FORT WAYNE, Indiana — The Fort Wayne TinCaps connected on four home runs as they defeated the Dayton Dragons 9-3 on Sunday afternoon in the final game of the first half in the Midwest League split season format.
The Dragons finished the first half with a record of 41-29 as they earned the wildcard berth in the East Division playoff race. The 41 wins matched the Dragons second highest first half victory total in franchise history.
The Dragons took a brief 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning on a two-out, run-scoring double by Tyler Stephenson. But Fort Wayne scored runs in each of the next five innings as they opened a 9-1 lead. Stephenson blasted a two-run home run in the sixth, his fourth homer of the year, to close out the scoring.
Dragons starting pitcher Ty Boyles (2-2) suffered the loss. Boyles worked two innings, allowing seven hits and five runs with no walks and a strikeout. He surrendered two home runs in the first inning and another in the second.
The Dragons finished with seven hits. Stephenson had two hits and drove in all three Dragons runs. Michael Beltre also had two hits. Taylor Trammell finished the day without a hit, although he easily could have had two. In the first inning with Beltre at first base, Trammell hit a liner to left that Fort Wayne’s Rod Boykin nearly caught, but Boykin lost the ball as he reached the ground. Beltre thought the ball was caught and retreated to first base, allowing Fort Wayne to record an easy force out at second, costing Trammell a hit. Then in the third inning, Trammell coasted in to second with a double after hitting a ball to the gap in right-center field, but he was ruled to have missed first base, again costing him a hit.
Notes: On Saturday, Dragons all-star outfielder T.J. Friedl was promoted to Daytona. Outfielder/second baseman Shane Mardirosian will replace him on the Dragons roster.
Up Next: The Midwest League All-Star Game is Tuesday night at Dow Diamond in Midland, Michigan. Dragons players Tyler Stephenson, Michael Beltre, Scott Moss, Tony Santillan, Wennington Romero, and Aaron Fossas will all play in the game. After the three-day all-star break, the Dragons will open the second half on Thursday, June 22 at Fifth Third against the Lake County Captains in the start of a four-game series.