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The Journal Gazette

  • Brett Luke | The Journal Gazette Jack Suwinski scores during the third inning at Parkview Field on Saturday night.

  • Brett Luke | The Journal Gazette Luis Patino, who started Saturday for the TinCaps, has pitched 14 straight scoreless innings.

Sunday, June 10, 2018 1:00 am

Lansing 6 TinCaps 3

Normally solid bullpen falters in TinCaps loss

DYLAN SINN | The Journal Gazette

TinCaps vs. Lansing

Where: Parkview Field

When: 3:05 p.m. today

Pitchers: Aaron Leasher (TinCaps) vs. Maximo Castillo (Lugnuts)

TV: Xfinity 81

Radio: 1380 AM, 100.9 FM

The TinCaps' bullpen has been a team strength much of the season, with a 3.35 ERA over the last 40 games, but it faltered Saturday.

Fort Wayne relievers gave up six runs in four innings, spoiling a dominant, hitless start from Luis Patino and sending the TinCaps to a 6-3 loss against the Lansing Lugnuts in front of an announced crowd of 7,295 at Parkview Field.

The winning rally came in the ninth inning against All-Star reliever Travis Radke. With the game tied at 3, the left-hander issued a one-out walk, bringing No. 9 hitter Reggie Pruitt to the plate. Radke made a decent pitch, but Pruitt slashed the ball down the first-base line and into the bullpen for a triple, bringing in what turned out to be the winning run. 

“Radke gets that jam shot down the line that went in their favor and then gets a bouncer through the hole (for an RBI single),” manager Anthony Contreras said. “It's baseball, it happens. We'll trust those guys (Radke and fellow reliever Caleb Boushley) the next time out.” 

Despite the loss, Patino was magnificent, holding the Lugnuts hitless through five innings in his third straight scoreless outing. The 18-year-old right-hander mixed his pitches well, hitting 97 mph with his fastball and striking out four while walking three.

Patino has pitched 14 consecutive scoreless innings over his last three starts and given up just seven hits in that span. Reliever Caleb Boushley's sixth-inning struggles cost him a victory, but his stuff has proved to be some of the best on the team.

“Honestly, the way he's pitched today, I think he's pitched better,” Contreras said. “But I think today he was able to compete and kind of get ahead early (in counts) and when he can do that stuff, he's in a good spot.

“He has a dominant fastball, the slider looked decent today. Occasionally he gets a little rushed, but when he takes his time and makes sure he stays on his back side, he's an impressive 18-year-old pitcher.”

After Patino exited, Boushley was unable to hold a 2-0 lead. The right-hander gave up a one-out single that broke up the no-hitter and then served up a home run to red-hot Ryan Noda to tie the score at 2. It was Noda's fourth homer in the last three games.

“First pitch (Boushley) just threw me a fastball in,” Noda said. “It was a good pitch, but nothing I could really drive. I was just looking for something out over the plate to hit. He gave me a good pitch to drive and it just so happened it went over the fence.”

Two more hits, coupled with an error on Tirso Ornelas in right field, drove in a third run, forcing the TinCaps into a come-from-behind situation for a second straight night. It was the first time all season Boushley, who entered the game with a 1.80 ERA, had given up three runs in an outing.

dsinn@jg.net