Fort Wayne won another game on its six-game homestand in dramatic fashion, walking off in the bottom of the ninth inning as 8-7 winners over the Cedar Rapids Kernels (Minnesota Twins) on steamy summer day in the Summit City. The temperature felt like 100 degrees throughout the 3:48 game, exactly one minute short of tying the longest game for the ‘Caps this season.
Cedar Rapids (17-12, 56-43) scored the game’s first three runs, including an RBI single by Yeltsin Encarnacion in the second and a solo home run by Gilberto Celestino in the third.
The TinCaps (10-19, 43-54) crept closer with a run in the bottom of the third inning, as Jawuan Harris singled leading off the inning, stole second, moved to third on a groundout, and scored on a Dwanya Williams-Sutton sacrifice fly.
Albee Weiss increased the Kernels’ lead with a no-doubt, solo home run in the fourth inning. Cedar Rapids later extended the advantage to 5-1 with another tally in the fourth.
Fort Wayne stormed ahead in the bottom of the fourth, taking the lead with six runs on five hits. A two-run Harris double and a two-run Juan Fernandez triple highlighted the frame. In his last nine games (dating back to June 30), Fernandez has four extra-base hits and 10 RBIs.
The TinCaps lead was short-lived, as the Kernels scored two runs in the sixth to knot the game back up, 7-7. Celestino contributed another RBI in the inning – the top-20 Twins prospect is 5-10 in the series with two doubles, a HR and 3 RBIs.
The game remained tied all the way to the bottom of the ninth, where Fort Wayne sent the crowd of 5,063 fans home happy. First, the ‘Caps loaded the bases via a Justin Lopez single, a Luke Becker bunt single and a Tyler Benson walk. Then, with two outs, Harris grounded a hard-hit ball on the left side of the infield that shortstop Wander Javier couldn’t field cleanly, scoring Lopez and knotting the series at one game apiece.
Harris finished the game with two hits, two RBIs and two runs scored. Since July 15 (six games), the outfielder is slashing .409/.480/.727 (OPS of 1.207) with seven RBIs and six runs scored.
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