FORT WAYNE, Ind. – For the second straight night, Fort Wayne’s furious ninth-inning rally came up just short, as the Bowling Green Hot Rods (Tampa Bay Rays affiliate) held off the TinCaps for a 6-5 victory and a split of the four-game series at Parkview Field.
The game was an old-fashioned pitcher’s duel through the first five innings. Omar Cruz once again dazzled for the TinCaps (24-33, 57-68), tossing five scoreless innings with just two hits allowed and six strikeouts. In his last four starts (dating back to July 26th), Cruz has allowed just one run in 21.2 innings with 22 strikeouts. The 20-year-old allowed just four base runners in his five innings of work on Tuesday night.
On the flip side, Shane Baz wasn’t so bad himself for Bowling Green (34-23, 73-54), allowing just one unearned run in five innings with seven strikeouts. The former first-round pick had to elude trouble throughout his start, as he stranded seven TinCaps on the base paths during his five innings of work.
Bowling Green scored six runs in the seventh to take the lead for good. Chris Betts, Seaver Whalen, and Ford Proctor provided run-scoring hits in the frame.
Fort Wayne crawled closer with a run in the eighth via a Chris Givin RBI single, and then nearly completed the comeback with a three-run ninth inning. Tucupita Marcano, Blake Hunt, and Michael Curry each came home to score, and the ‘Caps had runners on first and second with two outs. Yet, the Hot Rods induced a strikeout to end the game and earn the series split.
Some notable nuggets from Tuesday night’s game: Tucupita Marcano smacked a double and a triple, his team-leading 35th multi-hit game of the season. It was also Marcano’s fourth game with two extra-base hits this season.
Michael Curry extended his hitting streak to eight games in a 2-for-3 performance. Since Aug. 11, Curry is batting .481 with and OPS of 1.255. The former Georgia Bulldog has two hits in four straight games.
Jawuan Harris went 2-for-4 plus a walk on Tuesday night. Harris also had two hits on Monday night, marking the second time this season that he has had consecutive multi-hit games.
Wednesday, August 21 @ Dayton (7:00 p.m.)
– TinCaps Probable Starter: RHP Efraín Contreras
– Dragons Probable Starter: LHP Connor Curlis
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