DAYTON, Ohio—The Fort Wayne TinCaps scored four runs in the third inning on the way to an 8-4 victory over the Dayton Dragons on Tuesday night. The win by Fort Wayne evened the series at one win apiece heading into Wednesday night’s rubber match of the set. A crowd of 7,379 was in attendance at Fifth Third Field.
Dragons starting pitcher Jhon De Jesus (1-1) had his first subpar outing of the year after allowing no runs in 10 innings in his first two games. De Jesus worked four and one-third innings, allowing six runs on six hits with three walks and two strikeouts. De Jesus threw three wild pitches, all in the third inning.
The Dragons took an early 1-0 lead on a long lead-off home run by Mariel Bautista in the first inning. The ball hit off the top of the awning above the party deck beyond the left-center field fence, one of the longest drives to that area of the ballpark in recent memory. The homer was Bautista’s second of the year.
But Fort Wayne responded with a four-run third inning, getting a two-out, two-run home run from Blake Hunt to close out the scoring in the frame. De Jesus walked two batters early in the inning that translated into runs for Fort Wayne. The TinCaps added another home run in the top of the fourth, a solo shot by Luis Almanzar, his third of the year, to make it 5-1.
The Dragons got their second long home run of the night in the bottom of the fourth when Bren Spillane blasted a long ball off the scoreboard in left field. The homer was estimated at 435 feet and clocked at 107 mph off the bat. It was Spillane’s second home run of the season and brought the Dragons back within three at 5-2.
Fort Wayne added single runs in the fifth, seventh, and eighth innings to extend their lead to 8-2. The Dragons closed out the scoring in the bottom of the ninth with a pair of runs. Shard Munroe tripled to lead off the inning and scored on Juan Martinez’s ground out. With two outs, Jonathan Willems doubled to left and scored from second base on an infield single by Bautista to make it 8-4.
The Dragons collected 11 hits to match their season high. Bautista led the way with three hits including a home run. Spillane and Willems each had two hits. The Dragons had five extra base hits, their highest total in 2019 to date.
Dragons manager Luis Bolivar was ejected from the game by base umpire Lance Seilhamer in the fifth inning after arguing an out call on a stolen base attempt by Bautista. He was the first member of the Dayton club to be ejected this season.
Up Next: The Dragons (4-8) close out the home stand and the three-game series with Fort Wayne (8-5) on Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. at Fifth Third Field. James Marinan (0-1, 5.00) will start for Dayton against Fort Wayne’s Efrain Contreras (0-0, 3.00). The Dragons will begin a six-game, seven-day road trip on Thursday night at Lansing.