The TinCaps dropped the second game of their doubleheader against the Dayton Dragons tonight, falling 6-4 in the nightcap after taking the opener 4-2.
The first game was the continuation of a game that was suspended because of rain Thursday after only one inning,
The second game was a seven-inning contest, following Minor League Baseball rules for doubleheaders. The TinCaps (48-52) trailed 6-2 after the Dragons (52-48) scored five runs in the top of the fifth to take the lead for good.
Fort Wayne crept closer with a run in the sixth when Tirso Ornelas doubled, his league-leading 28th two-bagger of the season, and Justin Lopez drove him home with a single to make it 6-3.
In the seventh, the TinCaps rallied again. Reinaldo Ilarraza and Grant Little got the uprising started with back-to-back walks and Zack Mathis followed with a single to load the bases, prompting a Dayton pitching change. New Dragons hurler Francis Peguero surrendered a single to Yorman Rodriguez that made it 6-4 and left the winning run on base.
Rodriguez went 2 for 4 with two RBI, extending his hitting streak to 10 games and his on-base streak to 12.
Fort Wayne was unable to get any closer, however, as Peguero struck out Ornelas and Jonny Homza to end the threat.
The TinCaps started the game fast. The first four Fort Wayne hitters reached in the bottom of the first, including an RBI single from Rodriguez that scored Little. Dayton pitcher Spencer Stockton then settled in, however, retiring the next three hitters. Lopez picked up an RBI groundout to the TinCaps ahead 2-0.
Little went 4 for 5 with two walks, two RBI and a run scored in the doubleheader. The outfielder has a 10-game on-base streak and is getting on base at a .393 clip since July 8.
The Dragons got one run back in the second against starter Felix Minjarez, who was making his first start in exactly two years. Minjarez went two innings and gave up one run on four hits while striking out three.
Austin Smith entered the game for the TinCaps with the bases loaded and one out in the fourth after fellow reliever Ramon Perez had walked three hitters in a row. Smith got a strikeout and a pop-up to end that frame and then stayed on for the fifth.
That's when the wheels fell off. A single started the inning and then Quin Cotton reached when Smith threw wildly to first on a grounder to the mound. After a fly ball, Smith unleashed a wild pitch that brought in Matt McLain and knotted the score at 2.
Smith eventually walked Matheu Nelson to put two on and then came the biggest damage: back-to-back home runs from Juan Martinez and Jack Rogers, running Dayton's total in the inning to five runs.
Sam Keating and Wen-Hua Sung pitched a scoreless inning apiece for Fort Wayne. Left-hander Mason Feole started the seventh, but lasted only two pitches before being removed.
Padres reliever Trey Wingenter, who was scheduled to pitch in a one-inning rehab assignment Thursday during the rained-out game did not pitch tonight. It's possible he pitches Saturday for the TinCaps.