TinCaps Lose in Renfroe’s Debut
(August 10, 2013) – The TinCaps had a new face in the lineup Saturday night, but suffered the same result as their last three games. Despite the addition of outfielder Hunter Renfroe — the 13th overall selection in this year’s MLB First-Year Player Draft — Fort Wayne fell to the Dayton Dragons, 7-6, at a sold-out Parkview Field Saturday night.
The visiting Dragons wasted no time in jumping out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning. Walker Weickel (3-6) walked the game’s first batter and then surrendered four consecutive hits, including run-scoring hits to Jesse Winker and Phillip Ervin.
Fort Wayne (17-31, 60-57) turned its two-run deficit into a two-run lead in the bottom of the second inning against Dayton (27-22, 55-63) starter Amir Garrett. The left-hander retired the leadoff batter but then allowed six straight TinCaps to reach base. After the TinCaps scored their first run on a wild pitch, Rodney Daal and Mallex Smith each hit RBI singles to give Fort Wayne a 3-2 lead. Garrett later walked Renfroe with the bases loaded to push the TinCaps’ advantage to 4-2.
The Dragons fought back, however, with a seven-hit, five-run fifth inning. Humberto Valor began the frame with a solo home run that brought Dayton within a run, 4-3. Weickel responded by striking out the next batter, Beau Amaral, but then ran into poor luck. The Dragons strung together five singles in a row — four of which didn’t leave the infield — to regain the lead, 5-4. Dayton picked up a fifth infield single from Joe Hudson to add another run and force Weickel, who didn’t give up a hit or a walk in innings two through four, out of the game. Colin Rea relieved Weickel and walked Valor with the bases loaded to give the Dragons a 7-4 edge.
Unlike their second-inning success against Garrett, the TinCaps were stymied by Dragons reliever Jackson Stephens (2-5). The righty came on for the final out of the second and stayed in the game for 6 2/3 innings. From the second through the eighth, Stephens yielded just four hits — two of which were infield singles — and no walks.
The TinCaps finally cracked Stephens in the ninth to spark a rally. Leading off, Daal, who had his second consecutive three-hit game, belted a home run beyond the Home Run Porch in left field. Then with Alejandro Chacin in to close the game, Alberth Martinez was hit by a pitch and Renfroe singled to put the tying runs at the corners with one out. Gabriel Quintana hit a sacrifice fly to center field to pull Fort Wayne with one, 7-6. But Diego Goris struck out to end the game.
Renfroe, who was promoted to the TinCaps from Short-Season-A Eugene on Saturday, finished his Midwest League debut 2-for-4 at the plate with a double, a walk, and an RBI.
The TinCaps and Dragons play the middle game of their series at Parkview Field Sunday at 3:05 p.m. Zach Eflin (6-5, 2.81) starts for Fort Wayne against Dayton’s Drew Cisco (4-7, 3.98). The game can be heard on The Fan 1380 and TheFanFortWayne.com, and seen on XFINITY Channel 81.