Free Passes and Seeing-Eye Singles

FORT WAYNE - Despite only having three extra base hits, the West Michigan Whitecaps punished the Fort Wayne Wizards 8-2 in front of a crowd of 2,951 on a clear summer night in the Summit City. The Wizards opened the scoring with a single by left-fielder Will Venable who brought in third baseman Seth Johnston who doubled earlier in the inning.

The Whitecaps then tied the game in the top of the second, and went ahead in the third inning on a home run by Whitecaps first baseman Rafael Mendez.

Then the wheels came off for the Wizards.

In the top of the fourth inning Fabian Jimenez, who has all the talent in the world but sometimes has difficulty identifying the strike zone, hit the first batter and then compounded his error by walking the next two.

With the bases loaded, he struck out centerfielder Jeremy Laster, limited Mendez to a sacrifice fly, but then two seeing-eye singles by consecutive batters turned a 1-1 game, into a 5-1 lead.

"Biggest thing is just trying to get consistency out of Fabian, which is difficult right now," said Wizards manager Randy Ready after the game.

"Everybody in the organization likes him but we would like to see a little more consistency out of his arm speed and command. Some days he pitches like a prospect, other days he has difficulty repeating his delivery."

The Wizards were able to hit West Michigan, they had 11 hats including Wizards' first baseman Daryl Jones who was 3-4 with a double and DH Kyle Blanks was 2-3 with a walk, but couldn‘t put together any rallies.

The Wizards who returned from a road trip in Peoria pulled into Fort Wayne at 6:00 AM in the morning on Tuesday and looked, understandably, a little sluggish.

"The game is pitching and we had trouble putting guys away," said Ready. "We swung the bats well, the kids competed, but we just have to work on keeping the ball down in the zone."

In other news five Wizards, second baseman/third baseman Seth Johnston, first baseman/DH Daryl Jones, first baseman/DH Kyle Blanks, outfielder Will Venable and relief pitcher Brandon Higelin were named to the Midwest League All Star game.

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