Fort Wayne TinCaps (5-8) at Great Lakes Loons (4-9)
LHP Logan Allen (3.38) vs. LHP Devin Smeltzer (3.38)
Thursday, April 20, 2017— Dow Diamond (Midland, Mich.) — First Pitch 6:05 p.m. — Game 14
YESTERDAY AFTERNOON: The TinCaps beat the West Michigan Whitecaps, 3-2, in the rubber match of their series. Fernando Tatis Jr. broke a 2-2 tie with a 2-out single in the bottom of the eighth. Fort Wayne had trailed 1-0 till Hudson Potts had an RBI triple in the home first. Down 2-1, Reinaldo Ilarraza had a fifth-inning equalizing RBI infield-single. Jesse Scholtens went 7 as the starter, while Ben Sheckler followed in relief for the win.
FAMILIAR FOE: Loons manager Jeremy Rodriguez played in 2 games for the TinCaps in 2012. In 2013, Rodriguez was teammates with TinCaps manager Anthony Contreras at Double-A San Antonio and High-A Lake Elsinore. Rodriguez, 27, was a catcher in San Diego’s system from 2011-15. The last 2 years he managed the Padres’ Dominican Summer League team. That means last year he coached alongside TinCaps Fielding Coach, Jhonny Carvajal, who last year was Infield Coach in the DSL. That also means last year he managed TinCaps infielder Eguy Rosario.
RIVAS’ RETURN: Catcher Webster Rivas is back at Dow Diamond, which he once called home. Rivas signed with the Dodgers in 2010 as a 19-year-old. He played in 20 games for the Loons in 2013, 91 games in 2014, and 3 games in 2015. One highlight for Rivas here came on July 8, 2014, when he hit a 9th-inning walk-off homer against the TinCaps. Rivas became a free agent after the ’15 season, and signed on with the Angels’ organization. After spending part of last year with the Burlington Bees, he was a free agent again this past offseason and signed with San Diego.
McKINSTRY MOVED UP: Fort Wayne native and North Side High School 2014 grad Zach McKinstry was promoted by the Dodgers from Great Lakes to High-A Rancho Cucamonga (Calif.) yesterday. McKinstry was hitting .371 — highest among left-handed batters in the Midwest League — and leading the league in walks with 12 in 11 games. McKinstry, who spent 2 years at Central Michigan University, played in 41 games for the Loons last season, helping to lead them to a Midwest League title.
LEADING THE LEAGUE: After striking out 5 yesterday, Jesse Scholtens is tied for the MWL lead in strikeouts with 22… The TinCaps have drawn a league-high 55 walks (4.2/G)… As a staff, TinCaps pitchers have the 2nd most strikeouts (133, 10.2/G) and are tied for the 2nd fewest walks (32, 2.4/G).
ON THE OTHER SIDE: The Loons have the following Top 30 Dodgers prospects, as ranked by MLB.com… RHP Jordan Sheffield (No. 7), SS Gavin Lux (No. 8), SS/3B Brendon Davis (No. 17), C Keibert Ruiz (No. 23), OF Mitchell Hansen (No. 37), and RHP Dustin May (No. 29).