FORT WAYNE, Ind. – With 6,387 fans out in support at Parkview Field on a majestic Thursday night, the TinCaps beat the Lansing Lugnuts, 3-1. Luis Tejada led a 10-hit charge with two runs batted in, while four pitchers combined to not allow an earned run in Fort Wayne’s fourth consecutive win at home.
Tejada, who came into the game 0-for-his-last-11 at the plate as a TinCap, delivered the first of his three hits on Thursday in the bottom of the second inning. After Dane Phillips and Jake Bauers both hit singles and Ryan Miller was plunked by a pitch to load the bases, Tejada knocked the first pitch he saw from Alberto Tirado into center field. Phillips and Bauers both scored, and as it would turn out, that was all the offense Fort Wayne (18-28) would need.
The TinCaps, however, would add another run in the bottom of the third. Phillips drove home his 23rd run of the year with a double to score Franmil Reyes to increase Fort Wayne’s lead to 3-0. Coupled with a blue, sunny sky and a temperature of 70 degrees, it was a scene to behold for a team coming off a winless seven-game road trip.
TinCaps starter Adrian De Horta held the Lugnuts to three hits over 4 2/3 innings. The only qualm for the 19-year-old was control, as De Horta walked five. Lansing (23-23) recorded its only run in unearned fashion in the fourth.
De Horta left the game in the fifth with the bases loaded. Fortunately for Fort Wayne, reliever Justin Livengood struck out Jorge Saez to elude trouble.
Following 1 1/3 innings from Livengood, Tayron Guerrero, whose fastball rose to as fast as 98 MPH, retired all six batters he faced, striking out three. Closer Nick Mutz knotched his sixth save of the season with a scoreless ninth.
Besides Tejada’s second-inning single, neither side could come through with runners in scoring position. Fort Wayne went 0-for-12 following Tejada’s two-run hit with runners in scoring position, as the club left 10 runners on base. Meanwhile, Lansing was 1-for-11 in such situations, stranding 11.
Tejada’s success was a welcomed sight for the TinCaps. The 21-year-old had a promising start to the campaign with his batting average better than .300 after the opening week. A late April slump, though, saw him shipped off the Fort Wayne roster. He was the team’s Opening Day first baseman both this year and a season ago, but played left field on Thursday — his third game in a row at the position since rejoining the club last week.
The TinCaps continue their six-game homestand Friday with the middle game of their series with the Lugnuts. Fort Wayne is set to hand the ball off to right-hander Erik Cabrera against Lansing lefty Matt Dermody. The 7:05 p.m. game can be heard on The Fan 1380, TheFanFortWayne.com, and the TuneIn Radio app, and seen on XFINITY Channel 81.