TinCaps starter Matthew Shepherd went one inning Wednesday. But after that debacle, by start of the third inning, Fort Wayne was down three runs.
And that tells you plenty about Fort Wayne's 8-7 loss against Bowling Green at Parkview Field, a game that went from a six-run deficit to an extra-inning heartbreaker.
The pitching was rough at the start and similarly sloppy at the finish.
Shepherd gave up three hits, four walks and five earned runs before being pulled in the second inning with no outs. Reliever Colin Rea gave up two earned runs and five hits in his first two innings.
But thanks to nine innings of consistent pressure, and a shutout in all but the second inning, the TinCaps (62-58, 19-32 second half) rallied for the 4,304 fans on-hand.
San Diego Padres first-round draft pick Hunter Renfroe got his third RBI in a Fort Wayne uniform off a one-out double in the first inning. That lead, though, was as short-lived as Shepherd's outing.
The Hot Rods (68-52, 30-22) reeled off seven runs on six hits in the top of the second and brought up 11 batters in the inning.
Fort Wayne started its comeback in the bottom of the second.
First baseman Luis Tejada led off with a single, and after a strikeout by shortstop Tyler Stubblefield, catcher Rodney Daal singled to put runners on first and second. The single extended Daal's current hitting streak to a season-high six games.
Following a flyout by second baseman Reynaldo Bruguera, the TinCaps came across some rare clutch hitting. Designated hitter Mallex Smith got a single through to score Tejada, and a two-out double by center fielder Alberth Martinez brought in two more for Fort Wayne.
The offense continued after two quiet innings. Fort Wayne scored on a single from Bruguera and a fielder's choice grounder from Smith, while Rea threw three scoreless innings.
After trailing 7-1, the TinCaps had cut their deficit to one.
And in the bottom of the eighth, one of two TinCaps without a hit to that point – left fielder Luis Domoromo – sent a home run over the wall in right-center.
The game headed to extras, with TinCaps closer Roman Madrid on the mound. But Madrid gave up a run on a one-out double by left fielder Marty Gantt.
Fort Wayne threatened in the ninth, but fell short and missed out on its second three-game winning streak of the second half.