FORT WAYNE, Ind. – The Fort Wayne TinCaps broke a 1-1 tie with two runs in the seventh inning and held on to defeat the Dayton Dragons 3-2 on Saturday night. The Dragons lost despite another strong performance by Jose Siri as he extended his hitting streak to 34 straight games, and a successful start by Reds pitcher Anthony DeSclafani on an injury rehab assignment.
Siri lined a single to center field in his second at-bat of the night in the third inning to extend his hitting streak, then added a home run in the eighth inning. Siri’s hitting streak is now just one short of the all-time Midwest League record that has stood for 40 years. The MWL record is 35, set in 1977 by Waterloo’s Tony Toups. Siri’s hitting streak is the longest in all of Professional Baseball (Major Leagues or Minor Leagues) in 2017.
Siri’s home run was his 13th during the hitting streak and 19th of the year. His 19 home runs are the most in a season for a Dragons player since 2011, when both Donald Lutz and David Vidal hit 20. Eighteen of Siri’s homers have come in his last 58 games since May 21st.
DeSclafani worked the first four innings as he comes back from an elbow injury that has prevented him from appearing in the Major Leagues in 2017. He threw 46 pitches including 33 strikes, allowing just one hit and no runs with no walks and six strikeouts. His fastball primarily worked in the 94-95 range but he mixed in his secondary pitches as well.
“I was happy with some fastball command and some secondary stuff, pretty happy about tonight,” DeSclafani told Fort Wayne media after his outing. He is expected to start a game at Fifth Third Field for the Dragons on the coming home stand.
The Dragons took a 1-0 lead in the third inning when Siri singled and scored from first on a double by Mitch Piatnik. But Fort Wayne tied the game with a run in the sixth and then added two more in the seventh. Siri homered in the eighth to make it 3-2 but the Dragons did not have another base runner the rest of the night.
Reliever Lucas Benenati (1-1) allowed all three runs and was charged with the loss. He worked two and two-thirds innings, giving up five hits with two strikeouts.
Up Next: The Dragons (13-22, 54-51) battle the TinCaps (22-13, 48-57) on Sunday afternoon at 1:05 in the second game of the four-game series. Wennington Romero (3-8, 4.91) will start for the Dragons against Fort Wayne’s Ronald Bolaños (3-2, 4.72).
The next Dragons home game is Wednesday, August 2 against the Great Lakes Loons in the start to a seven-game home stand.
Notes: The Dragons added power-hitting third baseman Taylor Sparks to the roster on Saturday. Sparks, a Reds second round draft pick in 2014 out of UC Irvine, opened the 2017 season at Double-A Pensacola before suffering a broken wrist on April 30. He returned to action with a six-game rehab assignment with the Goodyear Reds in the Arizona League before joining the Dragons. Entering the 2016 season, Sparks was ranked as the “Best Power Hitter” in the Reds organization after finishing tied for third in the Florida State League in home runs in 2015 with 13. He hit 14 homers in 2016 as he split the season between Daytona and Pensacola.