Sunday, April 09, 2017 6:50 pm
Keel's pitching leads TinCaps to series split
CHRIS GOFF | The Journal Gazette
The TinCaps' shorthanded bullpen needed a break Sunday afternoon, and it was Jerry Keel to the rescue.
Keel started and was solid into the seventh inning, keying a 3-2 win over Bowling Green at Parkview Field as Fort Wayne split a four-game season-opening series.
Many relievers were unavailable because of needing rest after a recent heavy workload. Keel lasted 6 1/3 innings and allowed only one earned run on four hits while striking out eight.
"Jerry's been very consistent," TinCaps manager Anthony Contreras said. "I think last year he was the most consistent of all our pitchers. He did a tremendous job. If these veteran starters can give us some length like he did today, it will put us in a good position to be in every game."
Reinaldo Ilarraza's RBI single in the seventh put Fort Wayne ahead after the Hot Rods had scored twice in the top half of the inning to tie the game at 2.
Ben Sheckler (1-0) protected the lead by pitching 2 2/3 shutout innings. He had seven strikeouts, meaning 15 of the 27 outs made by Bowling Green's hitters came via the strikeout.
Fernando Tatis Jr. finished 1 for 3 with a solo home run and a walk. His first-inning shot to deep center field landed atop the seats in the 400 Club, a feat believed to be matched in a game only once since the group hospitality section opened in 2013. On July 12, 2014, Henry Charles launched a home run onto the 400 Club roof.
Hudson Potts' RBI single extended the lead to 2-0 in the third. Garrett Whitley got Bowling Green on the board in the seventh with an RBI single. After Keel was removed, a run-scoring error by Ilarraza created the tie.
The TinCaps (2-2) open a three-game series against South Bend on Monday at Parkview Field.