Three Dayton pitchers combined to allow one unearned run as the Dragons edged the Fort Wayne TinCaps 2-1 on Saturday night in the first game of a best-of-three Midwest League Eastern Division championship series.
A Dayton win Sunday or Monday at home would send the Dragons to the Midwest League championship series for the first time in franchise history.
For the third straight night, the Dragons scored in the top of the first inning. Randy Ventura singled to right to start the inning, stole second, and scored on Taylor Trammell’s single to left.
Fort Wayne tied the game in the third with an unearned run.
The Dragons broke the 1-1 tie in the top of the eighth when Jose Siri singled to left field with one out and Trammell walked to move Siri to second. Bruce Yari hit a ground ball toward the second base bag that was fielded by shortstop Gabriel Arias, who stepped on second and then threw to first to try to complete an inning-ending double play. But Trammell went into second base hard and Arias’ throw went wide of the bag and into the seats, allowing Siri to score and give the Dragons a 2-1 lead.
Dragons starter Wennington Romero worked 6 1/3 innings, allowing one unearned run on six hits with no walks and eight strikeouts.
Jesse Stallings replaced Romero in the seventh and recorded the final two outs in the inning, then pitched a scoreless eighth inning. Dauri Moreta entered the game for the ninth and pitched a perfect inning for the save, striking out the last two batters of the game. Stallings was credited with the win.
The Dragons collected eight hits. Siri was 3 for 4 and Michael Beltre had two hits. Beltre is 8 for 16 (.500) in the playoffs.
Notes: Through their first four playoff games, Dragons pitchers have posted an earned run average of 0.95 in the four playoff games … The Dragons have trailed for only one of the 38 innings played in the postseason to date … Dayton went 7-7 vs. Fort Wayne during the regular season, including 6-1 at Fifth Third Field.