The Dayton Dragons scored nine runs after a lengthy rain delay — seven of them in the 6th inning — on their way to beating the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers 12-5 at Fox Cities Stadium.
Dragons leadoff man Jose Garcia went 5-for-6, hitting singles in his first five at-bats before grounding out his last time up. That tied a club record for most hits in a single game; Garcia is the ninth Dayton player to achieve the feat, and the first since Seth Mejias-Brean did it in 2013.
Garcia, who also drove in three runs and stole a base, was an unlikely candidate for a five-hit game. He started the day batting .217 (68-for-314) through his first 87 games this season; his 5-for-6 performance raised his average to .228.
He wasn’t the only Dragons player collecting hits Friday. Andy Sugilio and Mark Kolozvary each had three hits, while Leandro Santana and Alejo Lopez each had a pair of hits. Hendrik Clementina was the only Dragons starter without a hit — ironic since he was the designated hitter — but still managed to drive in a run.
Highly-touted pitching prospect Hunter Greene started the game for the Dragons — his first outing since appearing in the All-Star Futures Game last weekend — but he lasted only three innings because of a lengthy rain delay that halted the game for an hour and 20 minutes before the 4th inning began. Greene gave up one run, one hit and two walks while striking out five. He allowed a run in the 3rd inning after giving up a walk and a triple while pitching in the rain. (The fireballer also hit K.J. Harrison in the back with a 98-mph pitch that looked like it stung.)
In fact, much of the game from then on was played in the rain. It wasn’t kind to Timber Rattlers reliever Matt Hardy, who gave up eight runs on eight hits and two walks in 2.1 innings after he took over for starter Nelson Hernandez after the rain delay. In his three innings, Hernandez gave up three runs on five hits, three walks, two wild pitches and a hit-by-pitch.
Though they scored less runs, the Timber Rattlers managed to have a decent night at the plate. Kenny Corey went 4-for-5 with two doubles, and Nic Pierre had a couple hits, a walk and an RBI. All other Wisconsin starters except Harrison each had a hit.
The game began at 7:05 p.m. and ended eight minutes before midnight.
*All photos by Craig Wieczorkiewicz/The Midwest League Traveler