FORT WAYNE, Ind. — The TinCaps used timely hitting, sharp defense, and superb pitching to down the Cedar Rapids Kernels, 3-1, on Saturday night. It was the club’s seventh win in a row – that ties a season high – and 12th consecutive home victory. Fort Wayne has won 15 of its last 17 games.
A crowd of 8,195 fans made it out to Parkview Field for the 19th sellout of the year. The ballpark has now hosted eight crowds of 8,000 or more this season — a Parkview Field first.
The TinCaps scored all the runs they needed in the bottom of the second. Luis Urias singled with one out off of Kernels starter Sam Gibbons (L, 6-3). Trae Santos than blasted a high fastball over the right field wall for his team-leading 10th home run of the year. The home team extended its lead to 3-0 after Michael Gettys drove in Jose Ruiz with a two-out single later in the inning.
Cedar Rapids (27-21, 68-50) managed just one run against Chris Huffman (W, 7-6). That came in the fifth frame when Rafael Verela plated Austin Diemer. Huffman went six strong innings and struck out a career-high six batters. The right-hander from Fort Defiance, Va., owns a 4-0 record and a 1.24 ERA over his last five starts.
The defense shinned when things got a bit dicey in the seventh inning. Kernels designated hitter Pat Kelly was at second base when Nick Gordon singled down the left-field line. Fort Wayne left fielder Franchy Cordero quickly fielded and threw to the cut-off man, Urias, as Kelly rounded third base. Urias swiftly snapped the baseball to the plate, where Ruiz applied the tag on Kelly. Reliever Aaron Cressley then struck out Edgar Corcino to finish the frame.
Colby Blueberg (S, 16) pitched a scoreless eighth and ninth innings to close the door on Cedar Rapids.
Fort Wayne (31-17, 63-53) can sweep its second straight series with a win on Sunday at 1:05 p.m. Manager Francisco Morales calls on Thomas Dorminy (3-4, 3.77) to face Kernels scheduled starter Randy LeBlanc (4-6, 4.39) at Parkview Field. You can watch the action on Comcast Network 81 starting at 1:00 p.m. or listen in on ESPN Radio 1380, TinCaps.com, and the TuneIn Radio app starting at 12:45 p.m.