Fort Wayne (incnow.tv)- The TinCaps overcame a 7-1 deficit against the Bowling Green Hot Rods Wednesday night to tie the game, 7-7, but eventually lost in 10 innings, 8-7. First baseman Luis Tejada had his first four-hit game of the season and scored twice in the losing effort.
Hunter Renfroe doubled home Alberth Martinez in the bottom of the first inning to put the TinCaps ahead, 1-0. That lead wouldn't last long, as the Hot Rods scored seven times in the top of the second inning. It was the third time this season that Fort Wayne (19-32, 62-58) surrendered seven runs in a frame.
A three run-home run by Patrick Leonard and a two-run shot by Joey Rickard highlighted the offensive attack for Bowling Green (30-22, 68-52). The Hot Rods chased TinCaps starter Matthew Shepherd from the game before he recorded an out in the second. Shepherd’s start was the shortest outing by a starting pitcher since Zach Cates went 1/3 of an inning on April 27, 2011 against Lake County.
Fort Wayne reliever Colin Rea replaced Shepherd. Although he allowed the homer to Rickard and one additional run, the 6'5" righty eventually found a groove and pitched five innings. Rea struck out four, including the side in order in the fifth. He also received help from his defense in the top of the sixth inning, when Rickard was thrown out at the plate attempting to score on a base-hit by Luke Maile. After the ball rolled off Luis Domoromo’s glove in left field, center fielder Alberth Martinez hurled the ball to shortstop Tyler Stubblefield, who fired the ball to the plate. Catcher Rodney Daal successfully blocked the plate, received the ball, tagged out Rickard, and held on to the ball, even with Rickard’s slide wiping out his legs.
Meanwhile, the TinCaps' offense rallied with their fourth consecutive game of double-digit hits. The Summit City club scored three times in its half of the second to trim its deficit to 7-4, thanks to an RBI single by Mallex Smith and a two-run double from Alberth Martinez. Fort Wayne got two more runs back in the bottom of the sixth via an RBI single by Reynaldo Bruguera, who had his second straight multi-hit game, and a Smith fielder's choice groundout. The TinCap comeback then came to fruition in the bottom of the eighth when Domoromo led off with a solo home run to right-center field that tied the game, 7-7.
Despite not scoring in innings three through nine, the Hot Rods proved resilient in the 10th against Roman Madrid (6-4). Tyler Goeddel began extra innings with a single, advanced to second on a passed ball, and reached third on a sacrifice bunt by Leonardo Reginatto. That set the stage for Marty Gantt to deliver a go-ahead double to left field.
Bowling Green reliever Ryan Garton (3-3) tossed a scoreless ninth and 10th to earn the victory. Hot Rods starter Reinaldo Lopez entered with the lowest ERA in the Midwest League among active pitchers, but was touched for six runs on nine hits in 5 1/3 frames. That raised his ERA from 2.23 to 2.65.
The TinCaps and Hot Rods reunite at Parkview Field on Thursday for a 7:05 p.m. first pitch. Bryan Rodriguez (2-6, 3.51) is set to start for Fort Wayne against Bowling Green's Jeff Ames (7-4, 2.98).
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