TinCaps Game Notes: June 15 vs. Lake County (Game 67)
Fort Wayne TinCaps (32-34, 5th East) vs. Lake County Captains (39-28, 2nd East)
RHP Efraín Contreras vs. RHP Cody Morris
Saturday, June 15 - Parkview Field (Fort Wayne, Ind.) - First Pitch 7:05 PM (Game 67 / 138)
WATCH: John Nolan & Brett Rump (Comcast Network 81 & MiLB.TV)
LISTEN: Mike Maahs & Evan Stockton (ESPN Radio 1380 & 100.9 FM | TinCapsRadio.com | TuneIn)
TGIF: The TinCaps slugged their way to a 3-2 victory in front of a season-high 8,007 fans at Parkview Field on Friday night. Agustin Ruiz crushed a mammoth two-out, two-run home run in the first inning that traveled 424 feet onto the right-field concourse, and Michael Curry smacked a solo home run in the fifth that crashed onto the roof of the Home Run Porch in left field. Ryan Weathers struck out four and allowed just one run (unearned) in a three-inning start, and the bullpen backed him up to secure the victory.
BURNIN' UP: The TinCaps are on a four-game win streak, tied for the longest win streak the team has had this season. The win streak began with a sweep at the Bowling Green Hot Rods (Tampa Bay Rays) in a three-game series from Tuesday-Thursday. It was the first three-game road sweep for the 'Caps since July 12-14, 2017. During the win streak, Fort Wayne has slugged 12 extra-base hits, including five home runs (Justin Lopez, Jawuan Harris, Luis Roman, Agustin Ruiz, Michael Curry). The TinCaps have also hit home runs in five straight games for the first time all season.
BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE: Fort Wayne's pitching during the win streak has been electric as well. In four combined starts, Joey Cantillo, Sam Keating, Ramon Perez and Ryan Weathers have allowed three earned runs in 19.0 IP (1.42 ERA) with 15 strikeouts and just three walks. The bullpen has been no slouch either, allowing two earned runs in 17.0 innings of work (1.06 ERA) with 17 strikeouts and three walks.
CHANCE TO PLAY SPOILER: Though the TinCaps are not in contention for a first-half playoff spot with the first-half ending on Sunday, the 'Caps are taking on a Lake County team that enters the weekend in playoff position. Lake County starts the night a game and half ahead of Bowling Green for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Division-the magic number for the Captains is just one game.
STARTING STRONG: Efraín Contreras, tonight's starting pitcher for Fort Wayne, has been utterly outstanding since May 7. The 19-year-old from Mexico has posted a 2.30 ERA and a 0.96 WHIP along with 35 strikeouts in six starts (31.1 IP).
X IS A FACTOR: Infielder Xavier Edwards leads the MWL in batting average (.352) and ranks 2nd in OBP (.404). He has the second lowest swinging strike % in the league, as he's swung and missed at only 3.5% of the pitches he's seen. His K% of 10.3% is the 4th lowest in the league. Xavier has made a living hitting the ball the opposite way (48.1% of the time he's put the ball in play, highest rate in the MWL) and swinging early in the count; he's posted a BA of .538 this season on the first pitch of an at bat. 28 of Xavier's league-leading 82 hits (34%) have come while swinging in an 0-0 count (including both of his hits on Friday night).
HUNTING HITS: In 16 games since May 26, catcher Blake Hunt has slashed
.321/.355/.446 (.801 OPS) with 5 doubles, a triple, and 9 RBIs.
HOT CURRY: In 18 games since May 26, outfielder Michael Curry has slashed
.321/.400/.536 (.936 OPS) with 6 doubles, two home runs, and 11 RBIs. Curry is 6th in the Midwest League in SLG% and 7th in OPS during that time.
IN CONTROL: TinCaps pitchers have the best ratio of strikeouts to walks in the MWL this season (3.10). 'Caps pitchers have also walked the fewest batters in the MWL, averaging only 2.9 per 9 innings.
CHASING HISTORY: Anthony Contreras, who's in his 4th season as the team's skipper, won his 226th game as TinCaps manager on Friday night. A win tonight ties him with Doug Dascenzo (227, 2007-09) for the most wins by a manager in franchise history.
ALL-STARS: The TinCaps will be represented in next Tuesday's Midwest League All-Star game by infielder Xavier Edwards, who will start at second base, plus starting pitcher Ryan Weathers and reliever Henry Henry.
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