Dayton, Ohio – Dayton starting pitcher Jackson Stephens and two relievers combined to scatter seven hits as the Dragons defeated the Fort Wayne TinCaps 3-1 before a crowd of 8,256 on Thursday night at Fifth Third Field. The win gave the Dragons a sweep of the three-game series with the TinCaps and a winning homestand. The Dragons finished the seven-game homestand with a 4-3 record. The Dragons outscored the TinCaps 17-3 in the series.
Stephens (1-0) earned the win in his third start of the season. He worked five and two-thirds innings and allowed six hits and one run with no walks and four strikeouts. Zack Weiss replaced Stephens and got a big strikeout with two men on base and two outs in the sixth to preserve a one-run lead. Weiss worked two and one-third scoreless innings, allowing one hit with no walks three strikeouts. Alejandro Chacin pitched a scoreless ninth inning to earn his sixth save.
Just as they did in the first two games of the series, the Dragons scored in the first inning to take the lead. Jon Matthews singled to left to start the inning, went to second on a ground out, and scored when Fort Wayne right fielder Franmil Reyes dropped a fly ball off the bat of Daniel Pigott. Pigott raced around to third on the play and eventually scored on Phillip Ervin’s ground out to short to make it 2-0.
Fort Wayne did not have a hit until the fourth inning. They scored their run in the fifth on a two-out run-scoring single by Ronnie Richardson, but the Dragons pitchers shut them down the rest of the night. Dayton closed out the scoring with a run in the sixth on a bases-loaded walk to Ronald Bueno.
The Dragons collected seven hits. Jon Matthews and Tanner Rahier each had two. Rahier extended his hitting streak to 10 straight games, longest of the year by a Dayton player.
The Dragons (6-8) travel to Bowling Green, Kentucky on Friday night to take on the Bowling Green Hot Rods (5-9) at 8:05 (EDT). Amir Garrett (2-4, 4.20) will start for Dayton against Bowling Green’s Ben Griset (0-4, 4.10).