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The Journal Gazette

Thursday, April 19, 2018 10:20 pm

TinCaps lose to Loons, 10-2: Quick thoughts

DYLAN SINN | The Journal Gazette

How it Happened

The first inning did not go well for TinCaps (4-10) starter Mason Thompson. He got the first out on a lazy fly to left, but then lost his control completely. Thompson gave free passes to five hitters in a row – including Fort Wayne native Zach McKinstry – and struggled to command all three of his pitches. When he finally got the second out, a loud cheer rippled through Parkview Field. By the time the inning was over, Thompson had thrown 37 pitches, just 12 for strikes, and Great Lakes was in front, 3-0.

Thompson threw more strikes in the second inning, but he again couldn't keep the Loons (3-8) from scoring. McKinstry singled with one out, bringing designated hitter Nick Yarnall to the plate. On a 1-1 pitch, the left-handed hitter clubbed a 381-foot home run through the wind to right field. The ball jumped off his bat at 101 mph and extended Great Lakes' lead to 5-0. It was Yarnall's second homer of the series after he went deep in the ninth inning Tuesday.

The situation did not improve in the third. In fact, it worsened considerably. A walk led off the inning and Moises Perez followed with a "triple" to right. The hit should have been a single, but it took a funny bounce and bounded past Tirso Ornelas, driving in the run. Brayan Morales followed with a single to left, ending Thompson's night with his team behind by seven. Reliever Caleb Boushley surrendered two more runs before the inning ended, ballooning Great Lakes' lead to 9-0. The Loons batted around for the second time in three innings.

Great Lakes added another run in the fifth to lead 10-0 and the TinCaps' offense was powerless to mount anything resembling a rally. Loons starter Jesus Vargas was masterful, needing 73 pitches to get through five innings without giving up a hit. His fastball topped out at 90 mph, but he commanded it so well that it didn't matter. The right-hander gave up just one ball to the outfield – a lazy fly to center – and no hard contact in his outing. He got the win in his first decision of the season.

With Vargas out of the game, Fort Wayne's bats got going. Gabriel Arias bounced a single up the middle to end the no-hitter in the sixth and Jack Suwinski followed with a sacrifice fly to right field to break up the shutout. The one run was all the TinCaps would get in the inning, but they added another run when Suwinski doubled in Jeisson Rosario from first. The hit gave Suwinski nine RBI this season.

Player of the Game: Nick Yarnall

Yarnall got on base in each of the first three innings, walking, homering and singling. He finished the night 4 for 5 with four RBI, giving him seven knocked in this season. The home run in the second inning was his third of the season, and he raised his slugging percentage to .639.

Facts and Figures

McKinstry, a former North Side infielder, played shortstop and hit second in the order, going 1 for 4 with two walks and two runs scored. He got on base at least twice in all three games of the series, collecting four hits. ... Game-time temperature was above 50 degrees after sitting at 35 degrees on Wednesday morning. ... The Loons snapped their six-game losing streak, their longest streak in April since 2007. They hadn't won since April 8. ... Great Lakes had three hits with runners in scoring position in the first three innings after having three such hits in the first two games of the series combined. ...The Loons walked six hitters, giving their pitchers 19 free passes in the series. They came in leading the league in walks per game with 6.5. ... Jeisson Rosario went 0 for 1 with three walks and has now walked 12 times in his last five games. ... Thompson threw 11 straight balls in one stretch in the first inning. He was knocked from the game after giving up eight runs in just two innings, with six hits and six walks on his ledger. ... First baseman Carlos Belen pitched the ninth inning and hit 95 mph with his fastball.

What's Next?

The TinCaps start the second series on this homestand tomorrow with a matchup against the Dayton Dragons (7-3). First pitch will be at 7:05 p.m. The Dragons are in first place in the Eastern Division. TinCaps left-hander Tom Cosgrove (0-2, 11.37 ERA) will get the start after giving up five runs in 2 1/3 innings last time out against Bowling Green. Right-hander Mac Sceroler (1-1, 7.20) will oppose Cosgrove.

dsinn@jg.net