Fort Wayne, IN
Monday night, the TinCaps scored often, scoring ten runs on fourteen hits, to defeat the Cedar Rapid Kernels and take the three-game series 2-1.
Although the Kernels scored first on a solo home run in the top of the second, the TinCaps responded in their half of the inning and did not look back after that.
With Michael Curry on second and Luke Becker on first, Tyler Benson hit a ground ball to Kernels third baseman Spencer Steer. Steer threw to second, but a miscommunication between the shortstop and second baseman resulted in the throw being untouched and headed to the outfield. Curry rounded third and scored easily to tie the game. Tucupita Marcano continued the rally with a double down the right-field line to bring in Becker. After a walk to Blake Hunt, Dwanya Williams-Sutton was hit to force in Benson and give the TinCaps a 3-1 lead.
The Caps added two more in the third when Justin Lopez hit a lead-off double and then scored on a Curry single. After a walk and a single loaded the bases, Marcano walked to up the lead to 5-2. In the fifth, the TinCaps, with assists from Kernels’ pitching, added three more runs. Becker drew a base on balls to start the inning and moved to second on a Benson single. Marcano came through again, singling to score Becker. After another walk loaded the bases, Williams-Sutton was hit by a pitch for the third consecutive at-bat, and then Ethan Skender walked to extend the TinCaps lead to 8-2.
In the eighth inning, the Kernels brought in left fielder Daniel Ozoria to pitch, and the TinCaps added two more runs on a series of singles by Curry, Benson, Marcano, and Juwaun Harris.
TinCaps pitchers were equal to the impressive offense. Joey Cantillo turned in another sterling start, going six innings and striking out ten. Cantillo gave up only two runs on five hits, and one run resulted from a questionable call by home plate umpire Jae-Young Kim in the third inning. With the Kernels’ Ozoria on second, Yeltsin Encarnacion hit a ground ball deep up the middle, but Marcano snagged the ball and threw home. While the throw and tag by Hunt appeared to beat the runner, Ozoria was called safe for the Kernels’ second run.
After Cantillo exited after the sixth inning, the bullpen followed up on his performance. In two innings, Henry Henry retired six of seven batters and struck out three. Edwuin Bencomo finished in the ninth, including two Ks to end the game.
After a day off, the TinCaps travel Wednesday to Kentucky for a three-game series against the first-place Bowling Green Hot Rods.
Announced attendance was 6,614, putting the TinCaps just over 250,000 for the season.
Everyone in the TinCaps lineup reached base once, and seven batters did so multiple times.
The TinCaps sent nine batters to the plate in both the second and fifth innings.
Marcano led the offense, going 3-for-5 with 4 RBIs. Harris, Curry, and Benson also had multiple-hit games.
Williams-Sutton had the strangest offensive output of the night. In six plate appearances, he grounded out once, walked once, and in between was hit by a pitch in four consecutive at-bats. Since two of the HBPs occurred with the based loaded, Williams-Sutton finished the game 0-for-1 with 2 RBIs.
For the game, TinCaps pitching combined for fifteen strikeouts with only one walk.
In the fifth and sixth innings, Cantillo strung together four consecutive Ks.
In the Condiment Packet Race, Relish blew a substantial lead by stopping to play an impromptu game of rock-paper-scissors with Mustard, allowing Ketchup to surge to victory and pull within three of Mustard on the season. Relish remains winless.