SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WANE) – The TinCaps took a combined no-hitter into the ninth inning at Four Winds Field on Thursday night en route to a 9-1 win over the South Bend Cubs (Chicago Cubs affiliate). Fort Wayne has won a season-high four consecutive games, and five of its last six.
TinCaps pitching, led by starter Moises Lugo, held the Cubs in check. Lugo fired four no-hit innings, striking out five. He did, however, walk four South Bend hitters, which included center fielder Edmond Americaan. The speedy Cub stole second after a walk in the bottom of the third, advanced to third on a wild pitch, and came in to score on a throwing error.
After Lugo, left-hander Ramon Perez made his High-A debut. The 2019 TinCap, who was called up from Low-A Lake Elsinore on Tuesday, threw two no-hit innings and struck out three while overcoming a walk and a hit batter. Austin Smith followed Perez, dealing two perfect innings with four strikeouts.
In the ninth, the Cubs collected their only two hits of the night on an infield single and a bloop-double down the right-field line against Cody Tyler. He stranded both runners to finish the game.
Meanwhile, offensively, the TinCaps (21-23) immediately responded after falling behind 1-0. On the first pitch of the top of the fourth, shortstop Kelvin Melean cracked his second home run of the season, and over the last four games, deep to left field off of South Bend starter Derek Casey.
Fort Wayne, for the second night in a row, poured on eight runs in the top of the seventh to break a tie. TinCaps shortstop Justin Lopez had two of the three hits in the frame, with a lead-off double, and a grand slam for his fourth home run of the year. The only other hit came from Melean when he ripped a two-run single up the middle. It was Melean’s eighth hit total in the last four games. The ‘Caps walked five times in that frame and were hit by two pitches.
The 3 hour, 22-minute game was initially delayed 40 minutes by rain.
The Cubs (18-26) have lost eight consecutive games.
Next Game: Friday, June 25 @ South Bend (7:05 p.m.)
– Fort Wayne Probable Starter: RHP Anderson Espinoza
– South Bend Probable Starter: RHP Ryan Jensen