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The Journal Gazette

Sunday, July 22, 2018 7:10 pm

TinCaps lose to Clinton, 4-2, get swept in doubleheader

DYLAN SINN | The Journal Gazette

How it Happened

The TinCaps jumped out to an early lead, scoring in the first with a clutch base hit from Luis Campusano with two outs. Campusano blooped a single to left, driving in Esteury Ruiz to put Fort Wayne in front 1-0. Ruiz had doubled on a bloop to right, hustling out of the box and taking an extra base to move into scoring position. 

The lead did not even last an inning, however. In the top of the second, an error on third baseman Kelvin Melean and a walk from TinCaps starter Osvaldo Hernandez put two on with two out. That brought catcher Juan Camacho to the plate and he crushed a ball well over the wall in left. The ball jumped off his bat at 108 mph and eventually traveled 383 feet to put the LumberKings in front 3-1. The error made all three runs unearned, preserving Hernandez's league-leading ERA.

The LumberKings tacked on a run in the third thanks to another error. Gabriel Arias fielded a slow chopper cleanly, but hurried his throw and the ball was low, bouncing into the dugout. A pair of fly balls, including a sacrifice fly RBI from Ryan Costello scored the fourth unearned run of the game and gave Clinton a 4-1 lead.

Hernandez had good stuff again, hitting 94 mph with his fastball and dropping in some curveballs that were as slow as 75 mph. His command wasn't quite as sharp as it has been lately, but really only made one mistake, the Camacho home run.

The TinCaps had a chance to close the gap in the sixth, after Jeisson Rosario led off the inning with a leadoff single and Campusano followed with a ground-ball hit to left. After a pop-up, Gabriel Arias lined a base hit to center, bringing in Rosario and closing the gap to two runs. Kelvin Melean hit next with an opportunity to bring in the tying runs with a big hit, but instead grounded into a 5-4-3 double play, ending the threat.

Player of the Game: Steven Moyers

The Clinton starting pitcher gave up a run on two hits in the first and then cruised the rest of the way. He pitched five innings, giving up one run on five hits and striking out four. He didn't get a ton of swings and misses, but the TinCaps couldn't seem to square him up and he got plenty of soft contact. Moyers retired the side in order in the second and fourth and needed just 66 pitches to run his record to 3-0 this season.

Facts and Figures

The game lasted seven innings because of minor-league doubleheader rules. ... The TinCaps lost their eighth game in a row at home, a season-long streak. They were 28-16 at Parkview Field before the losing streak. They have dropped 12 of their last 14 overall./The TinCaps snapped a season-long seven-game losing streak at Parkview Field. ... Hernandez walked first baseman Onil Pena in the second inning, his first walk in 17 2/3 innings over his last four starts. Hernandez went five innings, giving up four runs – none earned – and striking out seven. He came into the game with a Midwest League-leading 2.09 ERA and lowered that mark to 1.97. ... Juan Camacho's second-inning home run was his third of the season in just 16 games. ... The TinCaps committed two errors in the game, giving them five for the day. ... The TinCaps scored two or fewer runs for the seventh time in nine games. ... Luis Campusano went 2 for 3 with an RBI. He had five hits in the doubleheader.

What's Next?

These teams will meet for the finale of their three-game series Monday at Parkview Field. First pitch will be at 7:05 p.m. The TinCaps will start left-hander Ben Sheckler (1-2, 3.40 ERA). Sheckler has made one start this season, along with 25 relief appearances. He's starting in place of right-hander Mason Thompson, who is on the 7-day disabled list with a tricep strain.