Dragons lose series opener at Fort Wayne 9-5

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The Fort Wayne TinCaps overcame a 3-1 deficit with eight runs over their last three offensive innings as they defeated the Dayton Dragons 9-5 on Monday night in the first game of a four-game series.  The loss dropped the Dragons to 2-3 on the season.

The Dragons scored two runs in the third inning and one more in the top of the sixth to take a 3-1 lead to the bottom of the sixth inning.  But Fort Wayne’s offense came alive as they scored three in the sixth, two in the seventh, and three in the eighth to take a 9-3 lead before the Dragons scored two in the ninth to close out the scoring.

Dragons starting pitcher Lyon Richardson, the Reds second round draft pick in 2018 out of Jensen Beach High School in Florida, pitched well in his Midwest League debut.  Richardson allowed a bases-loaded walk in the first inning, then retired the next 10 Fort Wayne batters.  He left the game after four innings and 73 pitches, allowing one run on two hits with two walks and five strikeouts.  Richardson was not involved in the decision.

The Dragons trailed 1-0 before taking the lead with two runs in the third.  Reniel Ozuna doubled to start the inning, went to third on Michael Siani’s sacrifice, and scored on an error.  Mariel Baustista’s sacrifice fly brought in Jonathan Willems later in the inning to make it 2-1.  The Dragons scored again in the top of the sixth when Bren Spillane doubled to right and scored on a single by Miguel Hernandez to make it 3-1.

Fort Wayne took advantage of several defensive miscues by the Dragons in the bottom of the sixth to score three runs.  The Dragons committed two errors in the inning, had a passed ball that allowed a run to score, and failed to catch a fly ball when an outfielder slipped as he came to a stop and fell to the ground.  The three runs in the sixth gave Fort Wayne a 4-3 lead.  They added to their lead in the seventh with a two-run double by Nick Gatewood to make it 6-3, and then tacked on three runs in the eighth on five hits in the inning.

A double by Juan Martinez keyed a two-run ninth for the Dragons.

Dayton finished with eight hits by eight different players.  Martinez, Spillane, and Ozuna each had a double.

The loss was charged to Dragons reliever Adrian Rodriguez (0-1), who worked one and two-thirds innings, allowing three runs (two earned) on four hits with one walk and four strikeouts.

Up Next:  The Dragons (2-3) meet Fort Wayne (3-2) again on Tuesday at 7:05 p.m. in the second game of the four-game series.  Jared Solomon (0-1, 6.75) will start for Dayton as the Dragons begin their second turn through their pitching rotation.  Fort Wayne will counter with Angel Acevedo (0-0, 0.00).  The next home game is Friday, April 12 against the Lake County Captains (Cleveland Indians affiliate) at 7:00 p.m. at Fifth Third Field.

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