Brett Luke | The Journal Gazette TinCaps first baseman Jalen Washington hits a two-run home run in the third inning Friday night against Lansing. Washington also had a single and scored two runs Friday.
Saturday, June 09, 2018 1:00 am
TinCaps 9 Lansing 3
TinCaps use 2 big innings to snap skid
DYLAN SINN | The Journal Gazette
TinCaps vs. Lansing
Where: Parkview Field
When: 7:05 p.m. today
Pitchers: Luis Patino (TinCaps) vs. Maverik Buffo (Lugnuts)
TV: Xfinity 81
Radio: 1380 AM, 100.9 FM
It had not been a good week offensively for the TinCaps entering Friday's game. They'd been no-hit Wednesday and scored just one run in the final two games of a sweep at the hands of the South Bend Cubs.
Friday, the offense broke out against one of the best teams in the league.
Fort Wayne batted around in two straight innings and turned an early deficit into an easy 9-3 victory over the first-place Lansing Lugnuts behind a big night from first baseman Jalen Washington, who homered and scored twice in front of an announced crowd of 6,813 at Parkview Field.
“It was good, in front of the home crowd,” Washington said of his team's offensive performance. “We got to come home and put a little bit more preparation and time in on the field and in the cages with things like that. It was just awesome to get (TinCaps starter Osvaldo) Hernandez an early lead because he pitched his butt off tonight.”
The TinCaps (27-32) trailed 1-0 after the top of the first, then went in front for good with a big rally in the third. Four runs crossed the plate, two of which came courtesy of Washington's second homer of the season, a towering blast to left.
“My approach was to get something out over the middle of the plate,” said Washington, who hadn't homered since April 13. “He started me off away and then he came back middle in and I put a good swing on it and backspun it a little bit. I didn't think it was going out to start, but things happen.”
Luis Campusano later walked with the bases loaded to drive in a third run in the third and Gabriel Arias singled to left to make it 4-1. The TinCaps sent 10 hitters to the plate in the inning.
It was more of the same in the fourth, as nine Fort Wayne hitters got a turn at bat. Campusano and Arias drove in runs with bases-loaded walks, and Jeisson Rosario flipped a single into left for an RBI, as well. Three runs came across to break the game open to help the TinCaps snap a four-game losing streak.
Hernandez got off to a shaky start, giving up a single and two walks to the first three hitters he faced, but Jack Suwinski made a nice running catch in right field on a potential extra-base hit to help the left-hander escape the first. Hernandez settled in thereafter.
The 20-year-old went six innings, giving up two runs while striking out six. His curveball was sharp and he needed just 80 pitches to complete his outing.
“He's a very energetic, tightly bound kid that wants to get out there and do a lot of things,” Contreras said of Hernandez. “He's good when he stays under control. We were trying to find ways to keep him in rhythm and keep him focused on what he's trying to do out there on the mound.”
Hernandez has not given up more than two runs in any of his last eight starts and his 2.29 season ERA is second among qualified pitchers in the Midwest League.