The victory snapped a four-game losing streak for the Whitecaps, who are now 3-4 on the season. Dayton dropped to 1-7.
All of the Whitecaps’ wins so far have come on the road.
After playing their last four games without ever leading, the Whitecaps wasted little time scoring runs on Thursday.
A first-inning RBI-single by Brett Pirtle gave the ‘Caps a 1-0 advantage. Shane Zeile launched a two-run home run and the team scored three more in the fourth. Zeile’s homer was the first for the Whitecaps this season.
A fourth inning two-run double by Will Maddox extended the lead to 7-0, and Zeile followed suit with one of his own in the ninth to conclude the scoring.
Watkins was masterful on the mound, striking out the side in the third inning and retiring the last 14 batters he faced.
Watkins (1-0) allowed only one hit, struck out nine and walked only one. Dragons starter Jose Lopez (1-1) gave up seven of the nine Whitecaps runs.