FORT WAYNE, Ind. — Kyle Lloyd did what Kyle Lloyd has done over the last month, but the TinCaps lost to the Lake County Captains, 5-2, on Saturday night. In front of a third consecutive sell-out crowd at Parkview Field, Lloyd struck out seven and kept the Captains off the board for six innings before Lake County scored five unanswered runs late.
Franmil Reyes gave the TinCaps a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the sixth against Dace Kime — who pitched almost as well as Lloyd — with two outs. It was a terrific at-bat for the 19-year-old who fell behind 1-2 but worked the count full before knocking the ninth pitch up the middle to score Trea Turner. Two batters later, catcher John Nester, singled to score Reyes and give Fort Wayne a 2-0 advantage. Saturday was Nester’s debut with the TinCaps after he transferred to the team from Advanced-A Lake Elsinore on Friday when Adolfo Reina was placed on the disabled list.
For only the second time this season in 17 starts, Lloyd stayed on the mound to start the seventh. However, the right-hander walked Mike Papi to begin the frame and was removed after that with 74 pitches thrown.
Eric Yardley (1-4) entered out of the bullpen and encountered trouble. The right-handed sidearmer has been one of Fort Wayne’s steadiest pitchers since he arrived in May, but gave up two singles to load the bases and then walked Grant Fink to force in a run. Richard Stock then grounded into a fielder’s choice to tie the game, 2-2.
The game stayed tied in the seventh thanks to Reyes’ right arm. He caught a fly ball hit to right field by Claudio Bautista for the second out and then threw Torsten Boss out at home plate to complete an inning-ending double play that kept the game deadlocked.
Lake County (23-24, 50-67) unlocked the tie in the eighth against Yardley on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Mike Papi to score Ivan Castillo, who had started the inning with a single. Later in the ninth against Tyler Wood, who like Nester was making his Fort Wayne (22-26, 52-65) debut, the Captains added a pair of solo home runs from Richard Stock and Bautista to go up 5-2.
Robbie Avilies (2-1) picked up the win with 2 1/3 scoreless innings and Carlos Melo (1) registered the save.
Though it came in a no decision, Lloyd lowered his ERA over his last six starts to 1.06. In that span, he has struck out 52 batters, or 8.7 per start. On the season, Lloyd has struck out 127 to lead the entire Midwest League.
The TinCaps go for a split of their four-game tilt with the Captains on Sunday at 1:05 p.m. at Parkview Field. In a matchup of lefties, Jeffery Enloe starts for Fort Wayne against Luis Lugo. The game can be heard on ESPN Radio 1380, TinCaps.com, and the TuneIn Radio app. It can also be seen on XFINITY Channel 81.