FORT WAYNE – Meteorology didn’t decide it this time, one night after Christmas Hijacks April. Simple mathematics did.
Simple math, as in four plus two plus three equals, eventually, a robust night Tuesday for a TinCaps club that needed one. After a freak snowstorm Monday blanketed Parkview Field and ended things prematurely, the TinCaps blanketed the Burlington Bees 13-3 in front of 1,708 fans on another frigid evening at Parkiew Field.
Great game all around, TinCaps manager Michael Collins said. That game there, that was a lot of those positive signs we’ve seen coming together in one game.
The pitching was there, defense – another game without no errors – and we made a number of decent plays. And swung the bats and had something to show for it. So pretty good game all around.
A four-run second in which the TinCaps (4-7) sent eight batters to the plate dropped the Bees (6-5) in their wake, and the home nine added two runs in the third, three more in the fourth and four more in the sixth. All told, they punished five Burlington pitchers for 11 hits, including six for extra bases.
Franmill Reyes and Fernando Perez were the big sticks for the TinCaps, Reyes going 3 for 4 with two doubles, two RBI and three runs scored. Perez was 2 for 4 with a homer and five RBI.
We’ve been swinging the bats pretty good, Perez said. I think tonight we just got it together and, you know, I’m happy we did and we got the win.
And the homer, a shot to the picnic tables in right with Reyes aboard in the third? It was a changeup, kind of hanging, Perez said. I was just thinking fastball, and the pitch was there.
It was Reyes who got the breakout second inning going, curling a leadoff shot to right that Burlington right fielder Ranyelmy Mendoza misplayed into three bases. Perez chased him home with a groundout to second. After a walk to Dane Phillips, Jose Carlos Urena chased Phillips home with a legit triple into the gap in center.
Ryan Miller followed with an RBI drive to left center that center fielder Chad Hinshaw bobbled into three bases, and he came home on a wild pitch to Luis Tejada.
Burlington got one back with a leadoff walk, a stolen base and two sacrifice groundouts in the top of the third. But Perez’s blast immediately canceled that and then some in the TinCaps’ half, giving winning pitcher Walker Weickel and the TinCaps’ bullpen more than enough cushion.
Those were the big innings we’ve been looking for, Collins said. Putting it together all at one time, guys stringing hits together, big hits with guys on base, too. Versus some of the other games (when) we got the guys on but we just couldn’t quite get the big hit when we needed it. I think the big thing was the hits coming together – the four-run inning there, the two-run inning, then three runs in the fourth. Stringing it together like that was a great sign.