FORT WAYNE, Ind. – The Fort Wayne TinCaps had a three-game winning streak snapped in the series opener against the South Bend Cubs (Chicago Cubs affiliate) on Tuesday night at Parkview Field, falling 6-2.
The TinCaps (40-45) welcomed South Bend starting pitcher Anderson Espinoza back to Parkview Field. Espinoza, the former Padres prospect and 2021 TinCap, was traded at this year’s deadline to the Cubs. In his first outing against his old teammates, Espinoza struck out five and allowed two runs across 3 1/3 innings of work.
The first run he allowed was on a solo home run from Fort Wayne right fielder Tirso Ornelas in the bottom of the first that traveled 410 feet to right field. The blast was Ornelas’ second in as many games, fourth in his last 13 games, and fifth of the season. That’s after going homerless for the first 48 games of 2021.
In the second, heady baserunning gave the TinCaps a 2-0 lead. With runners at the corners, designated hitter Tyler Malone took off for second base, only to stop several feet shy of the bag. The intentional rundown gave shortstop Justin Lopez a chance to dash home to score before Malone was tagged out in a rundown to end the inning.
The Cubs (38-46) then followed with six unanswered runs from the fifth through the seventh, highlighted by a three-run fifth inning and long home runs from left fielder Yonathan Perlaza (416 feet) and right fielder and Cubs No. 7 prospect Alexander Canario (423 feet).
On the heels of Espinoza’s start for South Bend, Cubs right-hander Matteo Bocchi finished the job. The Italian-born pitcher fired 5 2/3 shutout innings, allowing just one hit and striking out six.
Of the TinCaps’ three hits as a team, the only one to come after the first inning was a bunt single from second baseman Ethan Skender in the bottom of the seventh.
Next Game: Wednesday, August 11 vs. South Bend (7:05 p.m.)
· – Fort Wayne Probable Starter: LHP Noel Vela
· – South Bend Probable Starter: RHP Max Bain
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