Dragons crack four HRs to top Lake County

Dragons third baseman J.V. Martinez throws out a runner on a ground ball during the second inning of Sunday's game against West Michigan at DayAir Ballpark. Jeff Gilbert/CONTRIBUTED

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Dragons third baseman J.V. Martinez throws out a runner on a ground ball during the second inning of Sunday's game against West Michigan at DayAir Ballpark. Jeff Gilbert/CONTRIBUTED

J.V. Martinez went 3 for 3 with a home run, double, and two RBI as the Dayton Dragons defeated the Lake County Captains 6-3 on Friday night. The game opened the second half season in the Midwest League’s split-season format.

The Dragons hit four home runs on the way to defeating the Captains, collecting six extra base hits, while limiting Lake County to just four hits.

The Dragons got the scoring started in the second inning when Martinez doubled high off the wall in left field and Garrett Wolforth followed with a two-run home run to left-center to make it 2-0. The home run, Wolforth’s seventh of the season, snapped a Dragons scoreless string that had lasted 17 innings.

In the third, Dayton’s Nick Quintana blasted a 432-foot home run, his sixth, just to the left of straightaway center field to make it 3-0. 

Lake County put three quick runs on the board in the fourth inning to tie the game when Connor Kokx belted a two-out, three-run home run to left field to even the score at 3-3.

But the Dragons jumped back ahead in the fifth when Ashton Creal connected on a solo home run, his first of the season. Creal, who started the year with the Dragons before being sent to Daytona, was playing his first game back with club, replacing injured outfielder Rece Hinds on the roster.

In the sixth, the Dragons added to their lead when Martinez ripped a long home run, his second, to left with a man on base to make it 6-3. 

The Dayton bullpen was outstanding. Myles Gayman replaced starter Christian Roa to start the sixth inning and fired three near-perfect frames, retiring nine of the 10 batters he faced, allowing only a two-out walk in his final inning. Donovan Benoit pitched a scoreless ninth inning for the save, notching his eighth save of the season.

Dragons starting pitcher Christian Roa (2-3) went five innings, allowing four hits and three runs with no walks and five strikeouts to earn the win.

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