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Last updated: Mon. Jul. 14, 2014 - 09:17 am EDT

After loss, TinCaps focus on Futures

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TinCaps

vs. South Bend

When: 7:05 p.m. today

TV: Xfinity Channel 81

Radio: 1380 AM

Tickets: $12.50, $10, $9, $8, $5 (lawn)

Information: TinCaps.com or 482-6400

The TV in the home clubhouse at Parkview Field didn’t have the right channel.

So 11 TinCaps crammed around a table in the middle of the room, watching the All-Star Futures Game on Dustin Peterson’s smartphone.

After Sunday’s 10-7 loss to South Bend, it was a reminder that the minor leagues are, more than anything else, about the pursuit of dreams.

Right fielder Franmil Reyes jumped for joy when Tyron Guerrero, a TinCap the first half of the season, struck out the only batter he faced in the annual prospect showcase.

Peterson’s interest was even deeper, because his brother D.J. – a Mariners farmhand – was in it.

“I’m proud of him,” Peterson said. “It’s a once-in-a-lifetime thing. I’m proud of Tyron, too.”

Young talent was also front and center at Parkview Field.

On a day Trea Turner, this year’s No. 13 overall draft pick, made his Fort Wayne debut, Silver Hawks star Andrew Velazquez set a notable record.

Velazquez now has reached base in 72 consecutive games – the longest streak in minor league history.

Like most other players at this level, Velazquez hopes it is just a marker on the road to bigger and better things.

“We’re into player development,” South Bend manager Mark Haley said. “Part of player development is having the opportunity to do historic things.”

Velazquez broke a three-way tie with Kevin Millar and Kevin Youkilis by singling to shortstop in his second at-bat.

“It’s a blessing,” Velazquez said. “You want to be the best you can be.”

By most accounts, Turner, like Velazquez a shortstop, has quite a bit of potential himself.

Batting in the leadoff spot, Turner went 1 for 5, stole two bases and scored a run in the loss, Fort Wayne’s 15th in its last 17 games. “I felt really good at the plate,” Turner said. “I’m pretty happy even though I didn’t go 4 for 4. I saw the ball well.”

In the third inning, Turner reached on a sharply hit infield single and stole second.

His decision to steal third just as South Bend catcher Michael Perez was throwing the ball back to the pitcher demonstrated how Turner employs his outstanding speed.

He’s used that trick since his sophomore season at North Carolina State.

“It’s fun to do,” Turner said. “You’ve got to wait for the right catcher and pitcher.”

The TinCaps (36-56, 6-17 second half) are just facing the wrong team, as South Bend (56-36, 16-7) has won 11 of the 14 meetings this year.

Despite losing a 7-3 lead Sunday, the TinCaps had something to feel good about.

With a two-run homer in the fourth, Reyes looked as if a huge weight had been lifted.

The opposite-field shot ended a homer drought of 164 at-bats that dated to May 27.

“I feel happy because I’ve been working,” Reyes said through an interpreter. “I believe that, from now on, things are going to get better.”

cgoff@jg.net


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