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The Journal Gazette

Monday, July 09, 2018 10:10 pm

TinCaps get swept by Bowling Green, fall 6-1 in series finale

DYLAN SINN | The Journal Gazette

How it Happened

The early innings were dominated by the pitchers, MacKenzie Gore for Fort Wayne and Austin Franklin for the Hot Rods. The hurlers surrendered one hit between them in the first three innings, which zipped past. 

In the fourth, however, the TinCaps rallied. Second baseman Kelvin Melean led off and ripped a double to left that one-hopped the wall. It was his second hit of the game, the only two hits in the game to that point. After Tirso Ornelas flied out, Luis Campusano stepped to the plate and waited back on a curveball, inside-outing it down the right-field line for an RBI double that gave Fort Wayne a 1-0 lead. The two-bagger broke an 0-for-14 slump for Campusano.

Gore was dominant through four innings, shutting down the Hot Rods without giving up a hit. His fastball hit 94 mph from the very first pitch and he placed it anywhere he wanted all night. The left-hander only struck out two in those first four innings, but got a ton of soft contact and showed good feel for his changeup especially. 

In the fifth, however, the 2017 No. 3 overall pick ran into some trouble. He walked Moises Gomez to lead off the inning and Trey Hair followed with a soft single to right, the Hot Rods' first hit. Gore got two outs, including a strikeout of Emilio Gustave with a 95 mph fastball painted perfectly on the inside corner, but then the TinCaps got an awful break. With runners on second and third, Gore threw a low fastball. Catcher Luis Campusano got a glove on it, but the ball broke through the webbing of Campusano's mitt and got to the backstop for a passed ball, bringing in the tying run. Later in the same at-bat Eleardo Cabrera blooped a double to the gap in left-center, bringing Hair and making it 2-1 in favor of the Hot Rods.

Bowling Green tacked on a run in the seventh. With one out and a runner on first, Emilio Gustave grounded a single through the left side to put two on. After a strikeout, speedster Vidal Brujan grounded into the hole between short and third. Gabriel Arias fielded it on a knee and tried to make a strong throw to get Brujan and end the inning. Instead, the throw sailed high into the stands and brought in a run, extending the Hot Rod lead to 3-1.

Bowling Green added three runs in the ninth to put the game away, with both Emilio Gustave and Carl Chester adding RBI singles to the box score.

Player of the Game: Austin Franklin

Franklin had one of his best starts of the season, going seven innings and giving up just one run on four hits. The seven innings equaled his longest start of the season and he needed just 77 pitches to get through the outing. It was the same number of pitches Gore used to throw five innings. Franklin got the win to improve to 6-4 this season.

Facts and Figures

The victory completes a four-game sweep for the Hot Rods. It's the first time the TinCaps have been swept in a four-game series since the opening set of the year against Lake County. ... Gore pitched five innings, giving up two runs on three hits and striking out three. It was the first time in his pro career he'd started on four-days' rest. He threw 10 2/3 consecutive scoreless innings before giving up two runs in the fifth. ... Hernandez piggybacked for Gore for the second time this season and gave up three earned runs in four innings while striking out four. It broke a string of 12 straight outings in which he'd given up two earned runs or fewer, dating back to April 15, his second start of the season. ... Bowling Green scored nine runs in the opening three innings of games in the first three games of this series, but did not score any in those innings tonight. ... The Hot Rods' Ronaldo Hernandez went 0 for 4 with two strikeouts after going 4 for 4 with a home run and a walk Sunday. ... TinCaps designated hitter Nick Feight tripled in the seventh, the second three-bagger of his pro career. ... Feight's triple was Fort Wayne's only baserunner after Campusano's go-ahead double in the fourth until the ninth.

What's Next?

The TinCaps have an off day Tuesday and then open a six-game road trip with three games against Cedar Rapids. The Kernels lead the Western Division with a 13-6 record entering Monday. From Iowa, the TinCaps will travel to Peoria for three games against the Chiefs before returning home on July 18 for a three-game series against Burlington. 

dsinn@jg.net