COMSTOCK PARK, Mich. – The Fort Wayne TinCaps lost to the West Michigan Whitecaps (Detroit Tigers affiliate) on Thursday at LMCU Ballpark, 4-3. The TinCaps had the tying run at second base with nobody out in the ninth, but their rally fell short.
Fort Wayne finished the night 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position, leaving eight on base — not counting having a runner thrown out at third base to end the top of the eighth inning.
The TinCaps played from behind most of the evening.
After launching a three-run homer last night, West Michigan right fielder Daniel Cabrera belted a double to right field to plate center fielder Parker Meadows, who tripled, to open scoring for the Whitecaps (45-48) in the bottom of the first. That ended a stretch of 18 2/3 shutout innings for Fort Wayne starting pitcher Danny Denz, dating back to July 27.
In the third, the Whitecaps doubled their lead on an RBI single from first baseman Jake Holton, who brought home second baseman Wenceel Perez.
The TinCaps (43-50) scored their first run of the game in the top of the fourth, when designated hitter Jonny Homza drove in left fielder Grant Little with a sacrifice fly hit out to left field. For Homza, it was his first run driven in since Aug. 1.
In the top of the sixth, Fort Wayne equalized on a wild pitch from newly-entered West Michigan reliever Chris Mauloni. The wild pitch allowed right fielder Tirso Ornelas to chug home after walking and advancing to third on a single from Homza earlier in the frame.
However, the Whitecaps took a two-run lead just after the seventh inning stretch on Holton’s second RBI single of the night and a run-producing groundout from Cabrera.
Fort Wayne trimmed the deficit in the top of the eighth on a two-out bunt from second baseman Ripken Reyes. After the bunt, Mauloni’s throw to first base went down the line, allowing third baseman Ethan Skender to dash in and score.
After TinCaps center fielder Reinaldo Ilarraza walked to lead off the top of the ninth and stole second, Whitecaps closer Zack Hess stranded him to earn the save.
Next Game: Friday, August 20 at West Michigan (7:05 p.m.)
- Fort Wayne Probable Starter: RHP Connor Lehmann
- West Michigan Probable Starter: LHP Jack O’Loughlin