Daniel Vellojin hit two home runs and the Dayton Dragons overcame a first inning four-run deficit to defeat the Great Lakes Loons 11-8 on Thursday night. The Dragons have won two straight in the series after losing the opener Tuesday.
Elly De La Cruz blasted his 15th home run of the year and drove in three for the Dragons as part of a 13-hit attack. The Dragons scored five runs in the seventh inning to take a 10-7 lead and held on to win consecutive games for the first time since a five-game winning streak ended on June 9.
The Dragons jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning when Austin Hendrick doubled off the center field fence to bring in Quin Cotton and Garrett Wolforth. But Great Lakes responded with six runs in the bottom of the first to pull ahead, 6-2.
The Dragons started back in the third inning when Vellojin hit a two-run home run to make it 6-4. In the fourth, Cotton doubled and scored on De La Cruz’s double to make it 6-5.
Great Lakes scored an unearned run in the bottom of the fifth to extend their lead to 7-5, but the Dragons took the lead for good in the seventh. They loaded the bases with no one out and plated three runs on a Great Lakes error to take an 8-7 lead. De La Cruz then cracked a two-run home run, his 15th homer of the year, to make it 10-5 and complete a five-run inning.
After Great Lakes scored one in the bottom of the seventh, Vellojin hit his second home run of the night in the eighth, his third homer of the series, to give the Dragons an 11-8 lead. Relivers Vin Timpanelli and Braxton Roxby closed out the Dayton win.
The Dayton bullpen was strong, working six innings and allowing just one earned run. Jake Gilbert (4-1) earned the win, going three innings and giving up only an unearned run on two hits with no walks and five strikeouts. Timpanelli struck out six in two innings, allowing one run on a solo homer. Roxby pitched the ninth to earn his second save. Dragons pitchers combined to strike out 17 batters for the second straight night, tying a season high.
The Dragons had 13 hits. Vellojin was 3 for 4 with two home runs. Cotton, Hendrick, De La Cruz, and Jose Torres each had two hits. Hendrick, Cotton, and De La Cruz each had a double.
The Dragons moved into a three-way tie for first place in the MWL East Division with Great Lakes and West Michigan. All three clubs are 4-2 in the second half.