EASTLAKE, Ohio – The seven walks from starter Jordan Milbrath certainly helped, but the TinCaps bats took care of business, too, Friday night in a 14-4 win over the Lake County Captains. With the 14-hit victory, Fort Wayne avoided being swept and had its first 2014 victory at Classic Park.
The game’s most fruitful frame for Fort Wayne (27-33) was the fifth, in which it scored five runs. The spark was River Stevens’ first TinCaps home run, a two-run line-drive shot over the wall in right field. That was the start of a two-for-five day in which he drove in a career-high four runs. That same inning also saw the back-to-back run-producing hits from Franmil Reyes and Jake Bauers.
Milbrath (1-7), who led the Midwest League with a 1.04 ERA the first time he faced the TinCaps on May 13th, issued a career high in walks, and struck out only one in his four innings. He allowed four earned runs on three hits. Lake County (22-29) went down, 2-0, on a two-out two-run single by Fernando Perez. In the fourth, both Adolfo Reina and Mallex Smith had RBI singles, making it a 4-0 TinCaps lead.
TinCaps starter Ronald Herrera (4-4), making just his second start in the Padres farm system since being acquired via trade with Oakland, lasted 5 1/3 innings, but left after giving up two home runs in a three-batter span in the bottom of the sixth. He allowed three runs on six hits, while walking two and striking out three. He was relieved by Tony Rizzotti, who allowed one run in 1 2/3 innings. Wilson Santos and Genison Reyes turned in scoreless innings out of the bullpen.
Captains reliever Wander Beras fared no better than teammates Milbrath or Kerry Doane (2IP, 5R, 4ER) before him. Fort Wayne rattled off four runs against the lefty in the seventh getting a two-run triple from Stevens, an RBI single from Luis Tejada and a sacrifice fly from Smith to expand their advantage to 13-3. Beras allowed a bases-loaded single to Tejada in the eighth which made it 14-4, Fort Wayne.
Next up for the TinCaps is the opener of a three-game series Saturday night at 8:00 PM ET against the Bowling Green Hot Rods in Kentucky. The scheduled starters are Kyle Lloyd for the TinCaps and Chris Kirsch for the Hot Rods. The game can be heard on ESPN Radio 1380 and TheFanIndiana.com.