FORT WAYNE – The TinCaps had plenty of offense in their first half-inning of the day, which was a continuation of a game suspended Friday.
But after a four-run comeback to win that contest against West Michigan at Parkview Field, the TinCaps’ bats went cold.
It was an up-and-down day for Fort Wayne, which won 8-7 on a walk-off double in the restarted game but couldn’t string together hits in a 3-1 loss Saturday with a crowd of 6,733 on hand.
We score four runs today early, without an out, in less than 30 minutes, manager Jose Valentin said. We can’t score one in nine innings. It’s something that is hard to explain.
TinCaps starter Joe Ross continued a win drought that stretches to April 25 and gave up his second loss of the season. In five innings, he gave up six hits and just two runs.
He battled, Valentin said. Went out there and worked hard, gave us five innings. But he was up in the zone, you know?
During a sparse offensive outing for Fort Wayne (31-23), that was enough.
The TinCaps struck out five times in 37 plate appearances, but the balls they hit weren’t hit hard. Only one player, designated hitter Diego Goris, logged an extra-base hit.
Fort Wayne compounded its power problem with a lack of consistency.
The TinCaps had multiple hits in just one frame, the bottom of the fifth. That inning was also the only time Fort Wayne scored.
We got a lot of chances, a lot of opportunities to score some runs, said Valentin, whose TinCaps were 0 for 5 with runners in scoring position. When you’re wasting too many chances like that, then it’s hard to win.
The Whitecaps (27-26) got six innings out of starter Endrys Briceno, who gave up one earned run on six hits.
Reliever Josh Turley went two innings and gave up just one hit, and closer Chad Smith came on for the save.
You got to give credit to their pitcher, too, Valentin said of Briceno. The guy had a great game. He had situations where he was in trouble, but he would make the pitches. Keep the ball down, throw the sinker, change his speed. That’s the bottom line. Get some hitters out. It’s not about just going up there and striking everybody out.
The TinCaps’ first half-inning of the day was their best.
Fort Wayne strung together four runs in the bottom of the 11th to come back from a three-run deficit and win their fourth extra-inning game of the season.
Friday’s game was suspended in the top half of the 11th inning, with the Whitecaps leading 7-4.
Fort Wayne came back Saturday and amassed four hits to complete an improbable comeback.
Luis Tejada hit a walk-off double with the bases loaded to score the winning runs.