The TinCaps’ bullpen, rearranged by midseason promotions, got more work than it bargained for Saturday.
The relief corps turned in mixed performances as the TinCaps split a day-night doubleheader with West Michigan, winning 5-4, then losing 6-5 in an 11-inning game.
In the first game, TinCaps infielder Fernando Perez supplied the heroics with a game-winning two-run double in the seventh.
Only seven innings were scheduled because of the twinbill.
Perez finished the day 4 for 7 with two walks and three runs driven in.
In the second game, lasting 3:57, Whitecaps left fielder Raph Rhymes drove in the winning run in the 11th.
With one out, Javier Betancourt hit a ball to Dustin Peterson and took third on his throwing error.
Betancourt then scored on Rhymes’ single to center off Jeffery Enloe (0-1).
The TinCaps (31-41) trailed 4-3 in the first game and were an out away from defeat.
With runners at first and third, Perez fell behind 0-2, evened the count and then lined the fifth pitch of the at-bat over the head of the left fielder.
Eric Yardley (1-1) – perhaps Fort Wayne’s No. 2 reliever now that Tyron Guerrero is gone – worked a perfect sixth to get the victory and Nick Mutz earned his seventh save.
In the nightcap, recent additions Enloe, Josh Richardson and Jorge Guzman received heavy work after starter Kyle Lloyd allowed four runs in three innings.
Guzman’s run-scoring wild pitch in the sixth allowed West Michigan (43-30) to tie it at 5.
The TinCaps, held to seven hits, did not score in the final six innings.
Seven TinCaps started both games. Ronnie Richardson and Adolfo Reina started only the first, with Richardson entering as a defensive replacement in Game 2 after River Stevens was ejected in the eighth.
West Michigan is 5-4 in the season series, outscoring Fort Wayne 60-36. Two games went to extra innings.
Today’s finale of the four-game series at Fifth Third Ballpark in Comstock Park pits Fort Wayne’s Payton Baskette against Austin Kubitza.