When: 7 p.m. today
TV: Xfinity Channel 81
Radio: 1380 AM
Tickets: $12.50, $10, $9, $8, $5 (lawn)
TinCaps.com or 482-6400
FORT WAYNE — Sometimes a pitcher starts slowly. Sunday, it was Fort Wayne’s defense.
The TinCaps made two errors in the first inning, and both proved costly in a 5-1 loss to Dayton in front of 7,701 fans at Parkview Field.
“It’s a shame when you have a guy make the pitches to get out of an inning and our defense lets him down,” Fort Wayne manager Jose Valentin said.
Fort Wayne starting pitcher Erik Cabrera gave up two runs, both unearned, and one hit in five innings. But he suffered the loss.
“He battled today and was very, very good,” Fort Wayne third baseman Tyler Stubblefield said. “We just unfortunately didn’t play defense like we wanted to behind him.”
With one out and a runner on first in the first inning, Joe Terry hit a fly ball to center field. Travis Jankowski dropped it.
“The moment the ball was dropped in center field, I told them, ‘It’s going to be a long day,’ ” Valentin said.
Juan Perez, who had reached first on a walk, made it to third on the error.
Spencer Dickinson then hit a grounder back to Cabrera. He threw to second for a force play, but shortstop Jace Peterson dropped the ball and couldn’t make a relay throw to first for what might have been an inning-ending double play.
Instead, Perez came home for the game’s first run.
Kyle Waldrop followed with a double to right field. Dickinson originally held up a third on the hit. But Connor Powers couldn’t handle Yeison Asencio’s throw to the infield and was charged with an error. Dickinson scored on the miscue.
“It was two runs that were unacceptable,” Valentin said.
The Dragons tacked on three more runs in the seventh inning. Fort Wayne (32-23, 63-62 overall), meanwhile, struggled offensively.
Dayton (23-30, 53-70) starter Ismael Guillon gave up three hits in his six innings. He struck out five.
“He was throwing a lot of strikes,” Stubblefield. “He really didn’t mix all of his pitches. He threw a majority fastball, but he was pounding the zone, inside and outside. He made some great pitches and we were unable to put multiple hits together.”
Stubblefield got a hit with two outs in the third inning.
The ball hit off the left-field wall and got away from Dickinson.
Stubblefield attempted an inside-the-park home run, but was thrown out at the plate.
“I was thinking three and saw Jose wave so, I was running,” Stubblefield said. “I was just running and trying to score and give ourselves an opportunity. I ran out of gas and the ball beat me there.”
Fort Wayne’s lone run came in the seventh inning. It was the team’s first run since the first inning of Saturday’s game.
“You cannot win any games when your offense is not showing up and when your defense lets you down,” Valentin said.