The TinCaps ended their four-game losing streak and remained atop the Eastern Division's second-half standings with a 6-3 victory over the Beloit Snappers at Parkview Field.
Two statistics really stand out for the TinCaps (11-8, 42-47 overall): They were 4 for 13 with runners in scoring position, after batting .139 in this situations in the previous four games; and they had five stolen bases, one short of the season high and two short of the franchise record.
"That was kind of the story of the whole first half (of the season); we weren't hitting with runners in scoring position," said catcher Austin Hedges, who was 3 for 4 with two doubles into the leftfield corner, three RBI, two runs, two stolen bases and even threw out two attempted base stealers.
"Other than these past four games, previous to that in the second half (of the season), we had really been hitting with runners in scoring position and we did it again today. That's how we win ball games, in addition to our pitching."
As for the rationale behind the base-running, one need talk only to the manager, Jose Valentin.
"I like to be aggressive, especially when you aren't getting too much offensively," Valentin said. "You can't afford to just wait there for the big swing when you aren't having that consistently. … That's my game. I like to play aggressively and try to get those going and it works out. We just have to continue to do that, until we have some guys get some good at-bats and play. Then, I'll be able to afford to let them go up there and hit and relax."
The TinCaps' starting pitcher, Frank Garces, came in on a four-game winning streak, the longest for any Fort Wayne player this season, and he performed OK: four innings, giving up two hits, two runs, striking out four and walking four.
But reliever Dennis O'Grady (2-0) got the victory, giving up four hits and one run over four innings, during which he struck out two. Matt Stites picked up his seventh save, striking out two and giving up one run in the ninth inning.
Second baseman Tyler Stubblefield was 2 for 3 with two RBI and two stolen bases. Right-fielder Yeison Asencio was 2 for 4 with a run and a stolen base. First baseman Travis Whitmore was 1 for 2 with three runs.