Comstock Park, MI - After losing the day portion of a split Saturday doubleheader, the TinCaps rebounded for the nightcap with an 8-7 victory over the West Michigan Whitecaps at Fifth Third Ballpark. Diego Goris led the charge with his first home run of the season, a fourth-inning grand slam that powered a six-run frame for Fort Wayne.
The TinCaps found themselves in an early 3-0 deficit after the first inning, as West Michigan (33-36) jumped ahead against Fort Wayne (42-26) starter Adys Portillo. The 21-year-old righthander, who had been activated a day earlier from the disabled list at Double-A San Antonio, went just 2 2/3 innings, allowing four runs (two earned) on eight hits in his first TinCaps start since July 19, 2012.
Striking back at a slow pace, the TinCaps picked up single runs in the second and third innings, and still trailed, 4-2, heading into the fourth. Fort Wayne, now facing Whitecaps reliever Logan Ehlers (0-4), went to work against the lefthander. Goris hit the grand slam over the wall in left-center field, which was the first home run for the TinCaps in the month of June, snapping a streak of more than 100 consecutive innings without a home run by a Fort Wayne hitter. Later in the frame, Mallex Smith hit a two-run single to center field, scoring both Brian Adams and Felix Cabrera, to give the TinCaps an 8-4 lead.
That advantage was fortified by the relief of Matthew Shepherd (4-0), Leonel Campos and Chris Nunn. Roman Madrid, the team's closer, came on in a four-run game, but it the margin would quickly shrink. Madrid walked Jake Stewart to begin the inning, and then retired Jake Kirksey. Danry Vasquez ripped an RBI double to left, scoring Stewart, making it 8-5 in favor of the TinCaps. Two batters later, following an error by third baseman Chris Burke, Devon Travis connected on a two-run double to left, making it 8-7. With the tying run at third, Lance Durham struck out to end the game, securing the win for the TinCaps.
The finale of the first half, and this four-game series, is scheduled for Sunday afternoon at 1:00. The scheduled starters are Justin Hancock for Fort Wayne and Edgar De La Rosa for West Michigan. The game can be heard on The Fan 1380 and TheFanFortWayne.com.