FORT WAYNE – These days, if Frank Garces is on the mound, the TinCaps are winning.
Garces picked up his eighth victory in his last nine starts as the TinCaps defeated Bowling Green 7-3 in front of 5,202 fans Tuesday at Parkview Field.
Garces pitched five shutout innings. He gave up three hits and struck out three. The left-hander had to leave in the sixth inning because of cramps in his calves.
Great outing by Garces, Fort Wayne manager Jose Valentin said. Hes not nibbling. Hes not afraid to get hit. Hes mixing his pitches. Hes getting ahead with his fastball, and his changeup is getting better and better. Hes working in and out.
Garces had a 1-4 record when he lost losing to West Michigan on June 6. Hes gone 8-0 in the nine starts since. During that stretch, Garces has a 1.19 ERA (6 earned runs in 45 1/3 innings). He has 40 strikeouts and 22 walks.
Hes been great, Valentin said. Hes one of those guys, I havent seen fatigue in him. Hes consistently keeping the (fast)ball at 90, 91, 92 (miles per hour). For some reason know, every time hes pitching, our offense has backed him up.
That was certainly the case on Tuesday, particularly at the top of the order. Leadoff batter Travis Jankowski went 2 for 4 with one walk, two runs scored and one RBI.
Just being at the top of the lineup, the main goal is to get on base and let the two batter advance you over and the three, four and five drive you in, Jankowski said. My main goal today was to get on base and get in scoring position.
Jankowski showcased his speed in the third inning. First, he legged out an infield hit on a grounder to second base. Ryan Bretts late throw actually hit Jankowski in the helmet and rolled into right field. Jankowski made it all the way to third on the error. He then scored on a single by Jace Peterson.
Peterson, the No. 2 hitter in the order, went 2 for 3 with three RBI. He also walked.
Mike Gallic and Yeison Asencio, the No. 3 and No. 4 hitters, both had three hits.
I felt pretty good today, Gallic said. I was relaxed and seeing the ball well. For the most part, I swung at pretty good pitches. It was a pretty good night.
Gallic hit a solo home run in the seventh inning.
The first pitch, I was just looking to see one. He left a fastball up and I saw it pretty well, Gallic said. Then he came back with basically the same pitch, but right down the middle. I put a good, easy swing on it and it went.
Seven was the lucky number of the series. Fort Wayne (26-18, 57-57 overall) won the first game 7-2. Bowling Green (27-17, 65-49) took the next two, both by the scores of 7-4.
Gallics home run on Tuesday was Fort Waynes seventh, and final run.
Clutch situations, we got the hits when we need, Valentin said. To get a split in this series is huge. I feel fine the way we played all four games.