FORT WAYNE, Ind. — The Manzanas Luchadoras (“Fighting Apples” in Spanish) de Fort Wayne, the TinCaps’ alternate identity, defeated South Bend, 7-5, on Sunday afternoon at Parkview Field to conclude the team’s Hispanic Heritage Weekend. The game ended prematurely in the eighth inning due to a downpour of rain as los Cabritos Maldichos (the Cursed Goats) of South Bend — the alternate identity for the Cubs — had the tying runs on base with one out. Following a 1 hour and 17-minute delay, the game was called after the deluge left the field unplayable in adequate time, with more rain forecast.
With the victory, Fort Wayne (17-19, 44-58) earned a split of the six-game series. The Summit City’s squad is 2-0-3 over its last five series.
Fort Wayne took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the fourth inning against South Bend reliever Jarod Wright as catcher Brandon Valenzuela provided a sacrifice fly. Wright replaced No. 26 Chicago Cubs prospect Daniel Palencia, who made quite an impression with three perfect innings that included seven strikeouts. In fact, the 22-year-old from Venezuela, coming off the injured list, struck out each of the first six hitters he faced, using a 100-plus MPH fastball and a slider in the low 90s.
The game was back-and-forth in the middle innings until Fort Wayne broke through with a five-run bottom of the sixth highlighted by RBI singles from third baseman Lucas Dunn and center fielder Joshua Mears, as well as a two-RBI double by right fielder Agustín Ruiz. The big frame gave the home team a 7-3 lead.
Earlier, it was second baseman Olivier Basabe who hit a go-ahead RBI single that gave Fort Wayne a 2-1 lead in the fifth.
Jose Espada made his second start of the week, firing five innings of one-run ball.