FORT WAYNE, Ind. — Cody Hebner struck out a career-high 11 batters in five innings as he led the TinCaps to a 6-3 win over the Bowling Green Hot Rods at Parkview Field on Sunday evening in front of 6,904. With eight games remaining in the regular season, Fort Wayne is 2.0 games behind Dayton for the Eastern Division wild card.
“We stay hungry,” said Hebner (2-4), who struck out two batters in the first inning, three in the second, and then retired the side on strikes in the third. Meanwhile, the TinCaps put up three runs against Chris Kirsch (9-7) in the second — two of which were unearned — and one in the third to go up 4-0.
Fort Wayne (27-35, 57-74) tallied 12 hits on the night, coming from eight of the nine hitters in the lineup. Ryan Miller, Nick Schulz, Jake Bauers, and Trea Turner all had RBI singles. Dustin Peterson provided an RBI double.
For his part, the 23-year-old Hebner struck out two more in fourth and another in the fifth. Bowling Green (27-34, 59-71) didn’t score until the top of the fifth when the Hot Rods plated a pair. The TinCaps got a run back after that to regain a three-run lead at 5-2.
Justin Livengood replaced Hebner in the sixth and allowed a run that made it 5-3, but came back for a scoreless seventh. Nick Mutz threw a 1-2-3 eighth inning, the offense added an insurance run in the eighth, and Eric Yardley twirled a perfect ninth for his second save of the season.
The TinCaps and Hot Rods meet for the middle game of three on Monday at 7:05 p.m. Kyle Lloyd is on tap to start for Fort Wayne against German Marquez. The game can be heard on ESPN Radio 1380, TinCaps.com, and the TuneIn Radio app. It can also be seen on XFINITY Channel 81 throughout Indiana.