Fort Wayne (incnow.tv)- The TinCaps hit three home runs on Thursday night, but committed a season-worst six errors en route to a 6-4 loss to the Bowling Green Hot Rods. Third baseman Gabriel Quintana hit two of Fort Wayne’s home runs in front of Parkview Field’s 18th sold-out crowd of the season.
The first of five unearned runs for Bowling Green (31-22, 69-52) came in the opening half-inning. Andrew Toles led the contest off with a single and scored with the game’s second batter still at the plate. Fort Wayne (19-33, 62-59) starter Bryan Rodriguez threw a wild pickoff attempt to first enabling Toles to take second base. The Midwest League’s leader in stolen bases then swiped third for his 53rd stolen bag of the year and scored when catcher Rodney Daal’s throw to third base went to left field.
The TinCaps took the lead in the bottom of the third inning thanks to the home run ball. Second baseman Reynaldo Bruguera cranked a solo homer – the first of his TinCaps career – over the 15-foot high wall in right field to tie the game, 1-1. After an Alberth Martinez double, Quintana gave Fort Wayne the lead with a two-run shot to left.
Poor defense cost the TinCaps the lead in the top of the fifth. After Justin O’Conner was hit by a pitch and Marty Gantt singled, Rodriguez struck out Patrick Leonard and got Brandon Martin to fly out to center field. That’s when things went south for Fort Wayne. Center fielder Mallex Smith committed a throwing error, which allowed O’Conner to score all the way from second base on the fly out. First baseman Luis Tejada committed the inning’s next error, as he misplayed a hard-hit bouncer by Toles to bring home Gantt to tie the game, 3-3. The comedy of errors continued when Rodriguez (2-7, despite a 3.22 ERA) balked to advance Toles to second. Déjà vu of the first inning, Toles swiped third base and scored on another throwing error by Daal that made it 4-3 in favor of the visitors.
The Hot Rods added their fifth unearned run in the sixth. Following a Luke Maile double, Quintana muffed an O’Conner grounder to put runners at the corners. Gantt took advantage of his opportunity to come to bat in the inning with a two-out RBI single.
Fort Wayne sliced its deficit to 5-4 with Quintana’s second homer of the game to lead off the bottom of the sixth. But Bowling Green went back up by two in the next half-inning with an RBI triple from Tommy Coyle.
With his defense committing no blunders behind him, Jeff Ames (8-4) took the win for the Hot Rods. He went seven innings and struck out four. Marcus Jensen closed the game, tallying his fifth save of the season.
The TinCaps and Hot Rods wrap up their three-game series at Parkview Field on Friday night at 7:05 p.m. Joe Ross (4-7, 3.97) is set to start for Fort Wayne against Bowling Green’s Jordan Harrison (3-2, 2.81).
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