SOUTH BEND, Ind. – Despite a stellar pitching performance from right-handed starter Moises Lugo, the Fort Wayne TinCaps dropped the second game of the series to the South Bend Cubs (Chicago Cubs affiliate), 5-3, at Four Winds Field on Wednesday night.
The TinCaps (7-12) were buoyed by Lugo, who went five innings and allowed just two hits in his fourth start of the season. Lugo only surrendered one run, and struck out four hitters, equaling his season-high.
Fort Wayne, much like in the series opener on Tuesday, jumped out to an early lead. In the top of the first, TinCaps catcher Jonny Homza drove in designated hitter Agustin Ruiz with a single to center for his ninth run driven in on the year.
The Cubs responded in the bottom of the first, when center fielder Cole Roederer plated shortstop Delvin Zinn on a single right to even the game at one.
Pitching held serve for the next five innings. As fantastic as Lugo was, South Bend starter Derek Casey was equally as dominant. Despite giving up seven hits in six innings, he limited damage to only allow the one run in the opening frame.
Offense resumed in the bottom of the sixth, when Cubs second baseman Chase Strumpf drove in Zinn to take a 2-1 lead. The TinCaps retook the lead just a half-inning later with an RBI-double from center fielder Grant Little and a run-scoring single from Ruiz on back-to-back pitches.
Fort Wayne’s 3-2 lead lived until the bottom of the eighth. With the bases loaded, the tying run scored for South Bend on a throwing error after a fielder’s choice, and the two deciding runs came on on a single to shallow left from right fielder Nelson Velasquez, and an RBI-groundout by South Bend third baseman Jake Slaughter.
Three TinCaps had multiple hits in the loss: first baseman Luis Almanzar had a three-hit night, and Homza and shortstop Justin Lopez each had two.
Next Game: Thursday, May 27 @ South Bend (7:05 p.m.)
– Fort Wayne Probable Starter: RHP Anderson Espinoza
– South Bend Probable Starter: RHP Ryan Jensen
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