The Dragons have been in a hitting slump through June but breathed fire into their bats Friday night against Lake County. Dayton had 12 hits in an 8-3 win over the Captains, five of which came during a six-run sixth inning.
It was a welcome change for Dragons fans, especially against Lake County. Though the Dragons (42-30) were among the Midwest League’s best teams in the first half of the season, they were 2-3 against Lake County and winless against the Captains at Fifth Third Field.
Dayton had batted .210 in its previous 12 games before Friday and was hitting .224 in June, the second-worst batting average of ML teams.
The Dragons hit early and often on Friday, though. Jose Siri led off the bottom of the first with a home run to right field, and Taylor Trammell hit a homer to right two batters later.
Game changer: Gavin Collins hit a 416-foot home run to left field in the sixth to put Lake County ahead 3-2, but Dayton retook the lead in the bottom half.
The Dragons loaded the bases on a walk and two singles. Lake County pitcher Ryan Colegate threw a fastball by catcher Logan Ice and into the backstop, which allowed Bruce Yari to score from third. Colegate then hit Siri on the shoulder to load the bases again.
Michael Beltre batted in a run on a hard infield grounder to give Dayton a 4-3 lead, and Colegate was removed and replaced with Alsis Herrera.
Herrera did no better. Tyler Stephenson hit a single that scored two runs in part due to a Lake County throwing error, and John Sansone followed with a two-RBI single to increase the lead to 8-3.
Dragons tales: Siri’s first-inning home run was his sixth over the last 25 games, during which time he has hit .356. He was 2-for-4 Friday.
• Yari is hitting .400 over the last six games. Yari, the designated hitter Friday, singled in the fourth and walked in the sixth. His batting average is .278.
• Newcomers Kevin Franklin and Malik Collymore have had a rough start in the Dragons lineup after joining the team earlier this week from extended spring training. Franklin is hitless through nine at-bats over two games. Collymore didn’t bat in Thursday’s loss and was 1-for-4 Friday.
On deck: The Dragons and Captains return to Fifth Third Field on Saturday for the third game of a four-game series. Left-handed pitcher Wennington Romero (3-3, 4.15 ERA) starts for the Dragons opposite Luis Jimenez (0-2, 6.16). Romero hasn’t won since May 5. In his last eight games, he’s been credited with three losses and five no-decisions.