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TinCaps hit the road after scrappy win

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A month in, manager pleased with effort

Tuesday, April 30, 2013 - 5:22 pm

A month into the season, TinCaps manager Jose Valentin likes his team. Sometimes they make the mistakes and show the inconsistency of a bunch of 19-year olds, and other times they show their potential.

What Valentin likes the most is their scrappiness.

``I saw that these guys never quit, they play hard,'' Valentin said. ``The chemistry in the clubhouse is real good. They care for each other and try to get better every day. They are young and they are going to make mistakes, but one thing about those guys is they like to work hard and get better. We're kind of inconsistent right now but it's not too bad but I'm happy with it because I see the effort.''

The TinCaps showed plenty of that never-say-die attitude on Tuesday. They trailed Clinton from the first inning on and finally caught the Lumberkings in the bottom of the eighth inning. On a 2-0 count, left fielder Alberth Martinez turned on a fast ball and cranked it over the left field wall for a grand slam and a 7-5 Fort Wayne win.

``It's one of those kind of things where he was aggressive at the plate,'' Valentin said. ``So far he's been kind of battling it the last couple of days. You never know what to expect from him because sometimes he gives you some good at bats and sometimes he goes up and swings at everything. He had a pretty good plan this time. He worked the count and he got a pitch where he could do some damage.''

The blast gave the crowd of 4,622 mostly school children an adrenalin rush, and Valentin is hoping it does the same for his team as the TinCaps head out for a six-game road trip to Burlington and Peoria.

Fort Wayne is 10-3 at home but 4-7 on the road so far. A month in, things are OK but starting to improve, Valentin believes.

``I saw that these guys never quit, they play hard,'' the manager said. ``The chemistry in the clubhouse is real good. They care for each other and try to get better every day. They are young and they are going to make mistakes, but one thing about those guys is they like to work hard and get better. We're kind of inconsistent right now but it's not too bad but I'm happy with it because I see the effort.''