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Full Count

  • TinCaps' groundskeeper honored
    TinCaps head groundskeeper Keith Winter was named the Single-A Sports Turf Manager of the Year, an honor he also landed in 2013.
  • TinCaps named Ballpark Digest's team of the year
    Citing sustained success and an "amazing" commitment to community service, the online trade magazine Ballpark Digest recognized the TinCaps as its 2014 team of the year.
  • Ex-TinCap Mallex Smith voted minors' top offensive player
    Mallex Smith, who was the TinCaps' center fielder for the 2013 season and the first half of 2014, was voted by fans as the top offensive player in the minor leagues during the past season.

TinCaps top Great Lakes

Well. That looked a bit more like a team warming up the engines for the playoffs.

In front of 6,482 fans at Parkview Field, the TinCaps (emphatically halted a six-losses-in-eight-games slide, swatting Great Lakes 6-1 behind a robust and opportunistic offense and starting pitcher Colin Rea's six shutout innings.

Rea surrendered just two hits and the TinCaps 71-67, 28-41 second half) put together a nine-hit attack, scoring a run in the first and three in the second to put the Loons in their rearview mirror for keeps. Tyler Stubblefield paced the offense with a 3-for-4 night, and Mallex Smith stole his 63rd and 64th bases, putting him one away from the club single-season record of 65.

In stark contrast to Saturday night, it was the TinCaps who jumped out in front early this time.

Smith drew a leadoff walk, stole his 63rd base of the season, took third on a groundout and came home on Alberth Martinez' sacrifice fly to give the TinCaps a 1-0 lead after one inning.

That was only the appetizer.

Stubblefield got the TinCaps' three-run second going with a two-out single, after which Brian Adams drew a walk. Ryan Miller brought Stubblefield around with a line drive over shortstop, Smith brought Adams home with a single into the hole between first and second, and Reynaldo Bruguera chased Miller home with yet another single.

And the hits kept coming.

The TinCaps added two more runs in the fifth when Smith drew another leadoff walk, stole his 64th base and was chased home by Bruguera's single up the middle. And when the ball eluded Loons' center fielder James Baldwin, rolling all the way to the warning track, Bruguera steamed all the way around to score as well.

That jumped the lead to 6-0 and pretty much settled things.

For more on the game, read Monday's Journal Gazette or return to after 3 a.m.