BURLINGTON, Iowa (TinCaps) – The TinCaps broke out of an offensive slump in a big way on Friday night at Community Field, as Fort Wayne ended a three-game skid with an emphatic 12-1 win over the Burlington Bees (Los Angeles Angels affiliate). The Bees previously had won five in a row.
After scoring only one run on 10 hits in their previous three games, with just one extra-base hit, the ‘Caps erupted for 15 hits, including two doubles and two home runs. Fort Wayne (7-14, 40-49) matched its season high for both runs and hits. The TinCaps last scored 12 runs, and had 15 hits, at Great Lakes on May 26 in a 10-run victory. The 11-run disparity on Friday night marked a new season best.
Meanwhile, ‘Caps starting pitcher Omar Cruz, a 20-year-old left-hander from Mexico, struck out 10 batters in 5 2/3 innings of one-run ball. For Cruz, a second-year pro, it was the third time in his career he struck out 10 hitters, and the first time he did it through three starts in the Midwest League. Cruz joins Joey Cantillo as the only other TinCaps pitcher to strike out 10 in a game this season. Cantillo accomplished the task on June 20 at Great Lakes.
After Cruz, righty Austin Smith spun 3 1/3 scoreless innings to earn the save. Over the last six games, Fort Wayne’s bullpen has worked 24 2/3 innings without allowing an earned run (and just two unearned runs in the span).
Catcher Juan Fernandez started the scoring for the TinCaps with a two-out, three-run homer to dead-center field in the top of the first inning against lefty Hector Yan, the Angels’ No. 27 prospect. It was Fernandez’s first home run of the season.
Each side scored a run in the second. Then in the fourth, ‘Caps left fielder Michael Curry belted a two-run homer to left field, his sixth homer of the season. Yan, who leads the MWL in strikeouts, had allowed only two home runs in his first 70 innings of the season before allowing a pair to the TinCaps and exiting the game after 3 1/3 innings.
Fort Wayne kept its foot on the gas with an RBI double from DH Dwanya Williams-Sutton in the fifth. The TinCaps put up another run in the seventh, two in the eighth, and a couple more in the ninth, including a Curry RBI single.
Shortstop Tucupita Marcano, right fielder Agustin Ruiz, and Curry had three hits apiece.
Saturday, July 13 @ Clinton (7:30 p.m.)
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