SOUTH BEND, Ind. – In a game called in the bottom of the sixth inning due to rain, the Fort Wayne TinCaps snapped a three-game losing streak and beat the South Bend Cubs (Chicago Cubs affiliate), 4-3, on Thursday night at Four Winds Field.
The TinCaps (8-12) sent Padres No. 12 prospect Anderson Espinoza to the mound for his third start of the year. The righty shined in his first road outing, facing just one batter over the minimum across his two scheduled innings. In total, he struck out three and walked none, allowing only one hit.
However, the scoring started before Espinoza even toed the rubber. Fort Wayne right fielder Agustin Ruiz smacked a two-run home run to the opposite field in the top of the first, plating left fielder Grant Little as well. It was Ruiz’s sixth home run of the year, which is tied for the second-most in High-A Central.
Ruiz wasn’t done crossing the plate or pushing in his teammates. In the third, he scored on a wild pitch from Cubs pitcher Matteo Bocchi, and he again plated Little with an RBI-single in the fourth. His three-RBI night increased his total to 21 on the season, which leads the league.
South Bend strung baserunners together against TinCaps pitcher Edwuin Bencomo in the fifth to cut into the Fort Wayne lead. Cubs catcher Bryce Windham plated two with a bases-load single, but only one of which was earned after designated hitter Nelson Velazquez reached on an error to open the inning. The next hitter, shortstop Delvin Zinn, pushed a bunt single down the first base line to drive in third baseman Jake Slaughter.
TinCaps center fielder Jawuan Harris starred defensively. In his first appearance since Friday night at Parkview Field, Harris made a spectacular diving catch in the right-center field alley to end the second inning, and followed with a sliding grab in shallow center to finish the fifth and preserve the lead.
Rain poured down as the game began. Though it subsided after the first inning, by the sixth, it had returned. The tarp went on during the bottom of the sixth inning and the game was called due to the conditions after a 31-minute delay.
Next Game: Friday, May 28 @ South Bend (7:05 p.m.)
· Fort Wayne Probable Starter: LHP Ethan Elliott
· South Bend Probable Starter: RHP Peyton Remy
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