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The Journal Gazette

Saturday, July 07, 2018 12:00 am

TinCaps lose to Bowling Green, win streak snapped

DYLAN SINN | The Journal Gazette

Baseball can be a frustrating game. Thursday night, the TinCaps put together a 10th inning rally in which six hitters in a row had good at-bats with runners in scoring a position, a string that eventually netted Fort Wayne four runs and a comeback victory.

Friday night, the TinCaps had similar opportunities to score runs, but weren't able to come up with one really big hit. The home team went 1 for 9 with runners in scoring position and left 11 runners on base.

"As good as things have gone for us, today we just didn't play clean baseball," manager Anthony Contreras said. "(Bowling Green) kept us off balance, they were throwing a lot of breaking balls for strikes and we just couldn't counter. We had two times with the bases loaded (the fifth and the ninth innings) and we couldn't get the big hit. Sometimes that's gonna happen.

"(Thursday) night in that (10th) inning, we were able to kind of keep our composure, we have to do that in those situations and hopefully tomorrow when we readjust and talk to the guys, they'll make adjustments and move on from there."

One of the bright spots for the TinCaps on offense was, once again, Robbie Podorsky, who drove in the only Fort Wayne run with a sharp single to center in the fifth inning and also walked three times. Jeisson Rosario also had three hits for Fort Wayne, so the TinCaps had plenty of production from the top of the order. It was the middle that really struggled, with the 3-4-5 hitters going a combined 1 for 11 with four strikeouts.

In recent games, the TinCaps had dominant starting pitching, but that trend did not continue either. Mason Thompson pitched better than his stat line – five innings, three earned runs on six hits – would lead observers to believe, but he had some bad luck that helped the Hot Rods take an early lead. Bowling Green strung together four hits in the second inning (only one was hard-hit) and scored three runs, taking command of the game for good. Thompson finished with seven strikeouts and no walks.

"I think he's had better games result-wise, but as far as pitches, he had all of his pitches working for him," catcher Jalen Washington said. "He was commanding his fastball early and often and he threw his changeup a lot tonight, which got him off his fastball a little bit. He was getting ahead early and putting them away. That's a tough lineup to go through."

In essence, this game was the opposite of the type of game the TinCaps have often played recently. They didn't get big hits, they made errors – three of them – on defense, their pitching was average. The formula they've used to win in the second half vanished, at least for one night. The good news is they're still tied atop the Eastern Division and have three more games against Bowling Green.