenas with a sacrifice fly to right. Later in the inning, Angel Lopez was at the plate and had an 0-2 count against him when the Captains' DH started shaking his left hand. He was removed from the game due to injury and Hosea Nelson replaced him. Even down in the count from the outset, Nelson battled and dunked a double down the left field line to bring home Naylor and extend the Captains' lead to 4-0.
Dayton answered with a run in the third. Zach Draper took the ball for Lake County when the game resumed, replacing the original starter Alex Royalty. The lefty pitched a scoreless second, but Brian Rey led off the third with a single. Miguel Hernandez later singled with one out and Draper hit Pabel Manzanero with a pitch to load the bases. Mariel Bautista then hit a grounder to deep shortstop and beat the throw to first for an infield single. Rey scored to cut the Captains' lead to 4-1.
Lake County plated three more runs in the fourth, including a big fly from a familiar culprit. Jose Fermin led off with a walk, Freeman followed with a single and a wild pitch moved the runners to second and third. Will Benson then knocked in Fermin with a sharp RBI ground out to first. Cardenas stepped up next with Freeman on third and one out. Cardenas came into Tuesday with homers in four straight games and went deep again with a line drive over the left field wall to push the Captains' lead to 7-1. Cardenas' home run did not officially extend his home run streak to five games because the stats from the suspended game are officially credited to April 14, but unofficially, the Captains' outfielder had gone deep in five consecutive games.
Another long ball gave the Captains their final run in the game-one rout. Benson led off the sixth inning with a deep drive over the right field wall to extend the Captains' advantage to 8-1. The homer was Benson's 10th of the year, pulling him even for the league lead with Niko Hulsizer of the Great Lakes Loons.
Draper (3-0) earned the win in relief for the Captains. The lefty worked 4.2 innings and held Dayton to one run on seven hits. He struck out four, hit one batter and did not issue a walk. Luis Araujo picked up his second save after spinning 3.1 scoreless innings with two hits, no walks and three strikeouts.
Solomon (0-3) took the loss for Dayton, even though he did not take the mound Tuesday. When Solomon left the game on April 14, he left two baserunners aboard for whomever came in to relieve him. Those runners scored under Salazar's watch in the second inning, but both runs were charged to Solomon. His final line in the game was 1.1 innings, two runs, no hits, four walks and two strikeouts.
Dragons right-hander James Marinan spun his first career complete game to defeat Lake County in a seven-inning contest. Marinan (2-5) needed 77 pitches to complete seven frames and held the Captains to three runs, one earned, on four hits with three walks and two strikeouts in the victory.
The Dayton offense did not support him right away. In fact, the Captains struck first with one unearned run in the first and another in the second. In the opening inning, Berardi led off with a bloop ground rule double down the left field line, but was quickly caught. After moving to third on a ground out, Cardenas hit a bouncing ball to third and Berardi was tagged out by third baseman Juan Martinez after a brief rundown. Cardenas moved up to second on the play, but he too was soon caught in a rundown when Lofstrom, the Dragons' catcher in game two, back-picked to second. Cardenas was dead to rights, but Martinez dropped the throw from shortstop Carlos Rivero, allowing the runner to advance to third. Benson then slammed a double into the right field corner to score Cardenas and give the Captains a 1-0 lead.
Lake County added a second run in the second, thanks to another Dayton error. Quentin Holmes hit a one-out single, moved to second on a wild pitch and advanced to third when Lofstrom's throw skipped into centerfield. After Nelson drew a walk, Connor Smith hit a sacrifice fly to right that brought home Holmes.
Dayton turned the tide in the bottom of the second. Jay Schuyler led off with an infield single, Dylan Harris followed two batters later with a single through the left side and Lofstrom slammed a three-run homer to right off of Captains starter Evan Mitchell to give the Dragons a 3-2 lead.
The Dragons hung four more runs on Mitchell in the fourth. An error at third by Berardi put Rey on to start the inning and, two batters later, Schuyler reached on another infield single when his hot-shot to third caromed off of Berardi and kicked to Freeman. The Captains' shortstop barehanded the ball on the ricochet and fired to first, but the throw narrowly pulled Reeves off the bag. Martinez followed with an RBI single, Lofstrom added an RBI single later in the inning for his fourth run driven in and Zeek White knocked in a pair to push Dayton's lead to 7-2.
The Captains managed one run in the seventh. Reeves worked a walk and later scored on a single to center by Holmes, but that was all the Captains could muster against Marinan.
Mitchell (0-1) suffered the loss in his Captains debut. He allowed seven runs over three innings. Mitchell surrendered nine hits, struck out one and did not issue a walk. The start was just Mitchell's second in the Indians' organization, after Cleveland signed the right-hander in the offseason. He was originally drafted by the Cincinnati Reds in 2013 and pitched for Dayton in 2014. Tuesday's game was his first appearance on the hill against a Reds affiliate.
The Captains and Dragons square off again on Wednesday night. First pitch at Fifth Third Field is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.
Individual game tickets for all Captains games are on sale at the Classic Park box office, online at captainsbaseball.com and by phone at 440-954-WINS (9467). Mini ticket plans for the 2019 season are still available for great prices complete with several exclusive benefits. Information can be found at the Captains website www.captainsbaseball.com.
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