Despite a 6-0 lead after the first three innings of Thursday night’s game, the Fort Wayne TinCaps could not hang on and lost, 7-6, to the Bowling Green Hot Rods. The loss gave a series victory to the Hot Rods, and gives the Eastern Division’s first-place team a 4-2 lead in the season series.
Fort Wayne (23-15) scored twice in the first inning, picking up RBI singles from Gabriel Quintana and Jeremy Baltz. Another run scored in the third on a single by Stephen Carmon, and three more came home on base hits from Luis Tejada and Rodney Daal in the third inning. By the time three frames had elapsed, the TinCaps had scored six runs against the Midwest League’s ERA leader, Dylan Floro, who had only allowed six runs in his first six starts.
TinCaps starter Justin Hancock turned in one of the best starts of the year by a Fort Wayne pitcher, throwing six innings without allowing a run. He surrendered three hits and struck out three batters. In his last 21 innings, Hancock has not surrendered a walk. He lowered his ERA Thursday from 1.59 to 1.35.
Bowling Green (25-13) wasted no time attacking the Fort Wayne bullpen, scoring four runs in the seventh inning against TinCaps reliever Matthew Chabot, who made his Parkview Field debut. The righty faced six batters, recording two outs, but also giving up three hits. In the eighth inning, Leonel Campos, who had walked just six batters in his last 20 innings, walked the first two men he faced. Both of those runners came into score on a two-run triple by Tommy Coyle, tying the game at six.
The go-ahead run came home on a sacrifice bunt in the eighth, with Roman Madrid (4-1) on the mound. The Fort Wayne closer allowed his first earned run of the season, and also suffered his second blown save.
The TinCaps’ best opportunity to score after the third inning came in the sixth, when the bases were loaded with two outs. Maxx Tissenbaum flied out to center field, ending the threat. Following that inning, the TinCaps had one hit over the final three innings, after collecting nine hits in the first four frames.
The TinCaps hit the road for the start of a four-game series, beginning Friday night at Lake County. The scheduled starters are Zach Eflin for Fort Wayne and Luis DeJesus for the Captains.