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The Journal Gazette

  • Photos by Rachel Von | The Journal Gazette TinCaps third baseman Luis Almanzar tries to hang onto the ball as the Hot Rods' Emilio Gustave slides under him into third base during the third inning at Parkview Field on Monday. Gustave was stranded at third.  

  • TinCaps starter MacKenzie Gore gave up two runs on three hits in five innings Monday night.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018 1:00 am

Bowling Green 6, TinCaps 1

Gore takes tough loss for TinCaps

DYLAN SINN | The Journal Gazette

For the first time since the opening series of the season, the TinCaps have been swept in a four-game series.

The series finale Monday at Parkview Field was a pitching duel from the start, and Bowling Green right-hander Austin Franklin got the best of Fort Wayne hurlers MacKenzie Gore and Osvaldo Hernandez, tossing seven innings and giving up just one run in a 6-1 victory in front of an announced crowd of 4,241.

Fort Wayne (43-45, 11-8 second half) has dropped four games in a row for the first time in more than a month and is two games behind the first-place Hot Rods after entering the series two games in front.

Franklin was the key to the Hot Rods' victory, equaling his longest outing of the season and retiring nine in a row during one stretch between the fourth and the seventh. He got the win to improve to 6-4.

“We hit some balls on the screws, we were barreling up some things right at guys,” manager Anthony Contreras said. “That's how it goes sometimes, you've just gotta be able to move on to the next (at-bat) and compete and hopefully it falls our way the next time.”

Early in the game, it looked like the TinCaps would prevail in a low-scoring affair. Gore had excellent stuff, not giving up a hit through four innings and generating plenty of weak contact. The left-hander's fastball was an easy 94 mph and his changeup was as good as it has been all season, darting down and away from right-handed hitters.

“He pitched well,” Contreras said of Gore's outing against a Bowling Green team second in the league in runs. “The fastball looked good, he was facing a really good lineup for the first time and he got through them pretty easily. He just has to stay consistent and pitch with the edge that I see him pitching with when he's going good.”

Gore entered the fifth inning with 10 consecutive scoreless innings dating back to his last start, but at that point the Hot Rods (60-28, 13-6) finally broke through. With Fort Wayne leading 1-0, Bowling Green put runners on second and third with two outs.

Gore then threw a fastball to Eleardo Cabrera that ripped through the webbing of catcher Luis Campusano's glove and went to the backstop for a game-tying passed ball. Cabrera eventually dumped a bloop double into left-center to bring in the go-ahead run and making Gore a tough-luck loser.

“At the end of the day, I was good, but not good enough,” said Gore, who gave up two runs on three hits in five innings while striking out three. “I didn't bounce back (after the passed ball) and make a good pitch. I let the guy get a hit and take the lead. I probably let (the passed ball) get to me, but I just gotta be better in that situation.”

The TinCaps scored first when newcomer Kelvin Melean, playing in just his second game in Fort Wayne, ripped a double off the left-field wall in the fourth and Luis Campusano drove him in with a bloop double to right. The RBI two-bagger broke an 0 for 14 stretch for the All-Star catcher.

Fort Wayne is off today before starting a six-game road trip Wednesday with a three-game series in Cedar Rapids against the Western Division-leading Kernels.

dsinn@jg.net