MIDLAND, Mich. – Despite multi-hit nights from center fielder Reinaldo Ilarraza, catcher Adam Kerner, and shortstop Chris Givin, the Fort Wayne TinCaps fell to the Great Lakes Loons (Los Angeles Dodgers affiliate) on Thursday night at Dow Diamond, 5-1.
Thursday night marked the TinCaps debut for starting pitcher Carlos Vela. The 22-year-old left-hander from Texas fired four innings, struck out four, and walked just one.
However, the Loons (45-36) opened scoring in the bottom of the third. After three singles loaded the bases, Great Lakes catcher Carson Taylor emptied them with a two-out, three-run double. The Loons again added in the fourth with two outs on a solo home run from right fielder Jonny DeLuca. His second home run of the week extended their lead to 4-0.
The TinCaps (37-44) got on the board with a solo homer of their own from right fielder Tyler Malone. The home run was the Oregon State product’s first as a professional baseball player since being drafted by the Padres in 2019.
But in the bottom of the fifth, Great Lakes extended its lead back to four with the fourth run driven in by Taylor. A sacrifice fly from the switch-hitter plated center fielder Andy Pages, who walked earlier in the inning, to make the Loons lead 5-1.
Despite the loss, the Fort Wayne bullpen excelled. The trio of Sam Keating, Wen-Hua Sung, and Ramon Perez allowed just one hit and struck out four over their four combined innings.
Though the TinCaps out-hit the Loons, 9-8, Fort Wayne was 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position. The ‘Caps stranded nine on the bases and had a runner thrown out at the plate in the third.
Next Game: Friday, August 6 @ Great Lakes (7:05 p.m.)
· – Fort Wayne Probable Starter: RHP Carlos Guarate
· – Great Lakes Probable Starter: RHP Jesus Vargas
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