Fort Wayne had been up and down throughout the second half of the Midwest League season when it was away from Parkview Field. However, in Sunday's 5-3 win at Peoria in front of 3,357 fans at Dozer Field, the TinCaps showed their potential multiple times.
After falling behind 2-0, TinCap All-Star Fernando Tatis Jr. blasted a three-run home run over the left field wall to give his team a 3-2 lead.
The Chiefs (44-49 overall, 14-10 second half) fought back to tying the game in the eighth inning, but Fort Wayne (42-52, 16-8) answered right back in its final at bat with a pair of runs to seal the win.
The TinCaps have been a stellar 9-2 this half of the season at home. However, Sunday's win was just the team's seventh in 13 games on the road. The victory helped the TinCaps keep pace with Eastern Division West Michigan (17-6), as Fort Wayne is just 1 ½ games out of first place.
Peoria got to TinCap starter Ronald Bolanos quickly, as it got a lead-off single from Kramer Robertson.
Robertson moved up to second base on an ensuing walk by Stefan Trosclair, before being caught stealing third. However, Trosclair came home on a ground-rule double for a 1-0 Chief advantage.
That lead held until the fifth inning when Peoria opened that inning with a pair of singles and a walk before Fort Wayne reliever Mark Zimmerman replaced Bolanos following a fielder's choice that put the hosts ahead 2-0.
Zimmerman entered the game with just one out and runners on second and third, but got his team out of the jam.
In the top of the sixth inning, TinCap hitter Buddy Reed reached base on a one-out single, which was followed by a walk drawn by Reinaldo Ilarraza.
Tatis brought both home with a shot that soared 418 feet and placed him in second place among Midwest League power hitters this season with 16 home runs.
TinCap reliever Wilmer Torres had replaced Zimmerman in the seventh inning and in the eighth, he allowed a double into right field, followed by a run-scoring single, as Peoria tied the game at three runs each.
Down to their final at bat, the TinCaps got a one-out walk from Jack Suwinski, who advanced to third base on a double into left field from Nate Easley.
The Chiefs brought in reliever Yeison Medina to face Tyler Benson, but the strategy failed, as Benson connected for a single into right field to score Suwinski.
Easley put across the final Fort Wayne run on a sacrifice fly by Reed.
The TinCaps totaled 10 hits, including a pair each from Tatis Jr., G.K. Young, and Benson. Reed, Ilarraza, Marcus Greene Jr., and Easley each had one hit apiece.
Bolanos worked 4 1/3 innings, but did not factor in the decision. He allowed five hits and a pair of earned runs, while walking three and striking out four.
Zimmerman gave up two hits in as many innings, but didn't allow a run, while walking one and striking out one.
Torres (2-2, 3.43 ERA) got the victory after throwing 1 2/3 innings and giving up two hits and a run, while striking out one.
Hansel Rodriguez worked the ninth inning to get his third save of the season.
Rodriguez struck out two Chiefs, while not allowing a hit or a run.
Fort Wayne has won six of its last seven games and is 4-1 on the current road trip.
First pitch: Fort Wayne at Peoria, today at 1 p.m.
Probable starters: FW/RH Michel Baez (0.00 ERA) vs. P/LH Ian Oxnevad (4.14 ERA)
Radio: ESPN 1380 AM and 100.9 FM