Ryan Weathers threw 5 2/3 innings of two-run ball, while Fort Wayne’s offense banged out five extra-base hits in an 8-4 victory over the Dayton Dragons on a pleasant Tuesday night at Fifth Third Field.
With the first pitch temperature at 75 degrees on a sunny evening, the ball carried to the tune of four combined homers on the night.
It was the Dragons (4-8) who went deep first, with their center fielder Mariel Bautista leading off the home first inning with a solo fly to left-center. But the TinCaps (8-5) responded in a big way in the top of the third. ‘Caps center fielder Jawuan Harris, who was on base via a walk, scored from third base on a wild pitch issued by Dayton starter Jhon De Jesus with two outs. Left fielder Grant Little added an RBI single that gave Fort Wayne a lead it wouldn’t relinquish. Catcher Blake Hunt followed with a no-doubt two-run homer to left-center field that made it 4-1. That was his first homer as a TinCap.
In the top of the fourth, third baseman Luis Almanzar led off with a solo home run – his third in 11 games this season (he hit two in 63 Midwest League games last year) – to increase the advantage to 5-1.
Weathers allowed a solo shot to Bren Spillane in the home fourth that brought the Dragons back to within three runs. However, that was as close as they’d get against the 19-year-old left-hander. The top-10 Padres prospect used his fastball-changeup-slider combination to strike out five over his 80 pitches.
Little, who finished with a team-high three hits, provided an RBI double in the fifth, boosting the lead back to four at 6-2.
In the seventh, Hunt picked up his third RBI of the night with a fielder’s choice groundout. An inning later, Harris collected an RBI in the same fashion.
Dayton scored two runs for naught in the bottom of the ninth.
Tom Colletti followed Weathers with 1 1/3 scoreless innings of relief. Prior to some hiccups in the ninth, Carlos Belen had a 1-2-3 eighth that included a pair of strikeouts with his slider that complements a mid-90s fastball.
Wednesday, April 17 @ Dayton (7 p.m.)
– TinCaps Probable Starter: RHP Efraín Contreras
– Dragons Probable Starter: RHP Shane Marinan
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