BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — The TinCaps battered the Bowling Green Hot Rods (Tampa Bay Rays), 10-5, on Friday night for their second consecutive win at Bowling Green Ballpark. Fort Wayne’s offense erupted with a season-high seven runs in the fifth inning, fueled by three home runs.
The TinCaps (2-0, 38-34) had already scored twice before the Hot Rods (0-2, 37-34) even had a chance to bat. First baseman Ty France was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to start the scoring five batters in. Shortstop Ruddy Giron added a two-out RBI single later in the first.
Bowling Green’s left-handed starter Michael Velasquez (L, 2-7) didn’t allow a hit across the second, third, or fourth, but that changed in a big way in the fifth. After an RBI single by catcher Austin Allen and a sac fly by third baseman Carlos Belen, a home run derby began. France hit a two-run shot to make it 6-0 followed by a solo homer from designated hitter Brad Zunica on the next pitch. It was the first time the TinCaps hit back-to-back long balls this season. Then two batters later, center fielder Jhonatan Peña socked a solo blast, too. Left fielder Kodie Tidwell tacked on an RBI double to stretch it to 9-0.
That was plenty of run support for Jerry Keel (W, 3-6), who scattered four hits and a walk across five innings. He struck out two and allowed just a run in the fifth. The Hot Rods attempted to come back with two more runs in the sixth and seventh each. The TinCaps put across an unearned run in the top of the seventh.
– Kodie Tidwell doubled, singled, and walked to extend his on-base streak to 30 games, which is the longest active streak in all of baseball (Single-A, Double-A, Triple-A, and MLB) and tied for the longest in the Midwest League this season
– Ty France has been hit by a MWL-high 15 pitches
– This was only the second time this year the TinCaps hit three home runs in a game, and the first time they did it in one inning since July 29, 2015
– Brad Zunica and Jhonatan Peña both homered for a second straight game
– France and Zunica’s homers marked the first time the TinCaps went back-to-back this season
– The road team is now 9-0 in the season series between Fort Wayne and Bowling Green