LANSING, Mich. – Despite scoring a run two batters into the game, the Fort Wayne TinCaps fell victim to dominant Lugnuts pitching in a 4-2 series-opening loss Monday night. Lansing starter Tom Robson retired seventeen straight batters during his outing, curtailing the TinCaps’ chances of rounding the bases.
Robson (2-3) gave up a leadoff triple to Mallex Smith, who laced a fly ball off the 23-foot high wall in right field, and then steamrolled his way into the sixth inning, where Smith ended the retired batters streak by Robson, blooping an end-of-the-bat single to center field. Robson fanned a career-high eight batters over six innings, and did not walk a batter. The Lansing (15-15) pitching staff did not issue a free pass until the ninth inning.
Fort Wayne (12-18) starter Payton Baskette (0-1) worked a career-high-tying 5 1/3 innings before exiting, having give up three runs (two earned), on eight hits, with two walks and two strikeouts. Both Monday additions to the roster, Eric Yardley and Tony Wieber pitched in relief.
The Lugnuts scored a lone run in the sixth, and the TinCaps scored once in the seventh on a Dane Phillips RBI single. Lansing added an insurance run in the eighth, helping Griffin Murphy notch his fourth save.
The TinCaps 12-18 mark is the lowest the team has been below .500 in 2014.
Game two of the series is scheduled for Tuesday morning at 10:35 a.m. The scheduled starters are Kyle Lloyd for Fort Wayne and Shane Dawson for Lansing. The game can be heard on The Fan 1380 and TheFanFortWayne.com.