How it Happened
After there was little offense Friday, the River Bandits lit up the scoreboard early tonight. Fort Wayne pitcher Angel Acevedo didn't fool many hitters in those first few innings and Quad Cities took the lead in the first on a Jonathan Lacroix sacrifice fly that drove in Jeremy Pena.
The second inning was much worse, however. Catcher Cesar Salazar led off and lofted a fly ball the other way to left. It looked like it would be only a deep fly ball, but it kept carrying and eventually landed just over the wall for a 358-foot solo home run, Salazar's second home run of the season. Perhaps a little tentative after seeing how well the ball was carrying, Acevedo walked the following hitter Austin Dennis. That brought center-fielder Ross Adolph to the plate and he jumped all over a fastball left up and out over the plate, crushing it to one of the deepest parts of the park in right-center for a two-run blast and a 4-0 Quad Cities lead. The ball jumped off his bat at 106 mph and traveled 410 feet.
Acevedo finally escaped the second and in the bottom half the TinCaps' offense, dormant since Thursday, finally awoke. Grant Little, who had been slumping for two weeks, sliced a double down the right-field line to lead off the inning and Juan Fernandez reached on an infield single. Lee Solomon, making his first plate appearance after coming off the injured list, smoked a double into the gap in left-center to bring Little in easily. Manager Anthony Contreras sent Fernandez home and it looked like the catcher would be out, but he got his foot in ahead of the tag with a nifty slide, slicing the deficit to 4-2. Salazar argued the call vociferously, slamming his mask on the ground, but replay showed the call had been correct.
The River Bandits used some small ball to push across a run in the third as Scott Schreiber scored from third on a dropped third strike. The TinCaps got that run back in the fourth, however, as Solomon ripped a single to between short and third for his second hit of the night, driving in Little and making it 5-3. Fort Wayne had a chance to creep closer, but Jawuan Harris grounded into a double play, slowing the momentum.
That missed opportunity hurt in the fifth when the River Bandits tacked on to their advantage. Acevedo struck out five of six hitters during one stretch of the third and fourth, but the top of the order got him again in that fifth. The rally started when shortstop Xavier Edwards threw the ball away into the dugout on a slow ground ball, putting the runner on second. Later in the inning, Schreiber and Lacroix came through with RBI hits, ending Acevedo's day and making it a 7-3 Quad Cities advantage.
Player of the Game: Lee Solomon
The TinCaps' first baseman returned from a stint on the Injured List for concussion-like symptoms and went 2 for 3 with three RBI and a walk. Solomon hadn't played since April 25, but matched his season-total for RBI in one game and had just his second multi-hit game of the season. He also doubled, his fourth extra-base hit of the year.
Facts and Figures
The TinCaps are a season-worst four games below .500. ... Xavier Edwards came in leading the Midwest League in batting at .369 and went 1 for 3 with a stolen base. He left the game in the sixth inning, apparently for an injury. ... Tucupita Marcano went 2 for 3 with two bunt singles, extending his on-base streak to 12 games and collecting his sixth multi-hit game in the last nine. ... Little went 1 for 2 with a double, two walks and two RBI, breaking an 0 for 22 string with a double in the second inning. ... The TinCaps' scoreless streak on offense extended to 18 innings before Solomon's double in the second. ... Acevedo went 4 1/3 innings, giving up seven runs (four earned), while striking out five and walking one. He has a 11.57 ERA in his last three appearances. ... Fernandez went 3 for 4 with a run scored and a double. It was his third three-hit game in the last five. ... Schreiber had a big game for the River Bandits, going 3 for 5 with two doubles, an RBI and three runs scored. ... Quad Cities reliever R.J. Freure went four scoreless innings, striking out seven to lower his season ERA to 0.50. ... The first-ever game in a pro baseball league was played in Fort Wayne at Camp Allen Park on May 4, 1871. The Fort Wayne Kekiongas defeated Forest City of Cleveland 2-0. ... It was Star Wars Night at Parkview Field and the TinCaps wore specialty jerseys with characters from the popular movie series.
These teams will complete their three-game series at Parkview Field with day game Sunday, scheduled to begin at 1:05 p.m. The TinCaps will send ace left-hander Ryan Weathers (2-0, 1.82 ERA) to the mound for the series finale. Weathers left his start last Sunday in South Bend after just two innings for precautionary reasons, but should be ready to go Sunday. The River Bandits will counter with 23-year-old right-hander Brett Daniels (1-0, 6.75 ERA), 17th-round pick in the 2018 draft.