Dragons fall 5-2 to Peoria Chiefs in series opener
Dayton, Ohio—Peoria’s Yariel Gonzalez delivered a three-run double in the fifth inning as the Chiefs defeated the Dayton Dragons 5-2 on Thursday night. The Dayton loss snapped their three-game winning streak and was just their second defeat in their last 11 games. A crowd of 8,016 was in attendance at Fifth Third Field.
The Dragons took a 1-0 lead in the second inning when Hendrik Clementina connected on his seventh home run of the season. With the blast, Clementina moved into a tie for the league lead in homers, pending other MWL games on Thursday.
Dragons starting pitcher Packy Naughton tossed shutout baseball over the first four innings before the Chiefs loaded the bases in the fifth. With two outs, Gonzalez lined a double to the gap in right-center field to score all three runners and give the Chiefs a 3-1 lead.
The Dragons cut the deficit to one run in the fifth. They loaded the bases with two outs when Jose Garcia scored on a wild pitch. On the same play, Leandro Santana tried to score from second base but was tagged out at the plate to end the inning.
Peoria added a run in the eighth on a solo home run by Elehuris Montero off Dragons reliever Sarkis Ohanian. They scored an unearned run in the ninth to close out the scoring.
The Dragons had some late chances to score but could not capitalize. Narciso Crook led off the seventh inning with a double but was stranded at second. In the eighth, Santana drew a walk and went to second on Jeter Downs’ single, but the inning ended on an unusual double play as Santana tried to score from second on a ground out and was tagged out at the plate. The Dragons got a lead-off walk in the ninth from Michael Beltre but could not advance him.
Naughton (3-2) worked seven innings for the second straight outing. He allowed three runs on seven hits with two walks and four strikeouts and was charged with the loss.
The Dragons finished with just four hits. Clementina’s home run led the attack. Crook’s double, Downs’ single, and a single in the fifth by Jose Garcia comprised the Dragons hit total.
Notes: The Dragons had scored at least seven runs in seven of their previous nine games entering Thursday’s contest, but they were held to two runs to mark their lowest run total in a game since April 28…Beltre’s walk in his final plate appearance in the ninth inning extended his consecutive game on-base streak to 25, the third longest currently active streak in the league.
In the Standings: The loss dropped the Dragons record 18-13. They began the day in third place, one game behind first place Bowling Green and one-half game behind second place Lansing in the Midwest League East Division. Thursday games involving Bowling Green and Lansing had not gone final at post time.
Up Next: The Dragons continue their series against the Chiefs at Fifth Third Field on Friday night at 7:00 p.m. Tyler Mondile (0-2, 9.95) will start for the Dragons against Peoria’s Winston Nicacio (0-1, 8.14).