FORT WAYNE, Ind. — Parkview Field was sold out on Sunday afternoon for a fourth consecutive game, but a Father’s Day crowd of 7,136 saw the TinCaps lose to the Bowling Green Hot Rods, 12-3. Fort Wayne’s first half of the season concludes with a record of 30-39. The team is off for the Midwest League’s All-Star break until Thursday.
Bowling Green (32-37) pounded out 22 hits on Sunday — the most allowed by the TinCaps in a game this season. The Hot Rods scored four runs in the second inning, and on a sunny day in which the temperature was in the 80s, Fort Wayne’s woes snowballed from there. With a Yoel Araujo home run in the fifth and two more runs in the sixth, Bowling Green built a 7-0 lead.
The TinCaps had 11 hits of their own, but couldn’t produce a run until the bottom of the sixth when they scored twice to cut their deficit to 7-2. That’s as close as Fort Wayne would get, though. The Hot Rods plated two more in the seventh and added three for good measure in the ninth. The home team matriculated a run for naught in the seventh.
With the loss, the TinCaps are now 1-7 in games played on Sundays in 2014. Fort Wayne has been outscored by an average of 10.1-3.9 in those games. Meanwhile, the setback also dropped the Summit City club’s record to 6-16 in day games.
Walker Weickel had thrown six innings in each of his previous four starts, but the TinCaps’ starter only went four innings Sunday as he conceded four earned runs in the loss. On the other side, Jaime Schultz earned the win. The right-hander from New York struck out eight in six frames and allowed one earned run. Schultz lowered his season ERA to 0.93.
Josh VanMeter, Adolfo Reina, Dustin Peterson, and Mallex Smith each had two hits for the TinCaps. Sunday was a bittersweet day for TinCaps fans rooting for Smith. The center fielder — who’s hitting .295 and leads all of baseball with 48 stolen bases — is expected to be promoted to San Diego’s Advanced-A club in the California League, the Lake Elsinore Storm, for the second half. Fort Wayne fans gave the humble, hard-working, and gregarious Smith a standing ovation during the game.
Smith, along with relievers Nick Mutz and Tyron Guerrero, will represent the TinCaps in Tuesday’s Midwest League All-Star Game at Fifth Third Ballpark — home of the West Michigan Whitecaps — in Comstock Park, Mich. The 50th installment of the league’s mid-season classic is slated for 7:00 p.m. and can be heard on ESPN Radio 1380, TheFanIndiana.com, and on the TuneIn Radio app.