Rachel Von | The Journal Gazette The TinCaps' Justin Lopez tags out Great Lakes' Eric Peterson at second base during the third inning of Thursday night's game at Parkview Field.
Rachel Von | The Journal Gazette The TinCaps' Robbie Podorsky and manager Anthony Contreras are all smiles after Podorsky stole third base during the third inning at Parkview Field on Thursday.
Rachel Von | The Journal Gazette The TinCaps' Justin Lopez leads off from first base as the Loons' Eric Peterson keeps a close eye on him during the second inning at Parkview Field on Thursday.
Friday, July 06, 2018 1:00 am
TinCaps 6 Great Lakes 5
TinCaps' win streak reaches 4
Have 1st place to themselves
DYLAN SINN | The Journal Gazette
TinCaps vs. Bowling Green
Where: Parkview Field
When: 7:05 p.m. today
Pitchers: Mason Thompson (TinCaps) vs. Tommy Romero (Hot Rods)
TV: Xfinity 81
Radio: 1380 AM, 100.9 FM
When a team is playing as well as the TinCaps are right now, it's never out of a game. Fort Wayne trailed by three runs entering the bottom of the 10th inning Thursday, but that wasn't nearly a large enough deficit to keep the TinCaps from winning their fourth in a row.
The TinCaps scored four runs in the 10th, with the final one coming on a bases-loaded walk to Justin Lopez that completed a 6-5 comeback victory over the Great Lakes Loons in front of an announced crowd of 5,662 at Parkview Field on Thursday and precipitated a celebration scrum near first base.
The win was the TinCaps' 11th in 13 games and moved them into sole possession of first place in the Eastern Division.
“It's ecstatic right now,” outfielder Robbie Podorsky said of the TinCaps' mood. “Everybody's getting all excited. We have a lot of momentum going right now and to come back after being down three runs, that was huge. That was a team effort, and we're all really excited.”
Under minor-league rules, the TinCaps started the 10th inning with a runner on second. Podorsky led off with a walk and later scored the second run in the inning.
The biggest play came when Luis Campusano hit a bouncer toward third base with the TinCaps (43-41, 11-4 second half) trailing 5-4, and Esteury Ruiz tried to score from third. The throw came home and beat Ruiz, but the 19-year-old executed a pop-up slide to avoid the tag and touch the plate to even the score.
Great Lakes manager John Shoemaker argued vociferously, but the call stood.
“He was safe,” said Podorsky, who went 2 for 4 and scored twice. “That was an incredible slide. The catcher did all he could.”
The TinCaps trailed 5-2 entering the bottom of the 10th after Loons (25-58, 1-14) designated hitter Brock Carpenter crushed a three-run homer to right field off Evan Miller. Carpenter had struck out three times before homering.
Luis Patino, 18, started for the TinCaps and pitched 52/3 hitless innings, equaling a career-high with eight strikeouts. He struck out four of the last five hitters he faced and his fastball was at 95 mph. The only run he surrendered was unearned and came after he'd left the game with a 2-0 lead. A walk he'd issued with two outs in the sixth crossed the plate against reliever Caleb Boushley.
“He's just overpowering guys with his fastball,” manager Anthony Contreras said of Patino. “He had a good changeup today too. When you've got a good changeup to complement the power fastball he has, people have to respect the fastball, and if you can locate your changeup it gets guys off balance and he was able to do that.”
Boushley got a ground ball to third that should have ended the inning, but Ruiz threw it away and the rally continued. Shortstop Deacon Liput, a 2018 draft pick playing in his first pro game, then tripled to deep center to bring in both runs and tie the score at 2. The hit ended 232/3 consecutive scoreless innings by TinCaps pitchers.
Note: San Diego promoted TinCaps left-hander Nick Margevicius to High-A Lake Elsinore on Thursday. Margevicius (5-5) is the first player from Fort Wayne's 2018 opening day roster to be promoted.