Bowling Green, KY - The Bowling Green Hot Rods avoided being swept by the Fort Wayne TinCaps with a 9-6 win Friday night in the finale of at three-game series. The Midwest League's Tampa Bay outfit poured on four runs in the bottom of the eighth inning against TinCaps reliever Wilson Santos, capping their comeback and ending Fort Wayne's five-game winning streak.
The Hot Rods gave the TinCaps a taste of their own medicine, after Fort Wayne (24-30) had scored 10 unanswered runs in the series opener Wednesday for a 12-7 win. The TinCaps pounced early against Bowling Green (25-29) starter Jake Faria, scoring four runs in the second inning. All of the runs scored with two outs, as Henry Charles, Luis Tejada, River Stevens, and Dustin Peterson collected RBI.
Starting pitcher Ronald Herrera, recently acquired via trade with the Oakland Athletics, made his San Diego farm-system debut, and looked sharp doing so. He surrendered one run in the second inning, but then settled in to retire the next eight consecutive batters through the third and fourth innings.
Dane Philips hit a two-run home run in the fifth against Faria, stretching Fort Wayne's lead to 6-1. The longball marked the fourth straight game that the TinCaps have hit a home run. However, after that dinger, the offense was minimal as Fort Wayne had just four hits the rest of the night, and Bowling Green was just getting started.
The Hot Rods tacked on three runs in the bottom of the fifth against Herrera, although three of the runs were unearned due to an error the shortstop Stevens. Bowling Green scored again in the seventh on an RBI single by Juniel Querecuto, which cut the TinCaps lead to 6-5. That single knocked Herrera from the game after 6 2/3 innings. The 19-year-old's outing was the longest start by a TinCaps pitcher this season. Genison Reyes completed the frame, getting Pat Blair to pop out, and stranding two runners on base.
Wilson Santos (0-3) worked the fateful eighth, giving up four runs, only one of which was earned due to two errors. Catcher Ryan Miller overthrew second on a stolen base attempt, and the first baseman Tejada dropped a foul pop-up in the eight-batter inning. Hot Rods reliever Aaron Griffin (3-3) earned the win with four scoreless innings of relief.
The TinCaps now return home for a three-game set against the West Michigan Whitecaps. First pitch of Saturday's game is scheduled for 7:05 p.m., with Kyle Lloyd set to take the hill for Fort Wayne and Austin Kubitza scheduled for the Whitecaps. The game can be seen on XFINITY 81 and heard on The Fan 1380 and TheFanFortWayne.com.