FORT WAYNE, Ind. — The TinCaps offense exploded for a season-best performance in a 15-4 demolition of the West Michigan Whitecaps (Detroit Tigers) on Saturday night before a sell-out crowd at Parkview Field.
Behind a season-high 20 hits, the TinCaps (24-38 second half, 60-72 overall) scored a season-high 15 runs and steamrolled the Whitecaps (27-33, 66-61) to win the second meeting in the four-game set and secure at least a series split.
The TinCaps had scored 19 combined runs in their previous 14 games.
Fort Wayne broke a 1-1 tie with a six-run fourth inning and added five more in the fifth, two in the sixth and one in the seventh.
TinCaps shortstop Chris Baker launched a solo home run in the bottom of the first to start the scoring. Right fielder Jose Carlos Ureña rocketed a two-run shot in the fourth, and catcher Austin Allen (single) and third baseman Carlos Belen (double) added consecutive two-run hits each to stretch the lead to 7-1.
Baker smacked an RBI triple in the fifth, and Allen (double) and Belen (single) chipped in with additional run-scoring hits.
In the sixth inning, leadoff man Kodie Tidwell smacked an RBI single, and Baker followed with a sharp single of his own to plate second baseman Peter Van Gansen and extend the lead 14-1.
Ureña singled to center in the seventh to score first baseman Brad Zunica and give the TinCaps their best offensive output of the season.
Tidwell (3-for-5, 2 R, RBI, BB), Baker (3-for-5, 3 R, 3 RBI, BB), Allen (3-for-5, 2 R, 3 RBI), Belen (2-for-5, 3 RBI), Ureña (2-for-5, R, 3 RBI), center fielder Alan Garcia (2-for-4, 2 R, BB) and Van Gansen (4-for-5, 3 R) all notched multi-hit efforts.
TinCaps starter Jake Nix (W, 3-7) dazzled over six efficient innings of one-run ball and fanned four, and former Fort Wayne Mastodon Evan Miller spun two hitless innings in his TinCaps debut after being promoted from Short-Season Tri-City on Thursday.
Whitecaps starter Spenser Watkins (L, 4-3) allowed seven runs on three walks and nine hits in 3.2 innings.
Sunday, August 28 vs. West Michigan Whitecaps at Parkview Field (3:05)
– TinCaps Probable Starter: RHP Emmanuel Ramirez
– Hot Rods Probable Starter: LHP Eudis Idrogo