FORT WAYNE, Ind. – Francisco Urbaez’s two-run single capped off a three-run seventh inning and the Dayton Dragons held off a Fort Wayne comeback effort to defeat the TinCaps 4-3 on Saturday night. The win snapped the Dragons three-game losing streak and left them in position to split the six-game series with a win on Sunday.
The game was tied 1-1 when the Dragons took the lead in the seventh. The inning started when Fort Wayne center fielder Reinaldo Ilarraza lost a fly ball off the bat of Quin Cotton in the twilight sky, and Cotton reached third with a triple. Reniel Ozuna’s sacrifice fly brought in Cotton to give the Dragons a 2-1 lead. Michael Siani followed with a walk to restart the rally, and Jacob Hurtubise singled to left to move Siani to second. After a double steal moved the runners to second and third, Urbaez singled to right to drive in both Siani and Hurtubise to make it 4-1.
Fort Wayne scored one run in the seventh and after a 33 minute rain delay in the bottom of the eighth, they added another to make it 4-3. Dragons reliever Ricky Karcher notched a strikeout to end the threat and strand runners at second and third. In the bottom of the ninth, Karcher issued a lead-off walk to Ilarraza, who stole second. Karcher struck out Chris Givin for the first out, and when Ilarraza tried to steal third, Dragons catcher James Free threw him out for the second out of the inning. The next batter, Grant Little hit a two hopper back to Karcher, but the Dayton pitcher muffed it for an error to extend the game. Karcher struck out Fort Wayne’s top power threat, Agustin Ruiz, to end the game.
Dragons starting pitcher Jacques Pucheu was outstanding, going five innings and striking out a season-high nine batters while allowing just two hits and one run. He walked only one. Dragons reliever John Ghyzel was credited with the win, and Karcher picked up his third save.
The Dragons took a brief lead in the fourth inning. Urbaez singled to start the inning and Juan Martinez followed with a double to left field. Urbaez tried to score on the play and was tagged out at the plate. Victor Ruiz followed with a hit to left that advanced Martinez to third, and Miguel Hernandez delivered a sacrifice fly to give the Dragons a 1-0 lead. Fort Wayne tied the game in the bottom of the fourth inning.
The Dragons finished with 10 hits. Urbaez and Martinez each had two. Siani had a hit, two walks, and two stolen bases.
Notes: Prior to Saturday’s game, pitcher Braxton Roxby was promoted to Double-A Chattanooga and pitcher Jesse Stallings was released. Pitcher Vin Timpanelli and catcher Garrett Wolforth were promoted to Dayton from Low-A Daytona. Timpanelli was leading the league in saves with nine and had a 1.82 earned run average. Opponents were batting .089 against him.
The Race: The Dragons remained one and one-half games behind the Great Lakes Loons in the East Division of the High-A Central League. Lake County is in third place, three games out of first.
Up Next: The Dragons (38-32) play at Fort Wayne (33-38) on Sunday at 1:05 p.m. in the last game of the six-game series. Carson Spiers (2-1, 4.20) will pitch for Dayton against Carlos Guarate (0-1, 3.60).