A day after TinCaps manager Jose Valentin criticized his starters for short outings, Bryan Rodriguez responded.
The TinCaps starter threw seven shutout innings for Fort Wayne's 1-0 win against Cedar Rapids on Saturday at Parkview Field.
It was the longest start of the season for Rodriguez, and his first shutout appearance.
He gave up six hits, walked two and struck out five.
Fort Wayne (54-43, 11-17 second half) needed that kind of outing from the right hander.
The relief staff was depleted after a pair of early exits by Max Fried and Matthew Shepherd in the past two games. And the offense couldn't figure out Kernels starter Tim Atherton, who threw a gem of his own.
The curveball specialist put his 67 mph pitch on display Saturday with nine strikeouts and five hits to his credit for Cedar Rapids (59-37, 19-9).
But a pair of singles in the bottom of the sixth, followed by a wild pitch, put the TinCaps in position to take the advantage.
To manager Jose Valentin's relief, they did.
First baseman Diego Goris hit a ground ball to third baseman Travis Harrison, who couldn't handle it to make the throw to home. Goris was out at first, but center fielder Mallex Smith scored.
Chris Nunn came on for the hold, and Roman Madrid created some drama in the top of the ninth. He got the first out, but loaded the bases on a base hit, a walk and another single.
Madrid got a popout and was pulled in favor of Trevor Gott. The 2013 sixth-round draft pick sealed the game for Fort Wayne and picked up his first save as a TinCap.
It was the second shutout of the month for the TinCaps and third in the second half of the season.