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The Journal Gazette

Sunday, May 20, 2018 12:30 am

Arias single in 10th sends TinCaps to 4th straight win

DYLAN SINN | The Journal Gazette

The TinCaps have taken four in a row for the first time this season, and they won the fourth in style when Gabriel Arias broke his bat and blooped a game-winning single over short in the 10th inning in front of the largest crowd of the season for a 5-4 victory Saturday.

The TinCaps trailed most of the game, falling behind by as many as three runs in the sixth inning and looking overmatched at times against South Bend starter Cory Abbott, who pitched six shutout innings and struck out 11. Despite that, it never seemed like they were out of the game and it always felt like they had a big rally left in them. That feeling came true when they pushed across four runs in the seventh against reliever Enrique De Los Rios, who previously had a 0.00 ERA in 14 1/3 innings. 

Even after Jared Carkuff gave up the game-tying run in the ninth inning, one out away from victory, the TinCaps kept their composure and continued to believe they'd win. That's no small feat with a team that's this young, but this group has a ton of a confidence right now.

"I looked over (before the bottom of the 10th inning) and saw (Jeisson) Rosario like as calm as can be, knowing he was gonna be in that situation," manager Anthony Contreras said of his leadoff hitter, who thought he'd have chance to win the game in the 10th but was intentionally walked instead. "These guys are never out of it; they're playing good baseball right now.

"You just have to hang with them. Those are the games where if you play good defense and keep yourself in the game you give yourself a chance once that starter gets out of there, and they were able to do that today."

The TinCaps' bullpen has continued to be a huge factor in the team's recent success, pitching 4 2/3 innings and only giving up one run, which was charged to Jared Carkuff in the ninth inning. Evan Miller was great again, helping keep the TinCaps in the game until they could rally in the seventh.

"It's nice to look at that list of who's available for the night and know I can probably go to pretty much anybody and we're gonna have a good chance to hold down an inning and give us a chance to win," said Contreras of his bullpen.

The only bit of bad news came after the game when the TinCaps announced MacKenzie Gore would not make his scheduled start Sunday. Tom Cosgrove will start in Gore's place as Fort Wayne goes for a sweep because the blister that kept Gore on the disabled list for more than five weeks earlier this season is acting up again. It's unclear when Gore will start again and whether he'll need another trip to the DL.