Fort Wayne took Bowling Green to extra innings Wednesday after trailing by six runs in the second inning.
That gave manager Jose Valentin cause for optimism after the 8-7 loss in the 10th at Parkview Field.
"Overall, it was a great played game," he said. "I'm pleased and happy with the way we played today, especially with a team like that. Being down against a team like Bowling Green and then being able to just chip away and just get closer, I'm happy. I think we got a chance to score some runs late after that, but you know, we're happy with the way we swing. Our approach today at home plate was good."
Fort Wayne got three two-out RBI against the Hot Rods and got hits from all but one starter, shortstop Tyler Stubblefield. Other than a seven-run second inning and a run in the 10th, the TinCaps pitchers shut out Bowling Green.
And despite a 19-32 record in the second half, the TinCaps will be playoff-bound in September. Valentin thinks the team can make a run if it can string together days like Wednesday with solid pitching for nine innings.
"I think our pitching staff is good," he said. "You can't be inconsistent to be a winning team, so you got to put everything together. "
Tejada, Daal heating up at right time
First baseman Luis Tejada had a good day for Fort Wayne, and catcher Rodney Daal has had a good week.
Those developments bode well for the TinCaps as September approaches.
"He's been one of those guys that we need to get hot," Valentin said of Tejada, who went 4 for 5 on Wednesday. "Hopefully this is a good start for him because if he continues to swing the bat pretty good like that, that's one more guy, weapon, that we can use."
Daal is in the middle of a six-game hitting streak, a season-high for him. The catcher has gone from splitting time with Dane Phillips, who was promoted to Advanced-A, to an everyday catcher.
That change has helped him develop his approach at the plate.
"It's tough to play, have success -- especially offensively -- when you play one day, one day off," Valentin said. "Now, he's getting more confidence."
Daal agreed. Hitting has come easier, he said, since Phillips was moved up.
"I'm just seeing the ball really good and putting a good swing on it," he said. "That's all I'm trying to do.
"I definitely got some rhythm going on right now, and I'm seeing pitches every day. That's a good thing."