Dragons split doubleheader with Quad Cities

Dayton's Quin Cotton hit a home run in the first game of a doublheader on Saturday night at Day Air Ballpark. Jeff Gilbert/FILE
Dayton's Quin Cotton hit a home run in the first game of a doublheader on Saturday night at Day Air Ballpark. Jeff Gilbert/FILE

The Dayton Dragons had another comeback in them Saturday night, but they didn’t have two against Quad Cities.

After rallying to win the first game of a doubleheader 6-4, the Dragons stranded runners at second and third in the final inning of the second game and lost 2-1 at Day Air Ballpark.

Dayton has come from behind to win three games in the series and will go for the series win Sunday. The Dragons dropped a half-game out of first place behind West Michigan.

The comeback looked imminent twice in the second game. The Dragons (13-10) loaded the bases with one out in the fifth on a walk to Qunicy McAfee and singles by Francisco Urbaez and Victor Ruiz. But Quad Cities starter Angel Zerpa (2-0) struck out Jacob Hurtubise and got Michael Siani to hit a soft liner to the shortstop to end the inning.

In the seventh, Miguel Hernandez and Urbaez opened the seventh inning with singles. After a wild pitch, Victor Ruiz drove in a run with a ground out. Then Hurtubise was hit by a pitch and stole second. But Siani popped up and Juan Martinez struck out looking to end the game.

Quad Cities (15-7) scored single runs in the fifth and sixth innings off Dragons starter Noah Davis (0-3).

In the sixth inning, QC reliever Will Klein struck out the side, hitting 99 mph with his fastball. Jonah Dipoto pitched the seventh. Dipoto is the son of former major-league reliever Jerry Dipoto, who now serves as vice president and general manager of the Seattle Mariners.

Both managers were ejected in the seventh inning. The Dragons’ Jose Moreno was tossed in the top of the inning. Dragons reliever Francis Peguero was called for a balk, and Moreno disagreed with the call. In the bottom of the inning, the River Bandits’ Chris Widger argued that Hurtubise leaned into the pitch he was hit with.

In the opener, McAfee hit a tie-breaking, two-run double in the sixth inning and reliever Pedro Garcia was perfect in his first appearance.

Andy Fisher, who walked in a Quad Cities run to tie the score 4-4, got a bases-loaded strikeout for the first out in the sixth. Then Garcia (1-0) entered and got two more strikeouts before pitching a perfect seventh.

The Dragons fell behind 3-0 before taking the lead with four runs in the fourth. Quin Cotton hit a two-run homer, his third of the season, to put the Dragons ahead.

Dragons starter Eduardo Salazar allowed one earned run in 4 2/3 innings and left with the River Bandits up 3-0.

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