FORT WAYNE, Ind. – TinCaps starting pitcher Austin Krob (No. 28 Padres prospect) struck out a career-high 11 hitters, left fielder Tyler Robertson ripped a go-ahead two-run single in the seventh, and Fort Wayne notched a comeback win over the South Bend Cubs, 6-2, in front of a sellout crowd of 7,766 fans Saturday at Parkview Field.
The TinCaps have won four consecutive games against the Cubs. With seven games remaining in the regular season, Fort Wayne trails the West Michigan Whitecaps (Detroit Tigers affiliate) by just a half-game in the race for the Midwest League East Division’s final postseason spot.
Krob became the first TinCap to strike out more than 10 batters in a game this season. Jairo Iriarte, who’s now with Double-A San Antonio, K-ed 10 at South Bend on June 25. Last year Jackson Wolf and Robert Gasser both had 11-strikeout games with Fort Wayne. Wolf made his MLB debut earlier this season with the Padres, while Gasser is knocking on the door of The Show with Triple-A Nashville, after being traded to the Brewers organization last year. Krob is one of only six pitchers to reach the 11-strikeout mark in the Midwest League this season. The left-hander threw a career-high 105 pitches (66 strikes) over 6 2/3 innings.
Meanwhile, Robertson finished the game 3-for-4 with two RBIs and a stolen base.
Early on, Fort Wayne (33-26 , 65-60) struck first when right fielder Lucas Dunn drove in Robertson in the first inning with a two-out single.
However, South Bend (22-36, 52-71) grabbed the lead in the top of the fourth on first baseman Felix Stevens’ two-run homer, making it 2-1.
But the ‘Caps tied the game in the fifth. Shortstop Kervin Pichardo hit a sacrifice fly to left field, scoring third baseman Devin Ortiz to equalize the game, 2-2.
In the seventh, with two out, Ortiz hit a sharp liner to left that was misplayed by Yohendrick Pinango, opening the door for what would become a three-run rally. The next four batters reached after the error. Robertson knocked in two with the bases loaded before center fielder Sammy Zavala (No. 5 Padres prospect) tallied his first High-A RBI as well on a single to cap the inning.
Fort Wayne added an insurance run in the eighth, thanks to a walk, a wild pitch, and an error.
Will Geerdes, José Geraldo, and Cole Paplham combined for 2 1/3 perfect innings of relief.
Saturday marked the 15th sellout at Parkview Field this season. The TinCaps rank third out of 60 Single-A and High-A clubs in average attendance, and are outdrawing 23 Double-A teams and nine in Triple-A.
Next Game: Sunday, Sept. 3 vs. South Bend (6:05 p.m.) — Regular season home finale
- TinCaps Probable Starter: RHP Victor Lizarraga (No. 15 Padres prospect)
- Cubs Probable Starter: RHP Michael Arias (No. 12 Cubs prospect)