Powered by Alberth Martinez’s third home run in as many games, the TinCaps beat the Burlington Bees, 6-5, on Wednesday night. It was Martinez’s double in the top of the ninth inning, however, that put the center fielder in position to score the game-winning run on Maxx Tissenbaum’s ensuing groundball that Burlington bungled.
With one out and no one on base in the top of the ninth of a 5-5 contest, Martinez doubled to shallow left field on a ball that looked like it would be caught but swirled in the wind and proved troublesome. Fort Wayne’s next batter, Tissenbaum, then hit a soft ground ball to third base that went under Michael Bolaski’s glove. Shortstop Wendell Soto backed the ball up but committed an error on his throw to third base attempting to retire Martinez. For the Bees, those were two of four miscues on the night.
After Burlington (9-13) jumped out a 2-0 lead in the home first inning against Fort Wayne (15-10) starter Joe Ross, Martinez began the TinCaps’ comeback with his third home run of the season, and in as many days. Prior to homering against the Clinton LumberKings on Monday, Martinez was homerless in his first 128 at-bats with Fort Wayne spanning part of 2012 and the first 22 games of 2013. Since then, the outfielder has homered in three of his last 10 at-bats.
Martinez’s long ball accounted for the first of three runs the TinCaps scored in the third to take a 3-2 advantage. The lead didn’t last long, though, as the Bees equalized in the bottom half of the third. Fort Wayne went on top again in the sixth, 5-3, thanks to a Gabriel Quintana double, Luis Tejada RBI-triple, and Corey Adamson RBI-sacrifice fly.
The Bees tied the game again with one run in the seventh and another in the eighth before the TinCaps prevailed in the ninth against reliever Brandon Efferson (1-2).
Genison Reyes (3-1) earned the win for Fort Wayne out of the bullpen despite blowing a save opportunity in the eighth inning when he allowed an unearned run. Left-hander Chris Nunn recorded his second save of the year, while John Hussey received credit for a hold.
The TinCaps’ wild win on Wednesday comes on the heels of extra-inning, walk-off wins at Parkview Field on Friday and Sunday, and a victory Tuesday that saw Fort Wayne rally from four runs down.
The TinCaps and Bees play the middle billing of their three-game set on Thursday afternoon at 12:30.