Kernels snap Dragons’ seven-game winning streak

The Cedar Rapids Kernels scored six runs in the top of the first inning and held off a Dayton comeback bid to defeat the Dragons 6-4 on Friday night. The Dragons had the tying run at the plate with two outs in the bottom of the ninth before the Kernels closed out the contest and ended the Dragons seven-game winning streak.

Cedar Rapids collected four hits and two walks, capped by a two-out, two-run home run by Charles Mack, in the first inning.

The Dragons scored in the fourth when Jose Torres and Tyler Callihan delivered back-to-back singles and Michael Triana lined a double to right field to score Torres.

It was still 6-1 going to the bottom of the ninth.  Justice Thompson walked to start the inning and went to second on Steven Leyton’s single. With one out, Ashton Creal singled to load the bases, and a passed ball brought in Thompson to make it 6-2. With two outs, Torres hit a ground ball to shortstop that was fielded by Brooks Lee, but Lee’s throw to first pulled Seth Gray off the bag as both Leyton and Creal scored to make it 6-4 and bring the tying run to the plate. Callihan grounded out to Lee to end the game.

Dragons starting pitcher Julian Aguiar, in his Midwest League debut, went three innings, allowing four hits and six runs (all in the first inning) with three walks and four strikeouts.  Frainger Aranguren replaced Aguiar and went three strong innings, allowing no runs on one hit with no walks and one strikeout.  Manuel Cachutt worked two scoreless innings, and James Marinan pitched a scoreless ninth inning as the Dayton bullpen combined to work six innings without allowing a run.

The Dragons finished with nine hits.  Callihan and Leyton each had two.

The Dragons are 11-3 over their last 14 games.  They fell to 62-59 over the full season and 23-32 in the second half.  Cedar Rapids improved to 70-54 overall and 27-31 in the second half.