The TinCaps’ season-best six-game winning streak came to an end at Parkview Field on Tuesday night, as Fort Wayne fell to the Bowling Green Hot Rods, 3-2.
Fort Wayne (22-14) starter Joe Ross didn’t surrender a hit through the first three innings, but that changed in the fourth. Joey Rickard, Tyler Goeddel, and Luke Maile singled in succession to start the fourth. Maile’s hit scored Rickard for the game’s first run.
Bowling Green (24-12) tacked on two more runs against Ross in the sixth. Andrew Toles began the inning by drawing a walk. Ross struck out the next two batters. However, Toles stole both second and third base, and scored on a Maile double. Justin O’Conner followed Maile with an RBI-single of his own to give the Hot Rods a 3-0 edge.
The TinCaps struck for the first time in the home seventh as third baseman Gabriel Quintana launched his fourth home run of the season off of Hot Rods reliever Jose Molina. Fort Wayne threatened to overcome its deficit in both the eighth and ninth, but couldn’t manage to rally for its second late-inning come-from-behind win in as many nights.
In the bottom of the eighth, the TinCaps loaded the bases when Alberth Martinez led off with a single, followed by a Maxx Tissenbaum double, and Dane Phillips walk. Quintana then grounded into a double play that plated Martinez to make it 3-2. Luis Tejada ended the threat by popping out to second base.
With two outs and no one on base in the ninth, Bowling Green closer Ryan Garton walked Stephen Carmon and hit Mallex Smith. But again, the TinCaps couldn’t capitalize, as Martinez struck out to end the game.
Reinaldo Lopez earned the win for the Hot Rods after pitching five shutout innings and allowing only two hits and no walks while striking out five. Ross received his first loss of the season despite striking out seven. Bryan Rodriguez and Michael Kelly threw three scoreless innings of relief for Fort Wayne.
The TinCaps and Hot Rods play the middle game of their three-game set at Parkview Field Wednesday starting in the morning at 11:05. Max Fried (1-0, 2.92) is set to make his first start for Fort Wayne since he threw five no-hit innings last Thursday against West Michigan. Fried will face fellow left-hander Blake Snell (1-3, 2.81).