DAYTON, Ohio – The TinCaps squeaked out a dramatic, 6-5 win over the Dayton Dragons (Cincinnati Reds) on Friday night at Fifth Third Field. After Fort Wayne built a 6-1 lead, Dayton rallied and had the tying run on third and winning run in scoring position in the bottom of the ninth but the visitors closed it out.
Travis Radke recorded the final five outs for the TinCaps to earn the save. He got Reds No. 12 prospect Jose Garcia to line out to third baseman Reinaldo Ilarraza to end it. The batter before, Cincinnati’s No. 7 prospect, Jeter Downs, hit a hard grounder to third that caromed off Ilarraza’s glove and went to Radke near the mound. The left-handed pitcher then threw to first base to just barely retire Downs (a fast runner, who’s second in the Midwest League in stolen bases) on a see-it-to-believe-it 5-1-3 putout. Coincidentally, 513 happens to be the area code for Cincinnati, which is about an hour away from here.
Dragons right fielder Michael Beltre led the home ninth inning off with a single. After a sacrifice bunt, Stuart Fairfield then reached on a misplay at third by Ilarraza, who was a magnet to the ball in the frame.
Fort Wayne (9-13) had powered its way to its 6-1 lead with a pair of home runs in the fifth. With the ‘Caps up 3-1, second baseman Esteury Ruiz hit a light-tower high shot to left field to start the frame. Later, first baseman Carlos Belen banged a two-run bomb to left-center field. Both homers came off Dayton’s right-handed starter Wendolyn Bautista. Both Belen and Ruiz now have three home runs on the season.
The TinCaps started the scoring in the third as right fielder Tirso Ornelas delivered a two-out, two-run single with the bases loaded. In the fourth, left fielder Jack Suwinski came through with a two-out RBI double that made it 3-0.
Dayton (9-10) cut into its deficit with a run in the third, another in the sixth, and then a breakthrough three-run eighth.
Osvaldo Hernandez earned the win as Fort Wayne’s starting pitcher. The 20-year-old lefty went a season-long 5 2/3 innings, limiting Dayton to two runs.
TinCaps DH Juan Fernandez singled in the game to extend his hitting streak to 12 games and his on-base streak to 14.
Saturday, April 28 @ Dayton (7:07 p.m.)
– TinCaps Probable Starter: TBA
– Dragons Probable Starter: RHP Hunter Greene
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