Early runs, strong pitching lead Dragons past Cubs

Pregame fun at the Dayton Dragons game at Day Air Ballpark Wednesday night April 20, 2022. MARSHALL GORBY \STAFF

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Pregame fun at the Dayton Dragons game at Day Air Ballpark Wednesday night April 20, 2022. MARSHALL GORBY \STAFF

The Dayton Dragons scored early and often Friday night and three pitchers combined to allow only three hits in a 5-2 victory over South Bend at Day Air Ballpark.

The Dragons (33-15) have won three of four from the Cubs and moved 18 games above the .500 mark for the first time since the end of the 2011 season. They lead the Midwest League East Division by 6.5 games over Great Lakes with 18 games to play in the first half of the season.

Austin Hendrick’s two-run double in the first inning and Jonathan Willems’ two-run homer in the second staked the Dragons to a 4-0 lead. Allan Cerda hits his eighth home run in the fourth for a 5-0 lead.

Dragons starter Connor Phillips (3-2) went 6 1/3 innings, allowing two runs on three hits with three walks and six strikeouts. Braxton Roxby entered in the seventh and got an inning-ending double play. Jake Stevenson pitched a perfect ninth inning for his first save.

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