TinCaps Drop Series Opener On Wet Night At Parkview Field

FORT WAYNE, Ind. – After a six-game road trip, the TinCaps returned home Tuesday, but the comfy confines of Parkview Field failed to equate to a win, as the Lansing Lugnuts bested Fort Wayne, 7-4. The TinCaps had previously won 10 of their last 12 at home.
In a back-and-forth affair, Lansing went up for good in the top of the eighth inning. Chaz Frank hit a two-out blooper to no-man’s-land in right field that scored Dickie Joe Thon from second base to give the Lugnuts a 5-4 edge. The run allowed by All-Star reliever Taryon Guerrero was unearned after Thon had reached on an error with one out. Lansing (30-34) expanded its lead with two runs in the top of the ninth against Genison Reyes.
Fort Wayne (28-36) scored first on a rainy Tuesday, but found itself playing from behind most of the night. Mallex Smith led off the bottom of the first inning with a double into right field. Two batters later, Fernando Perez drove Smith home with a sacrifice fly.
TinCaps starter Erik Cabrera put himself into a precarious spot in the road third when he walked two batters and allowed a single to load the bases for Lansing. Matt Dean made Cabrera pay with a two-run single to give the visitors a 2-1 lead. L.B. Dantzler added a sacrifice fly to extend Lansing’s lead to 3-1 after 2 1/2 innings.
Thanks in part to a couple of Lugnut blunders, the TinCaps tied the game, 3-3, with a pair in the bottom of the sixth. Smith bunted for a single and reached second on a throwing error by Lansing starter Jeremy Gabryszwski. Dustin Peterson plated his Midwest League-leading 48th RBI with a triple. For Smith, his two runs scored on the night raised his league-best total in that department to 52. Meanwhile, Peterson scored, too, on a wild pitch.
Outside of a shaky third inning, Cabrera had a fine night on the mound for the TinCaps. In six innings, he allowed three runs — all in the third — on four hits and three walks with two strikeouts. Cabrera has gone six innings in three of his last four starts.
Wilson Santos replaced Cabrera in the seventh and struggled. Santos surrendered a double and walked two to load the bases for Lansing. Guerrero was then called on and uncharacteristically walked Dean to give the Lugnuts a 4-3 lead.
The TinCaps tied the game, 4-4, in the bottom of the seventh on a two-out base-hit by River Stevens to score Ryan Miller. Fort Wayne’s demise was impending, though.
Of note, Fort Wayne first baseman Jake Bauers singled in the bottom of the ninth inning to extend the Midwest League’s longest hitting streak to 16 games.
The TinCaps and Lugnuts engage in game two of their three-game set at Parkivew Field on Wednesday, which is Military Appreciation Night. Fort Wayne is slated to send Adrian De Horta to the mound against Lansing’s Chase De Jong. The 7:05 p.m. game can be seen on XFINITY Channel 81 and also heard on ESPN Radio 1380, TheFanIndiana.com, and on the TuneIn Radio app.


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