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The Journal Gazette

Tuesday, May 15, 2018 10:20 pm

TinCaps lose to Whitecaps, 4-1

DYLAN SINN | The Journal Gazette

How it Happened

For the second straight game, the Whitecaps (20-17) took an early lead. TinCaps starter Osvaldo Hernandez got through the first, striking out two and hitting 94 mph on the radar gun, but in the second he ran into trouble. The left-hander walked Dylan Rosa to lead off the inning and the right fielder then stole second. Hernandez almost pitched out of it, but with two outs, Garrett McCain lined to center and a charging Jeisson Rosario was unable to haul the ball in. Rosa scored to put West Michigan in front 1-0.

The score remained that way into the middle innings with both Hernandez and Whitecaps starter Elvin Rodriguez posting zeroes over the next several innings. Rodriguez baffled the TinCaps, striking out five hitters in the second and third combined, but he seemed to get more hittable the second time through the order.

Tirso Ornelas led off the fourth for the TinCaps (15-22) with a line-drive double off the right-field wall, Fort Wayne's first solid hit of the night after a couple of soft singles. Ornelas got thrown out trying to stretch it into a triple, however, and that play turned out to be big when Luis Campusano followed with a rocket single off the left-field wall at 107 mph. Campusano eventually got caught stealing on a ball in the dirt and the TinCaps didn't score in the inning.

The TinCaps rallied again in the sixth and this time broke through, with some help from West Michigan. Jeisson Rosario led off with a bouncer to second that Alexis Garcia couldn't get a handle on, allowing Rosario to reach. The center fielder then stole second and advanced to third on another error when the throw from catcher Brady Policelli sailed into center field. The Whitecaps brought in closer Wladimir Pinto to try to shut down the threat, but Campusano hit a long fly to the warning track in left. The ball was caught, but Rosario scored easily to knot the score 1-1.

The score didn't stay tied for long. In the top of the seventh, the Whitecaps mounted a rally with some opportunistic hitting. Dylan Rosa led off with a swinging bunt single and Colby Bortles followed with a ground ball to third that snuck under Justin Lopez's glove for Fort Wayne's second error. After a sac bunt, McCain hit with two in scoring position and delivered again, lacing a single up the middle and driving in both runners. Three batters later, Alexis Garcia made it a 4-1 game with a single to right. 

Player of the Game: Garrett McCain

McCain had arguably the two biggest hits of the game. He drove in the first run of the contest with a single to center in the second and then added two more RBI with a hard ground ball up the middle in the seventh. Both hits put West Michigan in front and he finished with three of his team's four RBI. McCain came in with just six RBI this season, hitting .192.

Facts and Figures

Today is Osvaldo Hernandez's 20th birthday. He went five innings and gave up one run, striking out four. He has not given up more than three earned runs in a game this season. ... The Whitecaps made two errors after committing five in the first game of the series Monday. ... The TinCaps went 0 for 1 with runners in scoring position after a 2-for-15 performance in Monday's game. ... Catcher Juan Fernandez went 0 for 2 with a walk, extending his on-base streak to 21 games. He's gotten on base in every game he's had a plate appearance this season. ... TinCaps reliever Adrian Martinez had given up four runs in each of his last two outings, and gave up two runs (one earned) in one inning tonight. He's given up at least one run in each of his eight appearances this season. ... The Whitecaps' Pinto has not given up a run in 14 innings over 10 appearances this season. He pitched 2 2/3 scoreless innings tonight, though he did let the inherited run score in the sixth. He struck out five.

What's Next?

These teams will meet again for the third of a four-game set Wednesday morning at Parkview Field. First pitch will be at 11:05 a.m. Right-hander Matt Manning (1-1, 5.17 ERA) will be on the mound for the Whitecaps. Manning was the No. 9 pick in the 2016 draft and boasts a devastating fastball-slider combo. He's struck out 26 in 15 2/3 innings this season. Fort Wayne's starter is TBA.

dsinn@jg.net