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HITTING THE ROAD
Today the TinCaps travel approximately two hours north on Interstate 69 to take on the Lansing Lugnuts at Cooley Law School Stadium.
The Lugnuts are red hot and have the league’s best record through 39 games. Not surprisingly, they’ve got the best team ERA in the league, showing that pitching will win you games in this league. That is a promising item for the TinCaps, though, as they have the fourth best ERA in the Midwest League and the second in the Eastern Division behind Lansing.
In Tuesday’s win, Donavan Tate returned to the lineup for the first time since April 28. Tate batted leadoff and was the designated hitter for the TinCaps, going 2-4, scoring two runs and picking up an RBI. Fort Wayne has relied on that leadoff spot to be one of its most productive positions this year, and it was almost exclusively occupied by Jace Peterson until his recent injury. Kyung-Min Na had filled in at the top of the card the last four games, but was 0-14 in four games as the leadoff man. Peterson led the league in runs scored and stolen bases before his injury, and so if Tate can match some of Peterson’s production, that will be a big boost for the TinCaps.
Fort Wayne has now won three out of its last four, and four of the last seven. The TinCaps offense has showed great signs of life, especially with the two eighth-inning home runs on Monday afternoon. Clark Murphy and Casey McElroy each hit solo homers as the TinCaps turned a 4-3 deficit into an eventual 6-5 victory.
First pitch tonight is at 7:05 and I hope you can join me from Michigan’s capital city beginning at 6:45 for pregame coverage on 1380 ESPN and ESPNFortWayne.com.
In today’s TinCaps Report Podcast, hear from Manager Jose Valentin as he gives his thoughts on how his team coalesced on the homestand and the return of Donavan Tate to the lineup:
Fort Wayne’s offense exploded for a season-high 12 runs and 16 hits as the TinCaps obliterated the Kane County Cougars on Friday night.
Travis Whitmore went 4-5 and Justin Miller finished with a three-hit performance. Whitmore and Kyle Gaedele plated three runs, and Duanel Jones, along with Matt Colantonio, had two runs batted in. A 7-for-11 mark with runners in scoring position was also a season best. Cody Hebner pitched five innings, allowing just one run, for the win. The bullpen was brilliant, too, working four innings and giving up just a hit.
A win would give the TinCaps their first back-to-back wins of the year and it would be the team’s first series victory in five tries.
In today’s TinCaps Report Podcast, hear the highlights from Friday’s win, and we stop in with the roster’s newest addition, catcher Jeremy Rodriguez: