FORT WAYNE, Ind.- Dayton’s Victor Ruiz had two doubles and drove in three runs as the Dragons defeated the Fort Wayne TinCaps 5-3 on Sunday afternoon. The Dragons won the last two games of the six-game set to earn a split of the series and pull to within one-half game of first place.
Dragons starting pitcher Carson Spiers delivered his second outstanding start in six days in Fort Wayne. After beating the TinCaps on Tuesday with five scoreless innings, Spiers allowed just one run in five innings on Sunday, striking out eight while giving up three hits and one walk. He left the game with a 4-1 lead.
Fort Wayne’s Zack Mathis hit a two-run home run in the seventh to pull the TinCaps to within two, but Dayton reliever Pedro Garcia pitched around two walks in the eighth to toss a scoreless inning and take the lead to the ninth. Vin Timpanelli, called up Saturday from Daytona where he was leading the Low-A Southeast League in saves, tossed a scoreless bottom of the ninth inning, allowing only a two-out walk, to pick up his first save in the High-A Central League.
It was a good day for new Dragons players. First baseman Garrett Wolforth, also called up from Daytona on Saturday, had two hits and drove in a big run in the top of the seventh with a two-out single to bring in Michael Siani from third. Wolforth also scored a run.
The Dragons jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning. Miguel Hernandez singled with one out and Wolforth added a two-out single before Victor Ruiz doubled over the head of the center fielder, who had started in before belatedly trying to go back. Both Hernandez and Wolforth scored on the play. Alex McGarry followed with a double off the right field fence to drive in Ruiz and make it 3-0. Ruiz added a two-out run-scoring double in the fifth.
The Dragons collected 11 hits in the game. Ruiz, Wolforth, and Hernandez each had two. The Dragons had five doubles including two by Ruiz and one each for McGarry, Siani, and Eric Yang.
Notes: Spiers could be a candidate for High-A Central League Pitcher of the Week after winning both his starts and allowing a combined one run in 10 innings on just five hits with one walk and 15 strikeouts.
The Race: The Dragons pulled to within one-half game of the first place Great Lakes Loons in the East Division of the High-A Central League. Lake County, the next Dayton opponent, is in third place, two games out of first.
Up Next: The Dragons (39-32) do not play on Monday. They open a six-game home series at Day Air Ballpark against third place Lake County (38-34) on Tuesday at 7:05 p.m. Lyon Richardson (2-4, 5.72) will pitch for Dayton.