Bowling Green, KY - The TinCaps won for the first time in six games on Sunday afternoon, beating the Bowling Green Hot Rods, 6-5. Maxx Tissenbaum hit a two-run home run in the top of the eighth inning to turn a 5-4 deficit into the eventual victory.
For the second time in as many games, Fort Wayne (26-22) took an early lead with a first-inning home run. Alberth Martinez and Tissenbaum hit back-to-back one-out singles against Bowling Green (29-20) starter Taylor Guerrieri. That set the stage for third baseman Gabriel Quintana, who blasted his fifth home run of the season to left field to give the TinCaps a 3-0 edge. Quintana is now tied with Jeremy Baltz and Brian Adams for the team lead in homers with five.
The Hot Rods also struck quickly offensively against TinCaps starter Joe Ross. Andrew Toles hit a lead-off triple in the first and on a Joey Rickard RBI-groundout.
Ross and Fort Wayne maintained their 3-1 lead into the sixth. Although Guerrieri retired 12 straight batters after Quintana's homer, he hit Martinez with one out in the sixth. Martinez then stole second base and reached third on a Tissenbaum groundout. With Quintana batting, Bowling Green catcher Justin O'Conner attempted to throw Martinez out leading from third. But the catcher's throw went awry into left field, enabling Martinez to touch home to make it 4-1.
Bowling Green bounced right back, though, with three runs in the bottom of the sixth inning. After Tommy Coyle drove home Rickard, O'Conner belted his first home run of the year to tie the game, 4-4.
The TinCaps stranded runners at the corners in the top of the seventh and then fell behind, 5-4, in the bottom half of the frame. Michael Kelly, who came on in the seventh to relieve Ross, walked the first batter he faced, the number nine hitter, Leonardo Reginatto. Following a Toles single, a Rickard sacrifice bunt, and an intentional walk of Coyle, Tyler Goeddel came up with the bases loaded. Goeddel grounded out to short, but that was good enough to plate Reginatto for the go-ahead run.
In the top of the eighth, however, it was Fort Wayne's turn to rally. Mallex Smith started things with a single against reliever Jose Molina. Two batters later, Tissenbaum bombed his second homer of the season (and of the week) over the wall in right, giving the TinCaps a 6-5 edge.
Leonel Campos pitched a scoreless eighth inning to earn credit for a hold, while closer Roman Madrid saved his eighth game of the year in the ninth.
With the win, the TinCaps trail the Hot Rods by 2.5 games for the Eastern Division's wild card spot.
The TinCaps go for a 2-1 series win in a Memorial Day matinee at Bowling Green at 3:05. Max Fried (2-1, 2.95) is set to start for Fort Wayne against Jeff Ames (5-0, 2.13). The game can be heard on The Fan 1380 and TheFanFortWayne.com.