FORT WAYNE, Ind. – The TinCaps hit back-to-back home runs for the first time since last season, but Fort Wayne lost to the West Michigan Whitecaps (Detroit Tigers), 9-7, on Thursday night at Parkview Field.
West Michigan (27-11, 72-33) jumped on the board in the top of the first inning. With one out and runners on first and second base, Isaac Paredes doubled to the left-field corner to score both runners for a 2-0 Whitecaps lead.
Fort Wayne (26-14, 52-58) struck back with authority in the bottom of the third inning. With shortstop Reinaldo Ilarraza at first base and one out, catcher A.J. Kennedy doubled down the right-field line and moved to third base on a fielding error by West Michigan right fielder Cole Bauml. Ilarraza scored on the play to cut the deficit to 2-1. Kennedy then scored on a wild pitch, tying the game, 2-2. After second baseman Nate Easley doubled and stole third base, left fielder Jorge Oña singled to score Easley and give the TinCaps a 3-2 advantage. Two batters later, with runners on first and second and two outs, third baseman Hudson Potts crushed a three-run home run over the wall in left-center field to propel Fort Wayne to a 6-2 lead. Center fielder Buddy Reed followed with a homer to center field to make it 7-2. It was the first time that the TinCaps hit back-to-back home runs since June 24, 2016 at Bowling Green when Ty France and Brad Zunica accomplished the feat.
The Whitecaps got a run back in the fourth inning. Dylan Burdeaux led off with a home run to left field on a two-strike pitch to trim the TinCaps’ lead to 7-3. At the end of the half inning, rain and lightning forced a delay that lasted 1 hour and 24 minutes and marked a turning point in the game.
The TinCaps didn’t score again after the delay. Meanwhile, West Michigan tied the game in the fifth inning. Anthony Pereira, Dylan Burdeaux, Drew Longley, and Chad Sedio all came to the plate with the bases loaded and each picked up an RBI as part of a four-run, four-hit inning that knotted the game up, 7-7.
West Michigan regained the lead in the sixth off Fort Wayne reliever Will Headean (L). With a runner on third base and one out, Pereira homered to left field to put the Whitecaps in front, 9-7.
Whitecaps reliever Trent Szkutnik allowed a single to TinCaps designated hitter Tyler Benson to lead off the bottom of the fourth inning, but Szkutnik retired 12 batters in a row.
Fort Wayne starting pitcher Jim McDade made a strong start, striking out seven batters in just four innings during his shortened start because of the delay. McDade allowed three runs but didn’t walk anyone and now hasn’t allowed a walk in 62 consecutive innings this season between Fort Wayne and Short-Season A Tri-City.
Friday, August 4 vs. West Michigan (7:05 p.m.)
– TinCaps Probable Starter: LH Adrian Morejon
– Whitecaps Probable Starter: RH Anthony Castro
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