Fort Wayne TinCaps (9-14, 45-48) vs. Cedar Rapids Kernels (13-10, 49-43)
RHP Jacob Nix (1-4, 4.18) vs. RHP Eddie Del Rosario (1-2, 5.40)
Sunday, July 17 — Parkview Field — First Pitch 1:05 p.m. — Game 94
LAST NIGHT: Cedar Rapids outlasted the TinCaps, 13-10, in 10 innings in the series opener, which took 4 hours and 26 minutes (the longest Fort Wayne game of the season) and included 425 pitches. It took an even 4 hours to play the first 9 innings, and a 20-minute fireworks show lit up the sky in the 9th, when the TinCaps scored a pair of runs with 2 outs to force extras. The Kernels scored 3 in the 10th.
PITCHING PROSPECTS: After the Padres acquired RHP Anderson Espinoza from the Red Sox on Thursday, the TinCaps now boast 5 of San Diego’s top 6 pitching prospects, per MLB.com, all of whom are 20 years old or younger. Today’s starter, Jake Nix, is the Padres’ No. 9 prospect.
OFFENSIVE OUTBURST: The TinCaps’ 10 runs Saturday marked just the second time they’ve scored double-digit runs since mid-April. Fort Wayne had been averaging 2.5 runs per game in July entering last night’s action. In an effort to jolt the offense, TinCaps hitting coach Vinny Lopez surprised the team by changing every batter’s walk-up song to Rick Ross’ Hustlin’ the first time through the order. Fort Wayne scored 3 runs in the first and 3 more in the second.
ALL-STAR ASSISTANCE: Former MLB All-Star and Gold Glove winner Steve Finley is with the TinCaps this weekend. Finley is a Special Assistant for Player Development with the Padres. He was also with Fort Wayne for a couple days on the road in May. Finley, who was an All-Star in 1997 and 2000, played for the Padres from 1995 to 1998 amid a 19-year career.
BIG CROWDS: After a crowd of 8,144 last night, Parkview Field has now averaged 5,891 fans per game this season. Fort Wayne’s attendance is second among Single-A clubs and greater than 27 of 30 Double-A organizations, and 14 of 30 Triple-A franchises. Saturday was the 15th sellout of the season here.
BIG BRAD: 1B Brad Zunica hit one of the TinCaps’ 3 home runs Saturday night.With his 12th blast of the season, Zunica is now tied for the Midwest League lead with Wisconsin’s Isan Diaz and Bowling Green’s Kevin Padlo, who also homered Saturday. Zunica and Padlo have the best HR/AB ratio in the league at 1 HR every 22.17 at-bats (both have 266 at-bats).
PARKVIEW FIELD PROMOTIONS
Today: On-Field Postgame Autographs pres. by MetroPCS
Tomorrow: US Foods Family Feast Night, Jake the Diamond Dog, Fireworks
THE ROAD AHEAD: Following Monday’s series finale, the TinCaps will enjoy a Midwest League off day Tuesday before starting a 6-game Western Division road trip against Wisconsin and Beloit.