Updated: Friday, 31 Aug 2012, 10:19 PM EDT
Published : Friday, 31 Aug 2012, 10:19 PM EDT
FORT WAYNE, Ind. - The Fort Wayne TinCaps are headed to the playoffs for the fourth consecutive season. A 7-0 win on Friday night at Parkview Field in front of a sellout crowd of 7,721 fans began with strong pitching and finished with an abundance of offense. Fort Wayne has now made the playoffs for the eighth time in 10 years and the 12 th time in the 20-year history of the franchise.
Erik Cabrera turned in his best performance in his five starts since joining the TinCaps from the Dominican Summer League Padres. The 22-year-old delivered five and one-third shutout innings, walking two and striking out two. He at one point retired ten consecutive batters and also received help from a sharp defense, as Kyle Gaedele threw out a runner at the plate in the first inning.
Fort Wayne (37-30, 68-69) used perfect execution to get the game’s first run in the first inning. Jankowski led off and reached on an infield single, moving to second on a throwing error by third baseman Jason King. King committed two errors as West Michigan (35-32, 70-66) committed four on the night. Jace Peterson used a sacrifice bunt to move Jakowski to third, and he scored one batter later on a Yeison Asencio sacrifice fly.
Gaedele used a fifth-inning RBI single to give the TinCaps a 2-0 lead. Whitecaps starter Kyle Ryan (7-8) left after five innings, allowing two runs (one earned), striking out three and not issuing a walk.
The game turned in a nine-batter sixth inning. Fort Wayne scored four runs against West Michigan’s Michael Torrealba, stretching a two-run advantage to a six-run margin. The TinCaps added one final run in the bottom of the eighth inning with an RBI single from Tyler Stubblefield.
Fort Wayne’s first-round playoff opponent will be either first-half champion Lansing or first-half wild card Bowling Green. With three games remaining, the TinCaps currently trail Lake County by one game in the race for the second-half title.
The final series of the regular season begins Saturday evening in Bowling Green, Kentucky, as the TinCaps take on the Hot Rods at 8:05 PM. The scheduled starters are Frank Garces for Fort Wayne and Jake Floethe for Bowling Green.
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