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The Journal Gazette

Wednesday, April 18, 2018 11:30 am

TinCaps reach for 2 in a row

DYLAN SINN | The Journal Gazette

The TinCaps got their first win of the homestand last night and they'll try to make it two in a row this morning after a break of almost exactly 13 hours between pitches. Another start like the first inning of last night's game would be ideal, although it's unlikely that Great Lakes pitchers will walk five hitters and hit a sixth in the same inning again.

If Fort Wayne does put together another early rally, it will do so without last night's spark plug, Jeisson Rosario. The center fielder walked three times and scored twice last night, but has a day off this morning. Instead, Esteury Ruiz will hit leadoff and Tirso Ornelas will play center. That leaves the speedy Tre Carter to play right and hit ninth in the order. Carter hasn't had a great start to the season, hitting just .226 so far, but he's made some noise at the bottom of the order and has been in the middle of a few of the team's biggest rallies, helping turn the lineup over.

On the mound, the TinCaps will start a second straight left-hander, 21-year-old Aaron Leasher. Leasher has made two starts this season, compiling a 4.32 ERA in 8 1/3 innings. His most recent start, against the Lansing Lugnuts, was a good one, as he tossed 5 1/3 frames, allowing just three hits and two runs and left with his team in front 3-1. He's had some problems with walks throughout his career and that trend has held so far this season, as he's issued six free passes already, including four in his last start. If he can limit them, he'll continue a promising development for TinCaps pitchers: they've walked just seven over the last four games, curbing their biggest early-season problem on the mound.

In other news, today is the day that left-hander MacKenzie Gore is first eligible to come off the 7-day disabled list, but that won't happen yet. Manager Anthony Contreras told me last night that the Padres' best pitching prospect is in San Diego seeing a specialist for his blister, hoping to discover why the problem keeps recurring. 

"He's playing catch, he's making progress toward his next start," Contreras said. "Not too sure when that will be, but he's in a good spot right now. The finger's healing nicely and we're just waiting for him to progress."

Reading between the lines, it seems that Gore's return isn't particularly imminent. The team clearly wants to wait until the blister is completely healed before he pitches again. To that end, the left-hander isn't listed among the probable starters in the next five days, so TinCaps fans likely won't see him on this homestand.