FORT WAYNE – A sell-out crowd of 7,863 saw TinCaps shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. break the franchise record for home runs in a season with his 21st of the year as Fort Wayne inched closer to the Midwest League playoffs with a 7-1 victory over the Bowling Green Hot Rods (Tampa Bay Rays) on Saturday night at Parkview Field. The sellout was the 20th of the season at Parkview Field.
After tying Fort Wayne’s single-season home run record on Friday night, Tatis took over sole possession of the record with his 21st blast of the season to left-center field in the bottom of the fifth inning. Tatis’ home run pushed him passed Jake Patterson who hit 20 home runs in 1997 for the Fort Wayne Wizards. Right fielder Jack Suwinski also scored on blast, which propelled Fort Wayne to a 3-1 lead.
The TinCaps (32-16, 58-60) knotted the score, 1-1, in the third inning when first baseman G.K. Young plated left fielder Nate Easley on a single to left field.
Designated hitter Jorge Oña joined the hit parade in the seventh inning when he scored Tatis and Easley, giving the TinCaps a 5-1 lead after seven innings.
Fort Wayne’s offense tacked on more runs in the eighth. A Suwinski single to center plated center fielder Buddy Reed from second base for a 6-1 edge. Suwinski soon came in to score when Oña walked with the bases loaded to give the TinCaps a 7-1 advantage.
Starting pitcher Adrian Morejon (W) continued to shine as he held the Hot Rods to just five hits and one run while walking one and fanning five. Relievers Will Headean and Evan Miller shut done Bowling Green in the final three innings to preserve the 7-1 Fort Wayne victory.
Bowling Green’s (29-19, 60-55) lone run came in the third inning when shortstop Luis Rengifo scored on left fielder Jesus Sanchez’s infield single.
Hot Rods’ starting pitcher Angel Yepez left in the bottom of the first inning due to an injury and was replaced by Jayson McKinley. McKinley, Peter Bayer (L) and Orlando Romerocombined to strike out twelve TinCaps’ batters.