FORT WAYNE – Jake Bauers doesn’t especially want to know what the record is.
So, keep it to yourself: The TinCaps’ mark for most consecutive games with a hit is 18, and Bauers’ ninth-inning single in Tuesday’s 7-4 loss to the Lansing Lugnuts got him within two of equaling it.
It’s definitely hard to say that it’s not in the back of my mind, but I just try to flush it out when I get up there at bat. I’m just looking to keep it going, said Bauers, an 18-year-old first baseman out of Huntington Beach, California, after Tuesday’s loss in front of 4,903 rain-soaked fans at Parkview Field.
It was a back-and-forth game that saw the TinCaps come back from a two-run deficit in the sixth inning, tie it again at 4 in the seventh and then let the floodgates open when Lansing’s Chaz Frank hit an RBI pop single into center field off Tayron Guerrero.
Fort Wayne (28-36) has dropped five of its last seven. Lansing (30-34), which was led by Matt Dean (2 for 4, 1 run, 3 RBI), has won back-to-back games after losing four straight.
Toward those late innings, it just got brutal standing out there and getting pelted with rain, Bauers said after six innings of pouring rain. But you still play the game the same way and play for the win.
The TinCaps’ record for longest hitting streak was set by Blake Tekotte in the inaugural season of 2009 and equaled by Rymer Liriano in 2011. Sean Burroughs went 23 games in 1999 and owns the franchise record, which includes the Wizards years of 1993 to 2008.
He’s been great. He’s had a really solid professional approach, especially for such a young hitter, TinCaps manager Michael Collins said of Bauers, a seventh-round draft pick of the San Diego Padres in 2013.
On Tuesday, Bauers was named the San Diego Padres’ Minor League Hitter of the Month, a day after he was selected Midwest League Player of the Week. He’s put himself in a good position just about every at-bat he’s had, and the results have been there, Collins said. He’s had good pitches to hit, and he hasn’t missed them.
Down 3-1 in the sixth, Mallex Smith reached second on a bunt single when pitcher Jeremy Gabryszwski’s throw sailed past the first baseman. After a Dustin Peterson RBI triple, a passed ball with Bauers at the plate tied it at 3.
The work was quickly undone by TinCaps reliever Wilson Santos, who allowed the bases to be loaded by a Santiago Nessy triple and a pair of walks. With one out, he was pulled in favor of Guerrero, who walked Matt Dean for a 4-3 Lansing lead.
The TinCaps answered in the seventh with an RBI single by River Stevens.
Fort Wayne pitcher Erik Cabrera gave up three runs on four hits in six innings, striking out two and walking three. Guerrero (6-1) gave one run and one hit in 1 2/3 innings. Smith and Ryan Miller were both 2 for 4 for Fort Wayne.