Henry Charles cranked a tying homer in the ninth inning, but Nick Mutz gave up a game-winning hit in the 10th as the TinCaps fell 4-3 to Bowling Green on Friday.
Pat Blair’s three-run homer in the seventh seemed like it would be enough for the Hot Rods to take the opener of a three-game series at Parkview Field. But there was plenty of drama still to come.
Ryan Miller homered leading off the bottom of the ninth to make it 3-2, and Charles hit a high breaking ball onto the lawn in right field two batters later. It was Charles’ second homer of the season.
Mutz (1-4), Fort Wayne’s All-Star closer, gave up a one-out single to Bowling Green leadoff man Spencer Edwards. With two outs, Edwards stole second. Miller, the catcher, rose to throw, but neither of the TinCaps’ middle infielders covered the bag. Johnny Field then poked a single to right to score Edwards.
Kyle Lloyd carried a shutout into the seventh before giving up back-to-back singles. After running the count full on Blair, the No. 7 batter in the Hot Rods’ lineup, Lloyd’s 97th and final pitch was hit over the wall in left.
Lloyd allowed seven hits and struck out seven. The right-hander struck out the side in the sixth and began the seventh with Tayron Guerrero warming in the bullpen.
The TinCaps (29-38) got an RBI single from Fernando Perez in the first, a run that stood up for much of the night.
Bowling Green (31-36) was 2 for 10 with runners in scoring position, committed two errors and had two runners thrown out trying to steal.
TinCaps slugger Jake Bauers was 0 for 2 with a walk, as well as one intentional walk, as his 18-game hitting streak came to an end.
Genison Reyes pitched two scoreless innings to give the TinCaps a chance to come back.
Colton Reavis (2-1) pitched 1 2/3 scoreless innings for the win after William Gabay blew the save.
For more on this game, read Saturday's Journal Gazette or return to "Full Count" later tonight or www.journalgazette.net after 3 a.m.