How it Happened
The game was scoreless into the bottom of the second, when the TinCaps took the lead for good. The scoring got started when Agustin Ruiz ripped a double in the gap in right-center and Justin Lopez followed two batters later with a bouncer straight down the first-base line that rolled down near the Fort Wayne bullpen and went for an RBI double. Later in the inning, third baseman Ethan Skender came to the plate with two outs and Lopez on second. Skender lofted a fly ball to left that kept carrying in the warm summer breeze and flew out to left field for a two-run homer and a 3-0 Fort Wayne lead. The ball left Skender's bat at 93 mph and traveled 366 feet.
Skender struck again in the fourth, blooping a single to left that drove in Michael Curry, who had been hit by a pitch. It was the start of another big inning for the TinCaps, who perfectly executed a double steal with runners on first and third to bring home another run and also got an RBI single to right from Tucupita Marcano to make it 6-0. After starting so poorly Saturday night, the TinCaps came out with plenty of energy today and played well in all facets of the game.
That six-run lead, which became seven in the fifth when Ruiz scored on a wild pitch, was plenty for Fort Wayne starter Cullen Dana, who had the best outing of his short professional career. The 21-year-old left-hander didn't get above the high-80s with his fastball, but was able to bamboozle the Dragons hitters, keeping them off balance most of the afternoon off the scoreboard into the sixth inning. His fastball command was superb and he induced plenty of soft contact.
The TinCaps' bullpen sailed through the rest of the game and the Dragons never got close to scoring again after the sixth in an easy Fort Wayne win.
Player of the Game: Ethan Skender
Skender's home run in the second inning was his first as a TinCap and fourth this season in just 24 games. He finished 3 for 4 with two runs scored and three RBI, his second career three-hit game and first with the TinCaps. He has driven in 22 runs this season.
Facts and Figures
The TinCaps are 25-25 at home this season, but 20-33 on the road. ... Dwanya Williams-Sutton came in riding a 15-game on-base streak and walked twice to extend the streak to 16. He came in leading the league in OBP among hitters with at least 200 plate appearances at .405. That number has been helped by the 19 times he's been hit by a pitch, which leads the league. ... Harris also came in on an 11-game on-base streak, but went 0 for 4 with a strikeout to end the string.. ... Dana went 5 2/3 innings, giving up one run on five hits while striking out two and walking one. He took a line drive off the forearm in the first inning, but stayed in the game and went on to earn his first victory as a TinCap. ... Jose Quezada pitched 2 1/3 scoreless innings. It was his 37th appearance this season, the most in the Midwest League. Adrian Martinez pitched the ninth for the TinCaps and did not give up a run. He has thrown 13 straight scoreless innings over his last seven appearances. ... Ruiz went 3 for 4 with a double and two runs scored, his third 3-hit game in the last 16 days. Lee Solomon went 2 for 3 with a double, his second straight multi-hit game.
These teams meet again Monday for the finale of this three-game series at Parkview Field. First pitch is at 7:05 p.m. The TinCaps will send 19-year-old left-hander Joey Cantillo (7-3, 2.09 ERA). Cantillo leads the league in ERA among qualified pitches and is second in strikeouts. He struck out 10 hitters his last time out. The Dragons will counter with 19-year-old right-hander Lyon Richardson (2-7, 4.45 ERA).