FORT WAYNE, Ind. – The TinCaps stayed hot at home, riding a late rally to beat the Bowling Green Hot Rods (Tampa Bay Rays affiliate), 4-2, on a sunny Sunday at Parkview Field. The ‘Caps have now won 10 of their last 12 home games.
The game went back-and-forth through the first five innings, as Fort Wayne (24-31, 57-66) took 1-0 and 2-1 leads in the second and fourth innings respectively, while Bowling Green (32-23, 71-54) promptly tied the game in the following third and fifth innings. Two Justin Lopez doubles and an Ethan Skender RBI single highlighted the TinCaps’ early offensive output.
Ryan Weathers went 4 1/3 innings in his start with six strikeouts, allowing two runs on six hits. The former first round pick’s start was highlighted by his ability to work out of potential trouble. Weathers stranded a combined seven runners on base in his first three innings of work, helped out by five strikeouts. The native of Loretto, Tenn., threw 85 pitches, his longest start in terms of pitches thrown this season.
The game remained tied until the eighth, when the TinCaps utilized some two-out magic to take the lead for good. First, Michael Curry and Lopez reached via a single and walk, respectively. Then, both came home to score on consecutive RBI singles by Agustin Ruiz and Skender.
All four men involved in the eighth-inning scoring fun have been pivotal factors at the plate as of late for the TinCaps. Curry is now on a six-game hitting streak, batting .429 during that time. Since July 21 (24 games), Lopez is batting .312 with seven doubles, three home runs, and 14 RBIs. Ruiz now has 55 RBIs on the season, placing him in the top 10 in the Midwest League. Since joining the TinCaps on July 14, Skender is batting .330 in 28 games with 21 RBIs (a team-high during that time).
The ‘Caps bullpen held the Hot Rods off the scoreboard in the game’s final 4 2/3 innings, as Jose Quezada (1 2/3 IP), Austin Smith (2 IP), and Henry Henry (1 IP) allowed just three hits down the stretch. Fort Wayne’s bullpen has hurled 9 2/3 scoreless innings to begin the series with 15 total strikeouts.
Monday, August 19 vs. Bowling Green (7:05 p.m.)
– TinCaps Probable Starter: RHP Edwuin Bencomo
– Hot Rods Probable Starter: RHP Zack Trageton
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