Dayton, Ohio—Luis Gonzalez belted a two-run home run to give the Dayton Dragons a lead they would not surrender and three Dragons pitchers combined to strikeout 13 batters without issuing a walk as Dayton defeated the Fort Wayne TinCaps 4-2 on Saturday night at Fifth Third Field.
Dayton gained a game on South Bend in the Midwest League East Division wildcard race. The Dragons and Cubs began the day in a tie for second place in the division, three games behind first place West Michigan. The Dayton win coupled with a South Bend loss at Lake County gave the Dragons a one game lead in the wildcard race with 15 games to play in the first half season.
The Dragons trailed 2-1 when Gonzalez connected on a home run to left field with John Sansone on base with two outs in the bottom of the fourth inning. The Dragons added one more run in the seventh on an RBI double by Hector Vargas off the left field fence to make it 4-2 and close out the scoring.
Dragons starting pitcher Matt Blandino, making his Midwest League debut, earned the win with five strong innings. He allowed five hits and two runs (one earned) with no walks and six strikeouts. Jesse Adams tossed two scoreless innings, striking out three and retiring the last six batters he faced. Ryan Hendrix fired two perfect innings for his second save, striking out four batters.
The Dragons finished with just four hits, but the home run by Gonzalez and the double by Vargas accounted for three runs. T.J. Friedl and Cassidy Brown had the other hits, both singles.
Up Next: The Dragons close out the 10-game home stand against the TinCaps on Sunday at 2:07 p.m. at Fifth Third Field. Scott Moss (7-1, 2.37) will start for the Dragons against Fort Wayne’s Logan Allen (3-2, 1.54) in one of the year’s top pitching matchups. The game will be televised on Dayton’s CW (Channel 26).