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TinCaps

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TinCaps
vs. Dayton
When: 11:05 a.m. today
TV: Xfinity Channel 81
Radio: 1380 AM
Tickets: $12.50, $10, $9, $8, $5 (lawn)
Info: TinCaps.com or 482-6400
Chad Ryan | The Journal Gazette
TinCaps first baseman Jake Bauers tries to pick off Dayton’s Jamodrick McGruder during Monday’s game at Parkview Field.

TinCaps leave Dragons draggin’

Reading the numbers almost makes you hear the crack of the bat.

Over his last eight games, Dustin Peterson is batting .424 (14 for 33) with three home runs, four doubles and 13 RBI.

In May, Mallex Smith is hitting .372 (35 for 94) with 20 stolen bases, 19 walks, three triples and seven RBI.

And Jake Bauers has a .431 average (22 for 51) in 14 games at home.

With so many hitters heating up at once, the TinCaps’ lineup is beginning to produce results like Monday’s 14-9 win over Dayton at Parkview Field.

“With our offense, there’s no reason why we can’t put up this many runs a game,” said Bauers, whose TinCaps had defeated the Dragons 8-4 Sunday in the first game of the series.

The TinCaps have 22 runs and 23 hits in their last two games and can complete the series sweep today.

The TinCaps (21-29) lead the Midwest League in runs scored, averaging 5.4 per game. They are 17-6 when scoring at least five runs.

As with the pitching and defense, the offense hasn’t always been efficient or consistent, but TinCaps manager Michael Collins has sparked the order by batting Peterson second.

“For now, it’s a great spot for him and is working well for us as a team,” Collins said. “He’s handled that role well.”

Collins also likes the effect of alternating left- and right-handed through the first five or six hitters.

On Memorial Day, the hits came from every direction. While Ryan Miller and Luis Tejada were both 0 for 5, everyone else made significant contributions.

Peterson was 3 for 5 with a two-run single in the second, an RBI double in the third and an RBI single in the fifth.

Smith, setting the table from the leadoff spot, was 2 for 3 with two walks and an RBI double.

“I’m trying to stay aggressive and find ways to help,” said Smith, who stole his 36th base and saw seven pitches his first time up. “I try to extend my at-bats as much as I can so guys behind me can see the (pitcher’s) arsenal.”

Peterson, who’s driven in a team-best 40 runs, enjoys hitting behind Smith.

“It’s nice because he’s usually on base so it gives me an opportunity to get RBIs,” Peterson said.

The 14-hit attack seemed unlikely against Dragons right-hander Nick Travieso, who had been 5-1 with a league-leading 1.60 ERA.

Yet the TinCaps had seven earned runs and eight hits to their credit when Travieso sullenly walked to the dugout after 2 2/3 innings.

Fernando Perez, who had three RBI, said he was unaware of Travieso’s previous dominance but that the TinCaps feel good enough to beat anyone.

“Every moment is a new moment,” Perez said. “You never know what can happen.”

Collins said confidence is soaring as the TinCaps have won 4 of 5 and are slicing up a team like the Dragons (27-22).

“Confidence goes a long way,” he said. “You can feel the energy level, the excitement to play. You could say it’s contagious.”

cgoff@jg.net

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