Fort Wayne, IN
The TinCaps staged a rally in the bottom of the ninth, but they could not score, falling to the Cedar Rapids Kernels 6-4 on a hot and muggy evening.
The first three batters of the ninth reached base.
Leading off, Lee Solomon was hit by a pitch; Juwaun Harris singled, and Tucupita Marcano beat out a perfectly placed bunt to load the bases with no outs. After a visit to the mound, Kernels’ reliever Ricky Ramirez settled down and struck out the next three batters to end the game.
The Kernels got on the board in the first inning, as the first two batters singled to put runners at first and third.
Gilberto Celestino doubled to bring in one run, and a wild pitch by TinCaps’ starter Efrain Contreras allowed the second run to score. In the bottom of the frame, Marcano led off with a triple and scored on Ethan Skender’s follow-up single for a 2-1 score.
The Kernels manufactured a run in the top of the second to reestablish their two-run lead.
The Kernels’ lead stayed at two until the bottom of the fourth, where a TinCaps’ rally briefly put them in the lead. Agustin Ruiz drew a lead-off walk, and Blake Hunt single to right field put runners at the corners. Luke Becker followed with a grounder to deep short; it was mishandled, and Ruiz scored. After a fielder’s choice and a passed ball, the TinCaps had runners on second and third with one out. Michael Curry singled to give the TinCaps a 4-3 lead.
The Kernels took the lead right back at the beginning of the fifth inning. The inning began with a single and a double, and then Yeltsin Encarnacion took Contreras deep to right for a three-run homer that put the Kernels up 6-4 to stay.
Although Contreras struggled in his start, giving up six runs (five earned) on nine hits, he did strike out four and walked only one. The TinCaps’ bullpen performed well, as Edwin Bencomo and Jose Quezada each pitched two innings, keeping the Kernels off the board and striking out six total batters.
Announced attendance was 6,211.
Marcano and Harris led the offense with two hits apiece; on the other side, five Kernels had multiple-hit games.
With the defeat, the TinCaps have lost two in a row and seven of their last ten.
In the Condiment Packet Race, Mustard extended its lead, crossing the finish line in slow motion to the theme from Chariots of Fire. Relish remains winless.