FORT WAYNE – The TinCaps continue to hit home runs in abundance – they had two, including a three-run shot by Nick Schulz, which led to Tuesday's 7-1 victory over the Lansing Lugnuts – but they don't want to become too reliant on the long ball as they make a push toward a playoff berth.
The TinCaps, who have won four in a row, still strive to manufacture runs and get great pitching.
“Schulz has been hitting the crap out of it, and since I got here (July 12), and (Adolfo) Reina has had three or four home runs, too,” said shortstop Trea Turner, the San Diego Padres' first-round pick this year, who was the TinCaps' first batter and hit a home run to left.
“It's nice to get the long ball, but you can't always count on it because good pitching will always beat good hitting. It's nice to see us score runs other ways, also. But don't get me wrong, we all like hitting home runs.”
Starter Jeffery Enloe (4-3) went six scoreless innings and gave up four hits with three strikeouts at Parkview Field.
Turner, who is batting .466 in 21 games, was 3 for 5 with two RBI. Schulz was 1 for 3 with a run and three RBI, one night after he homered twice in a 4-3 victory over Lansing.
Schulz, whose average is up to .317, is on a six-game hitting streak and has four home runs and 12 RBI over the last 10 games.
The TinCaps (51-62 overall, 21-23 in second half) have won 16 of 23 games since their 13-game losing streak came to an end July 12.
They came into the night one game behind Dayton and Great Lakes, who held the final two playoff spots in the Midwest League's Eastern Division, but Fort Wayne pulled even with Dayton, which lost 2-1 to Great Lakes.
The TinCaps, who are led in home runs by 10 apiece from Dustin Peterson, Ryan Miller and Franmil Reyes, are hoping power continues to surge the final 27 games. They just know they'll need more than that.
“I don't know if (Turner's) home run put us at ease, but it was certainly a nice start to kind of jump-start the offense and get some excitement there early,” TinCaps manager Michael Collins said. “But I think the big point was probably Enloe going out there with six quick, scoreless innings and just a few hits. And then the four runs in the fourth really gave us a little bit of breathing room, got everyone relaxed and allowed Enloe to just make pitches.”
The TinCaps have 75 home runs this season and are on pace for 92, which would be their most since the 97 of 2009.
“It's definitely not something to focus on,” Collins said. “Home runs are just the result of good, quality at-bats, getting a good pitch, putting a good swing on it and letting the rest take care of itself. (Home runs) are always nice to see but definitely not a focus point.”
For Lansing (51-62, 19-25), pitcher Miguel Castro (0-1) went four innings, allowing five runs off three hits with five strikeouts and one walk in front of 4,933 fans.
Notes: Miller was the catcher for the TinCaps, a night after Reina injured his elbow making a tag at home plate. Reina was working with pitchers in the bullpen during the game but wasn't making throws.