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The Journal Gazette

Sunday, July 09, 2017 12:30 am

Tatis endures rough night in field, at plate

CHRIS GOFF | The Journal Gazette

Fernando Tatis Jr. isn't perfect, or else he'd be in the major leagues. That point was underscored again Saturday night.

In the TinCaps' 9-8 loss to Lansing, Tatis bobbled a ball off the bat of Nash Knight in the ninth inning. What should have been a game-ending double play was instead an RBI groundout for Knight, who was thrown out at first base after Tatis was unable to cleanly field the bouncer hit right at him. Once Tatis gathered the ball off the dirt, he had no play at second, and the Lugnuts' next batter changed the game's outcome.

Things went poorly in the batter's box, as well. Tatis finished 0 for 4 with a walk. He struck out three times and stranded three baserunners. He was the only player in the lineup that didn't make a quality contribution of one sort or another.

Tatis is the top-rated prospect Fort Wayne has, but like any 18-year-old player he has plenty to work on.

"We've seen the ups and downs that he's had," manager Anthony Contreras said.

Saturday's affair was a rare loss when ahead after eight innings. The TinCaps are now 30-2 in games they led entering the ninth.

While their bullpen suffered a letdown, give counterpart Juliandry Higuera credit. I've seen a weekend atmosphere at Parkview Field bother many a reliever, but Higuera (2-0) was spectacular finishing this one for Lansing.

In 2 1/3 scoreless innings, Higuera did not allow a hit and had five strikeouts. 

cgoff@jg.net