Phillips shines in Dragons’ win over Lugnuts

Dayton pitcher Connor Phillips follows through on a pitch during Friday's season opener at Day AIr Ballpark. Jeff Gilbert/CONTRIBUTED

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Dayton pitcher Connor Phillips follows through on a pitch during Friday's season opener at Day AIr Ballpark. Jeff Gilbert/CONTRIBUTED

Dayton starting pitcher Connor Phillips struck out nine batters over six shutout innings and Jose Torres hit a home run and drove in three runs to lead the Dragons to a 6-2 victory over the Lansing Lugnuts on Friday night.

With the win, the Dragons extended their lead in the Midwest League East Division to 4 1/2 games over second-place Great Lakes. The Dragons have split the first four games of the six-game series in Lansing.

Dayton’s Jose Torres blasted a 429-foot home run with a man on base to get the scoring started in the third inning. The homer was Torres’ fifth of the season and his second in the first four games of the road trip to give the Dragons a 2-0 lead.

In the fourth, Justice Thompson walked to start the inning and scored from first base on Alex McGarry’s double to right-center field to make it 3-0. The Dragons added two more in the fifth, set up by a pair of singles by Torres and Elly De La Cruz followed by an error and a run-scoring single by McGarry to make it 5-0. Dayton added one more run in the sixth when Jonathan Willems doubled with two outs and scored on Torres’ third hit of the game, a single to center, to give Dayton a 6-0 lead.

Meanwhile, Phillips (2-2) allowed just three hits over six innings (all singles) and allowed only one runner past first base. The game marked the second time in Phillips’ last three starts that he has fired six shutout innings. The nine strikeouts was one short of his season high.

Lansing scored single runs in the seventh and eighth innings before Carson Rudd entered the game to work the ninth and struck out three in the inning in a non-save situation.

Dayton finished with eight hits. Torres was 3 for 5 with two singles, a home run, and three runs batted in. McGarry was 2 for 5 with a double, single, and two RBI.

SUNDAY’S GAME

Dragons at TinCaps, 1:05 p.m., 980