Fort Wayne, Indiana
The TinCaps jumped to a 3-1 lead in the first inning, and a strong combined pitching effort led to a 4-2 victory over the Clinton LumberKings to break a five-game losing streak.
After the LumberKings took a 1-0 lead off three successive singles to start the game, the TinCaps responded in the bottom of the first.
After Jeisson Rosario was hit by a pitch, the next two batters—Gabriel Arias and Juan Fernandez—drew walks to load the bases with one out. Second baseman Kevin Melean scored two on a single to left field, the grounder just making its way past the outstretched arm of LumberKings’ shortstop Johnny Adams. Luis Almanzar followed with a single to right center, becoming the fifth consecutive batter to reach base and scoring Fernandez from second.
The TinCaps added an insurance run in the bottom of the eighth with three singles of their own.
Next, Esteury Ruiz had his first hit of the night, singling to left, scoring Suwinski for a 4-2 lead. After Ruiz stole second, the LumberKings intentionally walked Rosario to load the bases. The strategy worked, as Gabriel Arias hit in to a double play to end the inning.
After 14.5 innings on Sunday, where the TinCaps and LumberKings completed Saturday’s suspended game and then played a seven-inning follow up, the TinCaps looked to the bullpen Monday night. Usual reliever Ben Sheckler had his second start of the season, giving up two runs on five hits. Though Sheckler only walked one batter, he struggled with placement at times, striking out only one and throwing a couple of wild pitches over three innings.
Four TinCaps took the mound over the remaining six innings, shutting out the LumberKings the rest of the way. Both Austin Smith and Caleb Boushley pitched an inning apiece. On the last out of the fourth, LumberKing Rainis Silva lined a pitch back at Smith. It ricocheted off of Smith and into the glove of Arias. Although Smith walked to the dugout on his own, he did not return in the fifth. Instead, Boushley took the mound for the second night in a row. Although the LumberKings loaded the bases, Boushley was able to strike out Onil Peña, putting an end to the threat.
Evan Miller and Travis Radke pitched a pair of innings each and were the most dominant on the mound. Miller only faced six batters and threw two strikeouts. Radke gave up one base hit, but retired six of seven to bring the 3 hour 25 minutes game to a close.
The TinCaps have Tuesday off and then leave for a seven-game road trip, with a three-game series against the Dayton Dragons followed by a four-game set against the division-leading Bowling Green Hot Rods.
Announced attendance was 6,837, bringing the season’s attendance just over 275,000.
Not only did the TinCaps break a five-game losing streak, they snapped a nine-game losing streak at home.
Everyone in the TinCaps lineup reached base at least once, and four (Podorsky, Fernandez, Melean, and Jalen Washington) had multiple hit games.
Both Podorsky and Suwinski had standout defensive plays, with Podorsky making a leaping catch against the left-field wall in the third and Suwinski laying out for a diving catch in right in the fifth.
Ken A. Bugajski lives and works in Fort Wayne, Indiana. An English professor by trade, he spends many summer nights with his wife and daughter at Parkview Field, home of the TinCaps.