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The Journal Gazette

Wednesday, July 18, 2018 10:50 pm

TinCaps fall to Burlington Bees, 6-2

DYLAN SINN | The Journal Gazette

How it Happened

Fort Wayne led most of the game, taking a 2-1 advantage into the eighth inning. Reliever Caleb Boushley was on the mound to start the top of the eighth when Keinner Pina grounded to short and Gabriel Arias bobbled the ball for his second error (he'd finish with three). Spencer Griffin followed with a single and a sacrifice bunt put two runners in scoring position. No. 8 hitter Connor Fitzsimons then bounced a soft single up the middle to drive in both runners and put his team in front 3-2. All three Burlington runs scored on soft singles up the middle. 

The TinCaps got off to a flying start. Starter Luis Patino retired the side in order in the top of the first with a pair of strikeouts, turning the spotlight over to the offense. Leadoff hitter Jeisson Rosario then took one pitch before rocketing the second offering deep into the right-center gap, where it flew over the wall for a leadoff home run that put Fort Wayne in front 1-0. It was Rosario's second homer of the season and first that left the park.

Patino took control from there, adding another start to his string of dominant outings. The right-hander hit 94-97 mph with his fastball, with precision command. In the fourth, he got back-to-back looking strikeouts on perfectly placed fastballs on the outside corner, helping his team remain in front. He exited after 73 pitches in favor of Mason Thompson.

Thompson is usually a starter, but he pitched in relief tonight, striking out two in a scoreless inning. His work is notable because he threw harder than I've seen him all season, hitting 97 mph with the fastball after sitting 90-91 through mid-May and then 93-95 from then on. He threw 25 pitches in his only inning.

The Bees added three runs in the ninth inning, helped along by Arias' third error, a ground ball traveling 106 mph that he played off his hip. The first five hitters in the inning reached against right-hander Evan Miller, who got a sarcastic cheer from the crowd when he finally got the first out.

Player of the Game: Jeisson Rosario

Rosario had a huge night. The center fielder went 4 for 4 with a home run and two RBI. His leadoff home run went 400 feet to right-center and left his bat at 103 mph. It was Rosario's first four-hit game since May 26 and followed an 0 for 9 stretch in the final three games of Fort Wayne's road trip. He had more hits than the rest of the TinCaps combined.

Facts and figures

The TinCaps have lost nine of their last 11 games. ... The Bees came in with the worst record in the Midwest League. ... Fort Wayne's Robbie Podorsky went 0 for 2 with a walk and a sacrifice bunt, ending his season-long 11-game hitting streak. ... TinCaps third baseman Kelvin Melean went 1 for 4. He's gotten on base in each of his first nine games with Fort Wayne and is hitting .333. ... Patino went four innings, giving up one run and striking out six. He had pitched 13 1/3 consecutive innings without giving up an earned run before the Bees scored in the second. Patino's season ERA is 2.28. ... Bees center fielder Torii Hunter Jr. is the son of former Fort Wayne Wizard and MLB All-Star Torii Hunter. The younger Hunter also played wide receiver at Notre Dame. ... The TinCaps did not have a ground ball out until the sixth inning, repeatedly popping up on the infield. ... Burlington pitchers faced the minimum from the third inning through the eighth, giving up just one hit during that span. ... Burlington's Spencer Griffin went 3 for 5 with two runs scored and two RBI.

What's next?

These teams will meet again Thursday at Parkview Field for the second matchup of this three-game series. First pitch will be at 7:05 p.m. The TinCaps will send left-hander Tom Cosgrove (2-4, 4.76 ERA). In his most recent outing, he pitched six innings for the first time since June 13 and gave up just one earned run. The Bees will counter with 19-year-old right-hander Jose Soriano (0-3, 4.50 ERA). Fangraphs ranks him the Angels' No. 9 prospect.