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Amaral's grand slam powers Dragons past Captains 5-1

Big home run sinks Lake County

Amaral's grand slam powers Dragons past Captains 5-1
Geoff Davenport (Photo: Lianna Holub)
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EASTLAKE – The Lake County Captains let an early lead slip as the Dayton Dragons clawed their way to a 5-3 win on Thursday night.

Right-hander Robbie Aviles (4-3, 3.84) received the start for the Captains against Dayton righty Drew Cisco (4-7, 3.90).

The Captains grabbed an early lead on behalf of a pair of back-to-back doubles by center fielder LeVon Washington and shortstop Dorssys Paulino for the 1-0 advantage.

Aviles tamed the Dragons through three innings until five runs torched him in the fourth. Designated hitter Sammy Diaz led off the inning with a single before first basemanSeth Mejias-Brean and left fielder Daniel Pigott followed suit to load the bases. Cue center fielder Beau Amaral, who sent his third home run over the right-field wall for a grand slam and 4-1 lead. The Dragons weren't done, however, as second baseman Brent Peterson lined a single to center and scored on a double by right fielder Jon Matthews.

Meanwhile, Cisco's breaking ball baffled the Captains, though they managed one more in the fifth inning on a solo home run by right fielder Jorge Martinez.

Reliever Geoff Davenport started the sixth inning to replace Aviles, sealing the starter's line at five innings pitched, yielding five earned runs on eight hits and one strikeout.

Davenport footed the Captains for three scoreless innings as they made a comeback attempt in the eighth. Reliever Wandy Peralta's season struggles against the Captains continued as Martinez greeted him with a lead-off single and took second on a wild pitch. With two out, Paulino doubled a fly ball over the center fielder to score Martinez, bringing the Captains within reach 5-3.

That was all Lake County could craft against the Dragons as reliever Alejandro Chacin, who had entered the game in the eighth, remained on the mound for the ninth. Chacin relinquished a one-out single to left fielder Cody Ferrell, but retired the side to preserve the Dragons with the 5-3 win.

Captains' manager Scooter Tucker tipped his cap to Davenport, who provided the team with damage control from the sixth through the eighth inning.

"I liked what I saw," Tucker said. "He commanded his secondary pitches, pitched in, which I liked. That was probably the highlight of the night for me."

Davenport's repertoire consists of a fastball, curveball and change-up. Thursday marked his Captains debut as he has spent the season rehabbing from Tommy John surgery in Arizona, where he went 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA through four appearances with the Arizona League Indians.

Next, the Captains and Dragons complete the series as Lake County turns to right-hander D.J. Brown (2-4, 2.88) to make his first ever professional start against Dayton righty Sal Romano (7-9, 4.66).

Stephanie is a crime and general assignment reporter for The Morning Journal in Lorain, Ohio. She’s an alumna of Cleveland State University with a degree in Journalism and Promotional Communication. You can follow her on Twitter @7thInningSteph.

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