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Dragons Win, Cut Magic Number to Three

August 26, 2008 - Midwest League (MWL) - Dayton Dragons News Release

Lansing, Mich.-The Dayton Dragons took a major step toward qualifying for their second straight trip to the Midwest League playoffs on Tuesday. The Dragons defeated the Lansing Lugnuts 6-3, cutting their "magic number" to three to clinch the Eastern Division wildcard berth. While the Dragons were winning, the Fort Wayne Wizards were losing to South Bend, giving the Dragons a four game lead on the Wizards with six games to play. Any combination of Dayton wins and Fort Wayne losses totaling three over the next six games would send the Dragons to the playoffs.

Luis Montano earned his 12th win of the season on Tuesday, tossing six solid innings, and the Dragons built an early 4-0 lead on the way to improving their second half record to 35-29.

The Dragons sent nine batters to the plate and scored four runs in the second inning to take command of the game early. With one out, Devin Mesoraco and Michael McKennon drew back-to-back walks. Kevyn Feiner singled to right to drive in Mesoraco and make it 1-0. Brandon Menchaca followed with a double down the left field line to score both McKennon and Feiner and make it 3-0. Keltavious Jones was hit by a pitch and Zack Cozart followed with an infield single to load the bases. Neftali Soto singled to left to drive in Menchaca and give the Dragons a four run lead.

In the fourth, Jones led off with a bunt single and went to second on a wild pick-off throw. Cozart's fly ball to right advanced Jones to third, and Soto's foul fly to right scored Jones to make it 5-0.

Lansing pulled back to within three runs in bottom of the fourth on a two-run home run by Kevin Ahrens, his fourth homer of the year, to make it 5-2.

Montano (12-8) left the game after six innings, allowing four hits and two runs with two walks and three strikeouts.

Mace Thurman tossed a perfect seventh inning but allowed a run in the eighth as the Lugnuts pulled to within two at 5-3.

The Dragons answered with one run on three consecutive singles by Denis Phipps, Brandon Waring, and Devin Mesoraco in the top of the ninth to again lead by three at 6-3.

Thurman allowed a one out walk in the bottom of the ninth but struck out the next two batters to close the game and earn his first save. Thurman went three innings and allowed just one hit and one run with two walks and six strikeouts.

Dayton collected 10 hits by eight different players. Soto had two hits and an RBI. Feiner also had two hits, an RBI, and a run scored.

The Dragons play at Lansing again Wednesday at 7:05 p.m. in the third game of the four game series. Jeremy Horst (7-2, 2.53) will start for the Dragons. The Dragons will close out the regular season with a four game series at home against West Michigan starting Friday at Fifth Third Field.

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Midwest League Stories from August 26, 2008

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