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Dragons top Lumber Kings for sixth straight win

Dayton hit three home runs in the fourth inning and starting pitcher Packy Naughton tossed seven strong frames as the Dragons defeated the Clinton Lumber Kings 9-5 on Saturday night. The Dragons have won six straight games and will try to complete a perfect road trip on Sunday afternoon.

The Dragons trailed 2-1 through three innings before they exploded with six runs in the fourth. Hendrik Clementina, Jeter Downs and Michael Beltre each hit two-run home runs in the inning. For Clementina, the home run was his sixth of the season and his fourth in his last four games. The six-run inning was the biggest of the year for the Dragons and the first time they have hit three homers in the same inning. Downs’ home run was his third of the year, while Beltre connected on his second as the Dragons built a 7-2 lead.

Naughton’s seven-inning performance was the longest of the year for any Dragons pitcher. He allowed three hits and two runs in the first inning, then allowed just two base runners over the rest of his outing, finishing by retiring the final 11 hitters he faced. Naughton (3-1) struck out eight batters to establish a new professional career high.

The Dragons held their 7-2 lead into the ninth inning when they added two more runs on a two-out single by Clementina that brought in Miles Gordon and Beltre. Clementina drove in four runs in the game to give him 23 for the year in 17 games.

Clinton added three runs in the bottom of the ninth against Dragons reliever Ryan Nutof to close out the scoring.

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Beltre had three hits to extend his hitting streak to 10 straight games, matching Stuart Fairchild’s team season high. Beltre raised his batting average to .383. Clementina’s two-hit night raised his average to .386.

The Dragons are 5-0 on their six-game road trip. They have scored at least seven runs in all five games.

In the Standings: The Dragons improved their record to 15-11. They climbed to third place in the Midwest League East Division, one and one-half games behind first place Lansing.

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