Fort Wayne, Ind.—Dayton starting pitcher Austin Orewiler fired six scoreless innings and reliever Manuel Aybar worked out of a tough jam in the ninth inning as the Dragons held on to defeat the Fort Wayne TinCaps 2-1 on Wednesday afternoon. The Dragons have won two of the first three in the series that will conclude on Thursday night.
The Dragons took a 2-1 lead to the bottom of the ninth when Fort Wayne mounted a serious threat. With runners at first and third and only one out, Aybar struck out Brad Zunica and then got Jhonatan Pena to fly out to left field to end the game.
Orewiler (2-6) allowed only three base runners, all on hits, over his six scoreless innings and retired the final nine batters he faced. He struck out six and did not issue a walk to earn the win as he lowered his earned run average to 2.96.
The Dragons took the lead in the second inning when Kevin Garcia singled, stole second, went to third on Luis Gonzalez’s infield hit, and scored on a fielder’s choice by Jose Duarte to make it 1-0. Then in the sixth, the Dragons scored again when Brantley Bell reached on an error, stole second, and scored on Kevin Franklin’s single to give the Dragons a 2-0 lead.
Fort Wayne scored one run in the seventh against Dragons reliever Bernardo Moreta. Junior Arias made his Dragons debut in the eighth with a perfect inning. Sarkis Ohanian, who had thrown 36 pitches on Tuesday night, came in to start the ninth and issued a lead-off walk before getting a strikeout to end his outing. Aybar faced only three batters for the save, getting two big outs after a hitter had reached on an error to push the tying run to third.
The Dragons collected six hits while Fort Wayne had only four. Franklin led the Dragons offense with three singles and a run batted in.
The Dragons (2-5, 23-54) and TinCaps (4-3, 40-37) close out the four-game series on Thursday night at 7:05 p.m. Jose Lopez (4-7, 3.50) will start for the Dragons against Fort Wayne’s Austin Smith (1-5, 5.64).