Fort Wayne, Ind.- Matt Lloyd blasted a three-run home run in his first swing of his first game with the Dayton Dragons, and the Dragons went on to defeat the Fort Wayne TinCaps 6-1 on Friday night. The win allowed the Dragons to avoid a sweep of the three-game set in Fort Wayne.
With the win, the Dragons cut their deficit in the playoff race to four games behind wildcard leader South Bend with 23 games to play.
The Dragons took a 3-0 lead in the second inning when Morgan Lofstrom walked with two outs, Miguel Hernandez singled, and Lloyd followed with a long home run to right field on his first swing since joining the Dragons from the Billings Mustangs on Thursday night. Lloyd, an All-Big Ten 1st Team selection in both 2018 and 2019, helped Indiana University to a conference title this spring with 17 home runs in 59 games.
The Dragons added to their lead in the third. Michael Siani reached on a bunt single, eventually stole third with one out, and scored on Jay Schuyler's sacrifice fly to make it 4-0. They added another run in the fifth when Claudio Finol tripled to start the inning and scored on Siani's one-out single to right to give the Dragons a 5-0 lead. They scored again in the eighth inning when Schuyler walked, went to second on a hit by Morgan Lofstrom, and scored on an error. Fort Wayne scored their only run in the bottom of the ninth.
The victory was credited to Dragons reliever Eddy Demurias (3-3), who fired three shutout innings. Demurias allowed just one hit and one walk with two strikeouts.
Adrian Rodriguez, who has made 23 relief appearances for the Dragons this season, was pressed into action as a starter for just the second time. Rodriguez worked four scoreless innings, pitching out of trouble in every inning. He allowed five hits while walking two and striking out two.
Clate Schmidt followed Demurias to the mound and threw the final two innings, allowing one unearned run on one hit. He struck out one.
The Dragons finished the night with nine hits including two each by Lloyd, Siani, and Finol.
Up Next: The Dragons (21-26, 49-68) return home to open a three-game series against the Lansing Lugnuts (23-24, 55-61) on Saturday at 7:05 p.m. Connor Curlis (4-3, 2.73) will start for the Dragons against Lansing's Troy Watson (5-3, 3.80). The game will be televised on Dayton's CW (channel 26; Spectrum cable channels 13 and 1013).
Saturday is American Celebration Night at Fifth Third Field with many special events planned prior to and during the game. The Dragons will wear special red, white, and blue jerseys that will be auctioned after the game. The Dragons announced that Saturday's post-game fireworks show has been canceled.
"The fireworks show is being cancelled out of respect for those affected by the events of August 4," said Robert Murphy, Dragons President. "The Oregon District is very close to our stadium and we want to give that neighborhood more time to recover and heal."
On the Air: All Dragons home and road games are broadcast on radio on Fox Sports 980 WONE AM. Games can be heard on smart phones, iPads, and other mobile devices via the free Dragons Mobile App, or on a computer at wone.com. Games are also available on HD Radio on 104.7 WTUI HD 2. All Saturday and Sunday home games are televised on Dayton's CW (channel 26; Spectrum cable channels 13 and 1013).
For Dragons 2019 ticket information, call (937) 228-2287.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.