DAYTON, Ohio - Fort Wayne's Dane Phillips belted a home run and added a single and double to lead the TinCaps to a 5-3 victory over the Dayton Dragons at Fifth Third Field on Saturday night in the opener to a three-game series. The win was Fort Wayne's fourth straight as they improved to 20-13 on the year, while the Dragons fell to 12-22.
Phillips scored twice and connected on his third home run of the season to lead a nine-hit Fort Wayne attack, while TinCaps starting pitcher Zach Eflin worked six innings, allowing two runs, to earn the win.
Zach Vincej led off the Dragons first inning with a line drive home run to left field, his first of the season, to give Dayton a quick 1-0 lead. Fort Wayne tied the game in the second, taking advantage of an error by Dragons second baseman Robert Ramirez that allowed a run to score.
The TinCaps took the lead in the fourth when Phillips doubled with one out and scored on Luis Tejada's single to right to make it 2-1. Fort Wayne added another run in the fifth on Brian Adams' solo home run to left field, his fourth of the year.
The Dragons scored in the bottom of the fifth to pull back to within a run. Junior Arias was hit by a pitch with one out, stole second, and scored on Joe Hudson's two-out single to center field to make it 3-2. But Fort Wayne countered with a run in the top of the seventh to extend their lead back to two. Stephen Carmon singled to right to bring in Alberth Martinez from third to make it 4-2. Phillips' homer in the eighth made it 5-2.
The Dragons threatened in the bottom of the eighth. Robert Ramirez led off the inning by driving a ball to the left-center field fence, but attempted to stretch the double into a triple and was an easy out at third. Vincej followed with an infield hit and went to third on Beau Amaral's single. A wild pitch brought in Vincej to make it 5-3 and moved Amaral to third with one out. But Jesse Winker struck out and Jeff Gelalich grounded out to second to end the inning. In the bottom of the ninth, the Dragons got a two out walk from Tanner Rahier, but Hudson struck out swinging to end the game.
The Dragons collected seven hits in the game. Vincej, Amaral, and Ramirez each had two.
Dragons starting pitcher Drew Cisco (2-3) worked the first six innings and allowed five hits and three runs (two earned) with no walks and four strikeouts to suffer a tough-luck loss. Jesus Adames replaced Cisco to start the seventh inning and worked one and one-third innings, allowing four hits and two runs with one walk and two strikeouts. Joey Housey tossed the final inning and two-thirds, allowing no hits or runs with two walks and three strikeouts.
The Dragons, who are 2-2 on their current nine-game homestand, host the TinCaps on Sunday at Fifth Third Field in the second game of the series at 2:00 p.m. Sal Romano (3-2, 2.67) will start for Dayton against Fort Wayne's Ruben Mejia (1-3, 2.92).
Notes: Ramirez extended his hitting streak to eight straight games, matching the longest of the year for a Dayton player…Vincej has now hit in seven straight and raised his average to a season-high .284…Cisco allowed no walks in a game for the fifth time in seven starts.
Logan, Darke, Preble, Greene and Wayne County, Indiana are under level one snow emergencies. Butler County is under a level two snow emergency.
Snowfall reports vary across the Miami Valley as the storm continues to produce heavy snow, making it hard for drivers to see in some cases.
People's daily routines were definitely impacted by the wintry blast Friday.
The first wave of the storm brought hazardous conditions to the Greenville area in Darke County.