Photo credit: TCP Photography/Courtesy Lake County Captains

The Captains took a 2-0 lead in this week’s series against the Dayton Dragons with a 3-2 win Thursday night.

The game started off exactly the wrong way for the Captains, with Ruben Ibarra crushing a two-run home run for the Dragons in the first to get things started. Lake County responded by getting at least two runners aboard in each of the first three innings, and then again in the fifth, but the final, necessary hit never came. That is, it didn’t come until the seventh, when Johnathan Rodriguez hit a three-run opposite field home run to right center. The Captains’ bullpen finished off the game to give the Captains their third straight win and second of this series.

Davenport Bounces Back

It looked like Aaron Davenport, who had given up 17 earned runs in his previous four starts, was headed for another rough outing Thursday when he gave up a two-run home run in the first inning. It was not to be, however, as Davenport settled in and retired 14 of the final 17 batters he faced, including the last seven.

Despite the first inning home run, Davenport had his breaking ball working all night, starting with a strikeout looking to the very first batter of the game. He ended up striking out nine batters across his six innings of work, most notably striking out the side in a perfect third inning.

After giving up two runs on two hits in the first, Davenport allowed just two hits across his final five innings and was able to keep the Captains within touching distance.

Just Enough Chances

For six innings, Thursday night was an extremely frustrating game for the Captains offense. They saw at least two runners reach base in four of those six innings, but they could never get the final hit to bring them around.

After the first two runners reached base in the seventh, followed by a pair of strikeouts, it seemed as if the seventh frame was on its way to being another missed opportunity. However, Jonathan Rodriguez made sure that was not the case with a three-run home run to right center that gave the Captains their first runs of the game and the lead. The Dragons had played with fire for too long, and the Captains finally made them pay.

Bullpen Slams the Door

After six strong innings, the Captains called on their bullpen to finish the job, and they did it admirably. Across three innings from Raymond Burgos and Trey Benton, the Dragons had only one batter reach base, and he was caught in a double play to end the game.

Overall, Captains pitching faced the minimum in each of the final seven innings, allowing just one hit after the second. This included a streak of 13 consecutive batters retired from the fourth through the eighth inning. It was a dominant performance from a pitching staff that has now allowed just two runs in 18 innings across the first two games of this series.

Alexfri Planez’ 22-game hit streak came to an end Friday, but he did continue his on-base streak thanks to a first-inning walk … The Captains will be back in action Saturday at 7:00 against the Dragons once again, and while Lake County’s starter is still TBD, whoever it is will be facing off against 2019 5th-round pick Evan Kravetz.

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