The TinCaps have struggled recently when they get a runner in scoring position.
Fort Wayne only had one hit in that situation Tuesday. But that’s all the team needed in a 4-1 victory against Dayton.
Zach Kometani hit a three-run home run in the fourth inning to help the TinCaps (4-8) snap a four-game losing streak.
It’s really nice to get a win, Kometani said. Four straight losses had been tough. We’ve been playing pretty well besides (Monday’s 9-3 loss to Dayton). We’ve got a really good team here. At some point it’s going to turn around. Hopefully this is a turning point.
Four Fort Wayne pitchers combined for 14 strikeouts. Starter Adys Portillo had a career-high nine strikeouts, but he had to leave after suffering a cramp in his right calf in the fifth inning.
I tried to get the last out for a W,’ said Portillo, who left after 4 2/3 innings. I felt pain. I couldn’t throw more. The good part is we won.
Portillo did not give up a run. He gave up four hits and walked three batters.
Portillo was on today, manager Jose Valentin said. He was the Portillo that I know, working ahead.
Portillo lowered his ERA to 0.59.
I’ve got a lot of confidence now, Portillo said. I just have to keep throwing. With everything I learned last season, this year I have a lot of confidence.
Fort Wayne’s starting pitching has been one of the team’s strengths early this season, but the team has lacked clutch hitting. Fort Wayne was 10 of 46 with runners in scoring position during the four-game losing streak. That included going 1 for 12 on Monday.
The TinCaps were just 1 of 10 on Tuesday. But the one was Kometani’s three-run homer to left field.
It was a 1-0 pitch. The pitcher threw a fastball away the first pitch for a ball, Kometani said.
He came back with another fastball. I was just ready to hit that one. I got a good pitch to handle and was lucky enough to hit it out.
Justin Miller drove in Fort Wayne’s final run with a double in the fifth. Miller went 3 for 4.
Ryan Wright, a Homestead graduate, went 1 for 5 for the Dragons (5-7).
Note: Fort Wayne catcher Austin Hedges is headed to the disabled list with a right shoulder injury, Valentin said after the game. He will rehab at San Diego’s minor league facility in Arizona. Catcher Jeremy Rodriguez will be added to the roster.