Fort Wayne, IN – The Fort Wayne TinCaps scored four runs in the second inning and added three more in the fourth on the way to an 8-4 victory over the Dayton Dragons in the first game of a three-game series on Sunday night. The loss dropped the Dragons to two and one-half games out of first place in the Midwest League Eastern Division, but they continue to hold a slim lead in the wildcard race over West Michigan.
The Dragons took a brief 1-0 lead in the top of the second on Avain Rachal’s run-scoring infield single. But Fort Wayne’s Ryan Miller belted a two-run home run to get the TinCaps started in the second. They added two more runs in the second keyed by an RBI single by Dustin Peterson and a Dayton error.
The Dragons answered with one run in the fourth on Rachal’s two-out RBI single, but Fort Wayne responded with three in the fourth, taking advantage of a pair of bases-loaded walks, to take a 7-2 lead. They added one more in the fifth on a solo home run by Jake Bauers.
The Dragons scored two runs in the eighth to cut the deficit to 8-4. A pair of doubles by Phillip Ervin and Sean Buckley produced the first run, and Buckley eventually scored on Sammy Diaz’s sacrifice fly. The Dragons got the tying run to the on-deck circle with one out in the ninth but could get no closer.
Dragons starting pitcher Amir Garrett (0-4) suffered the loss, allowing seven runs (six earned) in three innings of work. He allowed six hits and four walks while striking out one.
The Dragons collected 11 hits. Joe Hudson went 4 for 4 with two doubles and two runs scored. Hudson became the second Dragons player to collect four hits in a game this season and the first since Sebastian Elizalde on April 12.
The Dragons fell to 27-21 with the loss while Fort Wayne improved to 20-29.
The Dragons play in Fort Wayne against the TinCaps again on Monday night at 1:05 p.m. Nick Travieso (5-1, 1.60) will start for the Dragons against Fort Wayne’s Coby Cowgill (2-1, 6.46). The series finale is set for 11:05 a.m. on Tuesday. The next Dragons home game is Saturday, May 31 vs. Lansing at 7:00 p.m.
Notes: The Dragons placed third baseman Tanner Rahier on the disabled list Sunday and activated Humberto Valor. Rahier is expected to miss 10-14 days with a broken finger.