By Cory Stace
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – TinCaps infielder Esteury Ruiz homered for his first of the year on Sunday at Bowling Green Ballpark, but Fort Wayne lost both games of a doubleheader, 5-3, and, 7-1, against the Bowling Green Hot Rods (Tampa Bay Rays).
Bowling Green (5-6) and Fort Wayne (2-9) played the doubleheader on Sunday due to a rainout on Saturday night.
In Game 1, the Hot Rods got on the board in the bottom of the first inning. With two outs in the inning, TinCaps pitcher Osvaldo Hernandez had a pickoff attempt go wild, allowing Taylor Walls to score from third to give Bowling Green a 1-0 lead.
Fort Wayne took their first lead of the afternoon in the top of the third inning. With outfielder Jack Suwinski at first after an 11-pitch walk against lefty Brendan McKay (the 4th overall pick in last year’s draft), Ruiz hammered a ball over the wall in center field, giving the TinCaps a 2-1 advantage. The home run marked the first of the season for Ruiz after he hit four last year as the Arizona League MVP.
Fort Wayne extended its lead in the top of the fifth inning on an RBI single from designated hitter Juan Fernandez.
The Hot Rods chipped away one run at a time in the bottom half of the fifth inning. Emilio Gustave started the comeback off with an RBI single to right field, scoring Adrian Rondon from second. Bowling Green capped off the four-run inning with a Zach Rutherford double to center field, scoring Ronaldo Hernandez and giving the Hot Rods a 5-3 lead that would hold in the seven-inning game.
Bowling Green took control early in the second game of the double header. The Hot Rods got off to 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning.
The TinCaps managed to score one run in the top of the third inning when infielder Gabriel Arias singled on a line drive to right field, scoring catcher Jalen Washington and at the time cutting the deficit, 4-1.
Fort Wayne couldn’t muster another run while allowing three more to score in the game, falling to the Hot Rods in game two, 7-1.
On the day, first baseman Carlos Belen reached base four times with two doubles and two walks.
Tuesday, April 16 vs. Great Lakes (7:05 p.m.)
– TinCaps Probable Starter: LHP Nick Margevicius
– Loons Probable Starter: TBA
Watch: Comcast Network 81
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