Big seventh inning leads Lugnuts past Dragons

The Lansing Lugnuts scored four runs in the seventh inning and held on to defeat the Dayton Dragons 5-4 on Thursday night. 

The loss dropped the Dragons second half record to 12-25 and their full-season record fell to 51-52. The Dragons are below the .500 mark in overall record for the first time since the end of the 2019 season. Lansing improved to 16-23 in the second half (41-64 overall).

The Dragons took a 2-0 lead in the fourth inning when Austin Hendrick blasted a two-run home run to right-center field.

Meanwhile, Dragons starting pitcher Chase Petty was dominant in just his third High-A appearance. The youngest pitcher in the league at age 19, Petty fired four no-hit innings, retiring 12 of the 13 batters he faced while striking out six. The only base runner against Petty came on a two-out walk in the first inning.  He departed with a 4-0 lead after throwing 52 pitches.

Reds reliever Art Warren, with the Dragons on an injury rehab assignment, worked a scoreless fifth inning before the Lugnuts scored a single run against James Marinan in the sixth to make it 2-1.

The Dragons had a rough defensive inning in the seventh, committing a costly error and allowing another hitter to reach on a misplayed bunt to start the inning. Lansing tied the game on a bases loaded walk by Jake Gilbert and took the lead on a wild pitch that brought in a runner from third and put the Lugnuts in front 3-2. A two-run single by Max Muncy made it 5-2. All four runs in the inning were unearned.

The Dragons scored one run in the bottom of the seventh. Steven Leyton’s double moved a runner to third and Noelvi Marte delivered a sacrifice fly to make it 5-3.  In the eighth, the Dragons added another run when Hendrick was hit by a pitch, stole second, went to third on an error, and scored on Michel Triana’s ground out to make it 5-4.

In the bottom of the ninth, Ashton Creal opened the inning with a base hit to left field, and then stole second to put the tying run in scoring position with no one out.  But Justice Thompson grounded out to third, Marte flied to left, and Tyler Callihan also flied to left to end the game.