The TinCaps shut out the Peoria Chiefs (St. Louis Cardinals), 4-0, on Monday afternoon at Dozer Park to conclude their six-game road trip.
Fort Wayne (13-12, 45-49) snapped a four-game losing skid behind the brilliant pitching of starter Osvaldo Hernandez and relievers Dylan Coleman and Travis Radke. This was the team’s sixth shutout victory of the season, and third of the month.
Hernandez, 20, went six innings. He limited Peoria (13-10, 52-41) to three singles and no walks, while he struck out three. The left-hander from Cuba actually struck out three of the first four batters he faced before effectively pitching to contact after that with six groundouts and five flyouts. He also picked a runner off first base. Hernandez threw 70 pitches (48 strikes) as he lowered his ERA to 2.09 – the lowest in the Midwest League.
Coleman, a 2018 draft pick out of Missouri State, followed with two hitless innings, and Radke locked it down in the ninth.
The ‘Caps raced out to an early lead thanks to some timely hitting. Shortstop Gabriel Arias provided a two-out RBI single in the top of the first against Alvaro Seijas to score second baseman Kelvin Melean, who had walked and advanced to second on a Luis Campusano two-out single.
In the third, the TinCaps increased their lead to 2-0 when Melean walked again, moved up on a wild pitch, and Campusano came through with a two-out RBI single of his own.
Fort Wayne extended its lead to 3-0 in the seventh as first baseman Jalen Washington belted his fifth home run of the season over the wall in left. For added insurance in the eighth, Campusano plated Melean, who had doubled.
Campusano, 19, finished with a game-high three hits. Center fielder Robbie Podorsky had a pair of singles, extending his hitting streak to 11 games. Melean has reached safely in each of his first eight games with the team.
The TinCaps finished 3-for-8 with runners in scoring position after they had been 1-for-22 in those situations over their last three games.
The Midwest League has a scheduled day off on Tuesday. The TinCaps will be back home on Wednesday to start a six-game homestand. The ‘Caps are tied atop the Eastern Division standings among the six teams competing for two second-half playoff bids.
Wednesday, July 18 vs. Burlington (7:05 p.m.)
– TinCaps Probable Starter: RHP Luis Patiño
– Bees Probable Starter: RHP Oliver Ortega
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