Valentín “inside-the-park” home run dooms TinCaps

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News release from the TinCaps:

Valentín “inside-the-park” home run dooms TinCaps

(April 5, 2014) – The TinCaps lost to the Great Lakes Loons, 13-4, Saturday evening at Parkview Field. Fort Wayne led 2-1 until Great Lakes plated seven runs in the fifth inning and added five more in the sixth.

The turning point of the game came when Loons second baseman Jesmuel Valentín — son of former TinCaps manager José Valentín — hit what was scored a two-run inside-the-park home run to put Great Lakes in front, 3-2. With one out and Brandon Trinkwon on first base, Valentín pulled a Pete Kelich pitch deep to right field. Fort Wayne right fielder José Carlos Urena pursued the ball to the warning track but couldn’t pull off a running catch as he fell into the fence. Instead, center fielder Mallex Smith had to chase after the ball and hurl it to second baseman Fernando Perez. While Trinkwon scored easily on the play, a heads-up Valentín followed behind when Perez flipped the ball to shortstop Josh VanMeter. Valentín actually tripped on his way from third base and crawled to the plate but still managed to score as VanMeter’s throw home went over the head of catcher Ryan Miller.

From there, things went from bad to worse for Fort Wayne. Kelich had retired 13 of the first 16 batters he faced, but after the inside-the-park home run, the TinCaps committed two errors in the inning and suddenly the Loons had sent 10 batters to the plate in the fifth and led 8-2. Kelich, who struck out five and didn’t walk any, exited after 4 1/3 innings. Reliever Josh Richardson conceded 10 hits and seven earned runs in 1 2/3 innings.

Though VanMeter provided a run-scoring single as part of a two-run ninth, Fort Wayne’s comeback bid fell well short. For the game, the Loons out-hit the TinCaps 17-9. Michael Johnson earned the win out of the Great Lakes bullpen with three perfect innings of relief. Fort Wayne stranded 10 runners on base, while hitting 3-for-15 with runners in scoring position. The visitors were 7-for-13 in such situations.

The TinCaps and Loons complete their four-game series at Parkview Field Sunday afternoon at 3:05. Jimmi Brasoban is scheduled to start for Fort Wayne against Great Lakes’ Luis Chirinos. The game can be heard on The Fan 1380 and seen on XFINITY Channel 81.

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