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February 2019
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First half of Midwest League Season not ending well for Dragons; lose to Whitecaps, 9-4



Grand Rapids, Mich.—The West Michigan Whitecaps broke a 3-3 tie with four runs in the fifth inning and went on to defeat the Dayton Dragons 9-4 on Saturday night.  The Whitecaps have won the first two games of the series that concludes on Sunday afternoon.


Just as they did on Friday, the Dragons jumped out to an early 2-0 lead.  They scored two runs in the top of the first inning as Jeter Downs walked with one out and went to second when Stuart Fairchild was hit by a pitch.  Hendrik Clementina followed with a single to left to drive in Downs, and Fairchild scored on a base hit to left by Leandro Santana.


West Michigan answered with two runs in the second to tie the score, but Downs launched a home run to left in the third to give the Dragons a 3-2 lead.  It was the eighth home run of the year for Downs.


West Michigan evened the score with a run in the fourth and then exploded for four runs in the fifth to take a 7-3 lead.  Meanwhile, the Dragons offense was quiet over the middle and late innings.  They went four straight innings without a hit from the fifth through the eighth as West Michigan added two more runs to extend their lead to 9-3.  The Dragons scored one run in the ninth, getting back-to-back singles from Santana and John Sansone before an error brought in the run.


Dragons starting pitcher Adrian Rodriguez fell to 3-4 with the loss.  He worked five innings, allowing seven runs on seven hits with three walks, no strikeouts, and three wild pitches.


The Dragons finished with six hits.  Santana, with two hits, was the only player with more than one.  Downs’ home run was the only extra base hit.


The Dragons fell to 31-36 in the first half with one game to play.  West Michigan improved to 35-34.

Click here for the box score

Dayton (R-H-E):  4-6-1

West Michigan (R-H-E):  9-10-1


Win:  Dane Myers (3-1)

Loss:  Adrian Rodriguez (3-4)

Save:  None


HRDayton: Jeter Downs (8th, 0 on base in third inning).

HRWest Michigan: None


Up Next:  The Dragons close out the First Half season in the Midwest League’s split-season format on Sunday afternoon at 2:00 against the Whitecaps.  Packy Naughton (3-6, 4.61) will start for Dayton against West Michigan’s Matt Manning (1-3, 4.32).


The next Dragons home game is Thursday, June 21 in the opener to the second half season as the Dragons host the South Bend Cubs at 7:00 p.m. at Fifth Third Field.