FORT WAYNE, Ind. – Triskaidekaphobia is the fear of the number 13. For the TinCaps on Friday night, the fear of losing their 13th consecutive game became a reality, as Fort Wayne fell to the South Bend Silver Hawks, 9-2. In spite of the result, the ballgame was enjoyed by a Parkview Field crowd of 6,957.
The evening began with promise for the home fans as the TinCaps scored the first two runs of the game in the first. Josh VanMeter walked to commence the frame and reached third base on a single by the team’s leader in hits, Dustin Peterson. VanMeter scored on a double-play groundout by Fernando Perez. But Franmil Reyes extended the inning with a base-hit and scored on a Jake Bauers double. However, Fort Wayne’s prosperity was ephemeral.
In the top of the second inning, South Bend (15-6, 55-35) put up five runs — two of which were unearned — to seize control of the contest. TinCaps starter Cody Hebner (0-1) struck out five in three innings, but also allowed six hits and the five-run second.
On the other side, Sean Furney (5-4) kept Fort Wayne (5-16, 35-55) off the scoreboard after the first. Furney scattered five hits over seven innings with an economical 72 pitches. He wasn’t overpowering — just one strikeout — but in control — just one walk.
Of note for the Silver Hawks, shortstop Andrew Velazquez went three-for-five with a double and a run batted in. Velazquez has now reached base in 70 consecutive games dating back to April 22. The 19-year-old from the Bronx, N.Y., can tie Minor League Baseball’s on-base streak record of 71 on Saturday night. The mark is currently shared by Kevin Millar and Kevin Youkilis, who accomplished the feat in 1997 and 2003, respectively.
Velazquez was joined in the three-hit club Friday night by teammates Marty Herum and Breland Almadova, the latter of whom hit a two-run home run in the top of the seventh inning to expand South Bend’s lead to 9-2. The Silver Hawks also scored once in the fourth, as well as the fifth.
For the TinCaps, Peterson was the only player to produce a multi-hit game. A night after Blayne Weller threw a no-hitter for South Bend at Dayton, Fort Wayne was out-hit, 14-5, and committed the game’s only two errors.
The TinCaps try to stop the franchise’s longest losing streak ever on Saturday night at Parkview Field in the second of a four-game set. Kyle Lloyd will take the ball for Fort Wayne against South Bend’s John Omahen. The 7:05 game can be seen on XFINITY Channel 81 and heard on ESPN Radio 1380 and TinCaps.com.