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The Journal Gazette

Saturday, August 12, 2017 10:30 pm

Tatis breaks HR record in TinCaps' win

CHRIS GOFF | The Journal Gazette

When Fernando Tatis Jr. meets the ball with the barrel of his bat, the TinCaps' 18-year-old phenom usually gets to circle the bases.

It took Tatis only 111 games to break the franchise's single-season home run record. He hit a 420-foot blast in the fifth inning of Saturday night's 7-1 win over Bowling Green for his 21st home run of the season, besting the previous high by a Fort Wayne player, set by Jake Patterson in 1997.

At age 23, Patterson hit 20 homers in 121 games. Tatis has another 22 regular-season games he can potentially play.

Parkview Field's public address announcer, Jared Parcell, immediately informed the stadium of Tatis' place in the record books after he smashed an 0-2 fastball over the left-field fence at an exit velocity of 107 mph.

Tatis' two-run shot gave the TinCaps a 3-1 lead, which was more than enough with Adrian Morejon pitching. He went six innings and gave up just one run on five hits with five strikeouts.

Bowling Green's night went awry almost immediately, with starter Angel Yepez leaving the game before recording an out. Just activated from the disabled list, Yepez threw two pitches and evidently felt too much pain or discomfort to continue.

The Hot Rods (60-55, 29-19 second half) scored the game's initial run on Jesus Sanchez's third-inning RBI single, an infield chopper that deflected off Morejon and Tatis, but never mustered much offense after that and committed two errors.

Fort Wayne (58-60, 32-16) pulled away in the seventh on Jorge Oña's RBI single and center fielder Garrett Whitley's run-scoring throwing error. Jack Suwinski added an RBI single in the eighth, and Oña drew a bases-loaded walk to increase the lead to 7-1.

G.K. Young tied it in the bottom of the third with an RBI single.