The TinCaps’ three-game winning streak came to an end at Bowling Green on Monday night in a 10-5 loss to the Hot Rods. Bowling Green scored five times in the fourth inning and three more times in the fifth to erase an early deficit.
Fort Wayne (9-7) scored first for the 12th time in 15 games, but it wasn’t enough against a first-place HotRods squad that won for the eighth time in its last 10. Mallex Smith crossed home from third base on an error by Bowling Green (13-4) third baseman Tyler Goeddel with Luis Tejada batting in the top of the first inning. It was the first run surrendered by Bowling Green’s right-handed starter Taylor Guerrieri (1-0) in his third start of the season. The Hot Rods would respond, though, with a run in their first trip to the plate as well to tie the game, 1-1, after one inning.
The TinCaps went in front again in the second as they struck for two more runs. Catcher Rodney Daal delivered an RBI-groundout and left fielder Corey Adamson added an RBI-double that gave Fort Wayne a 3-1 edge.
Bowling Green, however, cut its deficit to 3-2 with a run in the third and then took control of the game with a five-run fourth. With the bases loaded and one out in the fourth, Hot Rods right fielder Joey Rickard ripped a double to left field that cleared the bases and put home side ahead, 5-3. Rickard was the final batter TinCaps starter Zach Eflin (0-2) faced. The 19-year old right-hander threw three-and-one-thirds innings. Eflin was charged with six runs (five earned) on five hits and three walks. He struck out two.
Matthew Shepherd relieved Eflin for the TinCaps, but allowed a two-run double to center fielder Andrew Toles to give the Hot Rods a 7-3 lead. Bowling Green registered two more against Shepherd in the fifth to extend its advantage to 10-3.
Fort Wayne began to rally in the top of the seventh when Diego Goris knocked a base-hit to score Smith and Gabriel Quintana. The TinCaps could not get any closer than 10-5, though. In the eighth, Fort Wayne loaded the bases, but did not score.
Smith shined for the TinCaps in the setback. The center fielder went 3-for-4 at the plate to raise his batting average to .346, scored twice, and stole his sixth base of the season.
Fort Wayne and Bowling Green play the middle contest of their three-game affair on Tuesday morning with an 11:35 a.m. (EST) scheduled first pitch. Righty Erik Cabrera is set to take the ball for the TinCaps against the Hot Rods’ Jeff Ames