Miscues like Monday’s are the ones the TinCaps will kick themselves over if they miss the playoffs, which is looking more and more like a reality.
Two errors on the same play were a big factor in the TinCaps’ 6-2 loss to Bowling Green in front of a crowd of 3,219 at Parkview Field.
In the sixth inning, after a bases-loaded, two-run single by Alexander Simon, third baseman Fernando Perez tried to cut down Simon advancing to second on a relay.
An extra run scored when Perez’s throw sailed into right field, where Franmil Reyes stunningly let the ball scoot past his glove. Simon scored when that happened.
Before Kyle Lloyd threw the pitch to Simon, it was a 1-all tie. Once the ugliness was complete, the Hot Rods held a 5-1 advantage.
It’s the things that happen in baseball, Perez said. You make those mistakes. We weren’t trying to. It happens.
The TinCaps have battled fielding woes all season, but this was a crushing blow to their postseason hopes.
The TinCaps (57-75, 27-36 second half) are still within striking distance, but Dayton gained a game in the wild-card race with its 2-0 win Monday over Great Lakes.
Dayton (30-33 second half) is three games in front of the TinCaps, but the Dragons own the tiebreaker.
Any combination of losses by the TinCaps or wins by Dayton that adds up to four would eliminate the TinCaps from the playoffs.
That hasn’t really been a focus point for me, TinCaps manager Michael Collins said. Worrying too much about the standings – I haven’t paid that much attention. I know where we’re at, but regardless, we need to finish strong.
Of the seven games remaining, four are against Bowling Green (60-71, 28-34).
The three others are against Eastern Division juggernaut West Michigan.
Perez hit his 16th homer in the first and added a sacrifice fly in the ninth. Lloyd (6-5) was outpitched by German Marquez, who gave up one run on one hit in six innings with eight strikeouts.
We weren’t ready to hit, Nick Schulz said. Sometimes the pitcher is going to hit his spots, and you tip your cap.
The errors raised Fort Wayne’s total to 200, the most in the Midwest League.
Monday’s loss distracted from news that TinCaps star Jake Bauers was voted as the first baseman on the league’s postseason All-Star roster.
Bauers, 18, is batting .289 with eight homers and 60 RBI in 105 games.
It’s great recognition and something he should be extremely proud of, Collins said. Just watching him go about his business, there is a very bright future for him.
Note: TinCaps reliever Justin Livengood was placed on the disabled list. Colby Blueberg (2-0, 0.55 ERA in 18 appearances for short-season Eugene) was promoted and is expected to arrive in time for today’s game with Bowling Green.