DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Reniel Ozuna’s two-run double with one out in the bottom of the ninth inning brought in the tying and winning runs as the Dayton Dragons came from behind to defeat the Fort Wayne TinCaps 5-4 on Tuesday night at Day Air Ballpark. The Dragons trailed 4-1 to start the inning but rallied for four runs in the ninth to earn a walk-off win.
The victory marked the eighth time this season in 37 games that the Dragons have erased a deficit of at least three runs to win. Over the previous five seasons (2015-19), the Dragons averaged 5.6 such comebacks per year in a 140-game season.
Down by three to start the bottom of the ninth, Francisco Urbaez singled to left field to start the rally. With one out, Juan Martinez singled to center to move Urbaez to third, and an error on the play allowed Urbaez to score and Martinez to move to second. Michael Siani followed with a hit to center field that drove in Martinez to make it 4-3. Siani then stole second, and Miguel Hernandez singled through the middle to move Siani to third. Eric Yang walked to load the bases and bring up Ozuna. On a 3-1 pitch, Ozuna lined a deep drive over the head of the right fielder that easily drove in Siani and pinch runner Jonathan Willems to give the Dragons the win.
Fort Wayne got the scoring started with two runs in the third inning before Juan Martinez blasted a solo home run to center field in the fourth to make it 2-1. The homer by Martinez, which landed on the awning above the center field party deck, was his third of the year. Fort Wayne scored single runs in the fifth and eighth innings to extend their lead to 4-1.
Dragons starting pitcher Eduardo Salazar matched the team’s season high with 10 strikeouts over five innings, but allowed three runs (two earned). He surrendered five hits and a walk. Reliever Andy Fisher replaced Salazar and tossed two scoreless innings, striking out three and walking one while giving up one hit. Jake Gilbert pitched the eighth and allowed one run, notching back-to-back strikeouts with the bases loaded to work out of further trouble.
Braxton Roxby (1-0) pitched a scoreless top of the ninth inning and was credited with the win. Roxby has now thrown 14.2 innings this season without allowing a run.
The Dragons finished the night with 10 hits, including five in the bottom of the ninth inning. Urbaez, Martinez, Siani, and Hernandez each had two.
The Dragons have posted three big comeback wins through the first seven games of the current homestand. They have come back from deficits of seven, five, and three runs to win those games. They have earned two walk-off wins in games in which they trailed by at least two runs entering the bottom of the ninth inning.
The Race: With the win, the Dragons (21-16) remained in first place and increased their lead to one and one-half games over second place West Michigan in the East Division standings. West Michigan lost to Lake County, 4-2, on Tuesday.