BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – On a Friday the 13th, the TinCaps looked scary good in a 13-2 win over the Bowling Green Hot Rods (Tampa Bay Rays) at Bowling Green Ballpark.
While the Midwest League’s youngest lineup certainly did its part with everyone reaching base at least once, Fort Wayne was bolstered by a strong start from 6-foot-7 right-hander Mason Thompson. The 20-year-old Texan went 5 2/3 innings, scattering five hits and a walk as he struck out four and allowed only one run. Ben Sheckler, who at 6-foot-8 is even taller, went the rest of the way to seal the deal.
As it turned out, the TinCaps scored all the runs they needed just five batters into the game. Catcher Juan Fernandez, 19, hit a bases-clearing double to give Fort Wayne a quick 3-0 lead against Tobias Myers, who MLB.com rates as Tampa Bay’s 18th best prospect.
After Bowling Green (3-6) scored a run in the third, TinCaps first baseman Jalen Washington widened the lead right away with a two-run homer in the road fourth. Following a sacrifice fly from left fielder Jack Suwinski, 19, in the fifth to make it 6-1, Fort Wayne (2-7) turned the contest into a route in the seventh.
The Hot Rods, who used six arms on the mound on the night, including a couple position players by the end, unraveled due to wildness from their bullpen. In the seventh inning alone, the TinCaps benefitted from five walks, two hit batters, and a couple of wild pitches. Suwinski added a three-run triple, while third baseman Esteury Ruiz provided a two-run double.
Ruiz, 19, finished a home run shy of the cycle. Second baseman Reinaldo Ilarraza, 19, also had three hits, plus three stolen bases. Meanwhile, 18-year-old Jeisson Rosario was on base four times with three walks and a hit by pitch.
Saturday, April 14 @ Bowling Green (7:35 p.m.)
– TinCaps Probable Starter: LHP Osvaldo Hernandez
– Hot Rods Probable Starter: RHP Alex Valverde
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