Fort Wayne manager Jose Valentin had a familiar face sitting in the opposing dugout Wednesday.
It was his son, Jesmuel.
The 18-year-old, whose birthday is May 12, got called up to Great Lakes this season and is batting .295 for the Loons. He went 0 for 2 with two walks Wednesday.
"I'm not gonna give him no signs," Jose Valentin said. "I'm not gonna let him know who's pitching, what kind of pitches my guys have. But yeah, I'm happy to see him playing well."
The second-year manager was up-front about how conflicted he felt during the game.
"I hate to see him fail. Straight up, I have to say it -- it's my blood," the elder Valentin said. "I would love to see him get a couple hits, as long as we win it."
Manager: TinCaps slumping in scoring positions
Double-digit hits per game to start the season might have spoiled Fort Wayne.
The TinCaps got seven hits Wednesday, but scored just two runs in three games leading up to the 6-5 win.
Valentin was not pleased with his team's production on the road trip or in this game. That led him to give the go-ahead for Brian Adams to run on contact from third in the bottom of the ninth with one out.
The call worked – and won the TinCaps the game – but it was risky.
"When we've been struggling to score some runs, I can't just go up there and wait for a hit," Valentin said. "I got to make my chances, especially when that's your winning run. You got to put some pressure."
The second-year manager has been displeased with his hitters for most of the season because of their hitting with runners on third. Now, he said, the players have an example of why putting the ball in play – not swinging for the fences – is so important in those situations.
"I'm not asking for a hit," Valentin said. "All I'm asking is you put that ball on the ground, and anything can happen. What happened today, hopefully they get a view of what I'm trying to say."