Dragons top Fort Wayne, stay alive in playoff chase

New signage and COVID-19 safety features are set for opening day at Day Air Field. JIM NOELKER/STAFF
Caption
New signage and COVID-19 safety features are set for opening day at Day Air Field. JIM NOELKER/STAFF

Credit: JIM NOELKER

Credit: JIM NOELKER

Carson Spiers fired five scoreless innings and Michael Siani collected two hits and two runs batted in as the Dayton Dragons defeated the Fort Wayne TinCaps 8-4 on Friday night.  The Dragons have won the first four games of the six-game series and kept their playoff hopes alive with the win.

With two games to play, Dayton trails Cedar Rapids by two games and Lake County by one game in the race for the No. 2 seed in the playoffs.  Dayton would win the tiebreaker over Cedar Rapids but lose out to Lake County in the event they finish in a tie with the Captains. The Dragons would reach the playoffs by winning their final two games combined with two losses by both Lake County and Cedar Rapids. A pair of Dragons wins combined with two losses by Cedar Rapids and one loss by Lake County would create a three-way tie for the playoff spot. Minor League Baseball has yet to rule on how the tie-breaker would be administered in the event of a three-way tie, since Cedar Rapids has no head-to-head matchups in 2021 against either Dayton or Lake County.

Spiers (6-4) earned the victory, allowing just three hits with one walk and five strikeouts.

The Dragons took a 4-0 lead in the third. Jacob Hurtubise reached on an infield single to start the rally, and Siani’s base hit to right field moved Hurtubise to third. A wild pitch brought Hurtubise in to score as Siani went to second, and Matt McLain’s fly out to right field moved Siani to third. Ivan Johnson lined a single to right to drive in Siani and make it 2-0.  Allan Cerda followed with a double to left to score Johnson, and two batters later, Eric Yang doubled to right to drive in Cerda and make it 4-0.

After Fort Wayne scored in the top of the sixth to make it 4-1, the Dragons responded with one run in the bottom of the same inning.  Reyny Reyes reached on a fielder’s choice, went from first to third on a single by Hurtubise, and scored on Siani’s ground out to give the Dragons a 5-1 lead.

Fort Wayne batted back with two runs in the seventh inning and another in the top of the eighth to make it 5-4.  But the Dragons scored three runs in the bottom of the eighth to again lead by three. Siani had an RBI double in the inning, and two runs scored on wild pitches.

Along with Siani, Hurtubise, Cerda, and Johnson each added two hits for Dayton. The Dragons finished the night with 10 hits.