BOWLING GREEN, Kent. – Josh VanMeter’s second home run of the season couldn’t have come at a better time. The second-year pro lined a two-out, seventh-inning solo home run into the right field bullpen Thursday night to break a 2-2 tie and give the TinCaps the lead for good in a 3-2 victory over the Bowling Green Hot Rods. The win extended Fort Wayne’s season-long winning streak to five games.
VanMeter’s home run off of Bowling Green (24-29) reliever Jorge Rodriguez (1-2) was the lone run scored in the final five innings of the game by either side. Following back-to-back outs by newcomer River Stevens and Luis Tejada, VanMeter’s shot just cleared the yellow line at the top of the fence.
The Fort Wayne (24-29) pitching corps was effective from start to finish, beginning with six innings from Erik Cabrera (2-3), who earned his second straight victory. The righthander allowed just two unearned runs, which scored after a Stevens error in the third, fanned four and walked one while scattering five hits.
Behind Cabrera it was Tony Rizzotti who worked a 1-2-3 seventh inning, but encountered peril in the eighth. He had runners on first and second with one out, and was replaced by Eric Yardley, who allowed an infield single that almost tied the game. Catcher Armando Araiza, with Kean Wong at second and Ariel Soriano at first, hit a hard ground ball to second base, that caromed off of Stevens. Wong took a turn for home plate, but VanMeter scooped up the loose ball, and threw out Wong, who represented the tying run. Yardley, now working with two outs, threw a 67 MPH breaking ball as the last pitch of the inning, striking out Granden Goetzman.
In the ninth inning, Tayron Guerrero recorded the save with a perfect frame, becoming the first TinCaps pitcher not named Nick Mutz to notch one in 2014.
Fort Wayne built its early scoring base on an RBI groundout from Dustin Peterson, and an RBI single from Adolfo Reina.
The finale of the three-game series is scheduled for Friday night at 8:05 ET. The scheduled starters the newly acquired Ronald Herrera for Fort Wayne, and Jake Faria for Bowling Green. The game can be heard on The Fan 1380 and TheFanFortWayne.com.