Starting pitcher Max Fried didn't give up a run in his six-inning outing for the TinCaps.
Center fielder Alberth Martinez played a big part in that.
Martinez picked up a ground ball up the middle on the run, crow hopped and threw out a Bowling Green player heading for home in the top of the fifth inning. The assist saved a run and kept Fried in the game for the final out of the fifth and a 1-2-3 in the sixth.
Just a year removed from high school, Fried has gotten more and more comfortable with his teammates in recent weeks, and has adjusted to throwing for strikes instead of dominating hitters as he could at the prep level. That change has helped the lefty, who had a 5 2/3 inning no-hitter his last time out and was a big part of the shutout today.
"It's more of me just getting comfortable with my situation here and having more and more trust in my teammates," Fried said. "It helped my confidence, not only in them, but in myself – that I could be able to get out of the jam."
The TinCaps are 6-0 when Fried starts games, and the 19-year-old is 2-0 as a starter. In this one, a nod went to Martinez on what was a game-changing play at the plate.
"If he scores, it could be a different game," manager Jose Valentin said. "Sometimes, you're going to need some help. That's why you got to go out there and just throw some strikes. ... Hopefully, that's one good example for the pitchers. It doesn't matter how many hits you give up."
Home run blast invigorates Baltz
Fort Wayne has relied on outfielder Jeremy Baltz for run support throughout the season. But he was on a dry spell entering the day, with his last home run April 23 and a dip in his batting average to .248.
Baltz solved that problem with a 2 for 4 outing and a two-run home run that put the TinCaps ahead in the bottom of the sixth.
"He's a good player," Valentin said of the 22-year-old. "He's just got to get some confidence. He's one of those guys where sometimes he just goes up there thinking too much about his swing and stuff like that."
Baltz leads the team with 27 RBI despite his recent slump. He is tied for first on the team in home runs with five after his go-ahead blast Wednesday.
"He threw me an inside fastball for a strike, and I was looking for it again," Baltz said. "Luckily, he threw it to me and I got the bat head out and I put a good swing on it. It felt great."
Baltz, despite some struggles, has been a go-to player for clutch runs this season. He hopes his outing Wednesday will help build his confidence and keep him in that role.
"I try just to be as simple as possible when runners are on base," he said. "Not try to do to much. Just take what the pitcher gives me, and luckily, it worked out today."