FORT WAYNE – Fort Waynes Yeison Asencio strolled to the plate in the ninth inning with the tying run on third base.
There were two outs.
Bowling Green closer Austin Hubbard threw three off-speed pitches. And Asencio struck out.
The TinCaps got runners on, but couldnt get them home, falling to the Hot Rods 4-3 in front of 5,981 fans Friday at Parkview Field.
We didnt execute on the offense, Fort Wayne manager Jose Valentin said. We had a lot of chances to score runs, but we didnt play small ball today.
The TinCaps (10-5, 41-44 overall) went 3 for 16 with runners in scoring position. The team left 10 runners on base, falling for just third time in 11 games.
Its not going to be here every night, said outfielder Kyle Gaedele, who went 2 for 3 with two RBI. We battled back. Im proud of the guys. We just fell a little short tonight.
Bowling Green (8-7, 46-39) avoided a three-game sweep thanks to Cameron Seitzer, who went 2 for 4 with a home run and two runs scored. The Hot Rods collected 11 hits.
Fort Wayne starting pitcher Colin Rea (2-5) gave up three runs, two earned, and eight hits in 3 1/3 innings.
I left a lot over the middle of the plate, Rea said. I have to get ahead of more hitters.
Rea exited the game with the TinCaps trailing 3-1.
Fort Wayne got one run back in the bottom of the fourth, but missed out chance for a big inning.
The TinCaps loaded the bases with one out. Gaedele singled to right field, bringing home Asencio to make it 3-2.
Felix Cabrera then popped out to first baseman Jeff Malm. Travis Jankowski grounded out to second baseman Juniel Querecuto to end the inning.
Seitzers solo home run in the fifth off of Dennis OGrady made it 4-2.
Fort Wayne attempted a rally in the sixth. Austin Hedges and Zach Kometani singled. Gaedele drew a walk to load the bases.
Tyler Stubblefield pinch hit for Cabrera and hit into a fielders choice. Hedges scored to make it 4-3. Jankowski struck out with runners on the corners and one out. Jace Peterson walked to load the bases for Mike Gallic. Bowling Green reliever Jason McEachern got Gallic to ground out to shortstop Jake Hager to end the threat.
Our hits (total, 9) were good enough to win the game, our pitching was great, our defense was great, Valentin said. The only reason we didnt win this game was because we didnt play small ball.
The TinCaps were still able to take 2 of 3 from the Hot Rods. Fort Wayne has won all five series in the second half.
We dont take anything for granted. Were not really making too many mistakes, Gaedele said of the fast start.
Kometani and Duanel Jones also had two hits for the TinCaps. Jones scored a run.
The TinCaps have spent the past 10 days in first place in the Eastern Division.
I feel good the way we are playing right now, Valentin said. It was one of those games, it was a tough one for us. The good thing about this one is we won the series again. The guys got (upset) the way we lost today. They knew we had a lot of chances to come back and win the game. But theyre great. You can see the chemistry in the clubhouse is way different. Guys are just having fun.