Allen sets record with five stolen bases in Dragons’ win

Dayton’s Jay Allen collected four hits and broke a club record with five stolen bases as the Dragons defeated the Quad Cities River Bandits 9-7 on Saturday night. The win was the third straight for the Dragons and improved their full-season record to the .500 mark at 58-58.

Dayton enjoyed a five-run fifth inning, keyed by a three-run double by Steven Leyton to build a four-run lead, and then held off a furious Quad Cities comeback rally to win.

The Dragons got the scoring started in the first inning as Allen opened the game with an infield single, stole second, went to third on the same play on the catcher’s throwing error, and scored on a ground ball to shortstop as he beat the throw to the plate to make it 1-0.

Quad Cities scored one run in the bottom of the first and another in the second to take a 2-1 lead. In the third, Dayton’s Mat Nelson reached on a bunt single, and Austin Hendrick followed with a two-run home run to right field to give the Dragons a 3-2 lead. The home run was Hendrick’s 12th with the Dragons and his 19th overall this season in the Reds organization.

Quad Cities responded with two runs in the bottom of the third to regain the lead, 4-3. But the Dragons answered with five runs in the fifth as the first seven batters in the inning reached safely. The Dragons benefited from two walks, three hit batsmen, and Leyton’s three-run double gave the Dragons an 8-4 lead.

Dragons starting pitcher Thomas Farr settled down after a difficult first three innings, working the first six frames. His last three innings were strong as Farr allowed just one hit and no runs. He left the game with an 8-4 lead, working six innings for the fourth straight start.

Jake Gilbert replaced Farr to begin the seventh and allowed the first five batters to reach safely. Quad Cities scored three runs in the inning and had the bases loaded with two outs with the score 8-7, when Gilbert ended the threat with a strikeout on a 3-2 pitch.

In the eighth, Gilbert struck out the first two batters and was replaced by Donovan Benoit, who got the third out of the frame with the first pitch he threw.

The Dragons added an insurance run in the top of the ninth when Michel Triana singled and eventually scored on a two-out hit by Ashton Creal to make it 9-7. Benoit pitched a perfect bottom of the ninth for his 10th save.

Allen, who was 3 for 30 entering the game in his seven games with the Dragons, collected three singles and a double.  He stole second base in the first inning, stole second again in the third, stole both second and third base in the eighth, and stole second base in the ninth to break the club record.  Over the Dragons first 21 seasons, no player ever stole more than three bases in a game, but Jose Torres became the first to steal four on July 1 at Great Lakes.