Tatis slams a pair of home runs in rain-shortened win

BURLINGTON, Iowa – With lightning striking in the area, Fernando Tatis Jr. and the TinCaps brought the thunder on Wednesday night at Community Field in an 8-1 victory over the Burlington Bees (Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim). Tatis hit two home runs, including a grand slam as rain poured down, in a game that was called early in the seventh because of the weather.

Tatis set the tone at the start, with the sun shining at this point, as he led off with solo home run to left-center field. Two batters later, left fielder Jorge Oña did the same thing against Burlington (9-11, 40-49) starter Andrew Vinson (L).

Fort Wayne (13-7, 39-51) kept its foot on the gas in the second inning. Center fielder Buddy Reed doubled off the wall in right field and scored when right fielder Jack Suwinski singled to left field with two outs to make it 3-0.

Pedro Avila didn’t allow an earned run across six strong innings of work. The 20-year-old from Venezuela struck out nine and yielded just an unearned run in the sixth.

Like a firecracker, the TinCaps got hot and blew up in the seventh. Reed and Suwinski put down bunt singles, while in between, catcher Marcus Greene Jr. drew a walk to load the bases for Tatis. The 18-year-old shortstop, whose dad is the only player in MLB history to ever hit two grand slams in one inning, drilled the first grand slam of his Minor League career.

That all came with no outs against left-handed reliever Ronnie Glenn. You could say the floodgates were opened at this point. Rain started to pour down during Tatis’ at-bat, although it then subsided. With play continuing, third baseman Hudson Potts later lined a 2-out RBI single to right that scored second baseman Reinaldo Ilarraza , who had walked as he extended his on-base streak to 15 games just as Tatis did.

The rain wasn’t out of the area yet, though. After two batters in the home seventh, the tarp came out onto the field and almost instantaneously, heavy rain started to fall. The game went into a delay and after 38 minutes, with rain still coming down, was called.

Next Game

Thursday, July 13 @ Burlington (7:30 p.m.)

– TinCaps Probable Starter: RH Jim McDade (3.66)

– Bees Probable Starter: LH Jose Suarez (6.12)

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