FORT WAYNE, Ind. — For the third time in four days against Lake County, the TinCaps dug themselves a massive hole. On Thursday, Fort Wayne somehow overcame an eight-run deficit to win. But Sunday was a more similar script to Friday, as the TinCaps rallied but eventually lost to the Captains, 12-6, in front of 6,953 fans at Parkview Field.
Fort Wayne’s starting pitchers had allowed more than three earned runs only three times over a 24-game stretch entering Thursday. However, Sunday was the third time in four games against Lake County that a TinCaps starter allowed more than three earned runs.
Jeffery Enloe (4-4), who was coming off six scoreless innings and a win on Tuesday against Lansing, allowed five runs in four frames. Captains center fielder Clint Frazier hit a key three-run double to give the visitors a 5-0 lead in the fourth.
Lake County (24-24, 51-67) added another run in the top of the fifth against Erik Cabrera to take a 6-0 lead before Trea Turner put the TinCaps on the board with a solo home run to left field that made it 6-1. But with Jorge Guzman pitching the sixth, Fort Wayne (22-27, 52-66) allowed three more runs to fall behind 9-1.
In typical 2014 fashion, the TinCaps didn’t go away. Instead, they put up five runs in the sixth to draw within three at 9-6. Nick Schulz hit a two-run double, while Josh VanMeter, Dustin Peterson, and Fernando Perez provided run-scoring singles.
After Jason Jester worked a scoreless seventh and eighth on the mound, Fort Wayne carried its momentum into the bottom of the eighth. Ronnie Richardson led off with a walk and Schulz was hit by a pitch to bring up VanMeter as the tying run. But the Captains then called on Siena College alum Justin Brantley out of the bullpen. The right-hander induced a 4-6-3 double play and struck Turner out to end the inning unscathed. He pitched a perfect ninth, too, for his second career save.
Lake County tacked on three more runs in the ninth against Nick Mutz. The Captains out-hit the TinCaps 15-11 on the day. Shortstop Ivan Castillo had four of those hits for the Cleveland Indians affiliate, including his second and third home runs of the season. Meanwhile, on the mound, Luis Lugo (6-9) struck out seven in five innings. The only run he conceded was the Turner homer.
Fort Wayne has an off day Monday for the first time since July 22 — 19 days ago. On Tuesday, the TinCaps begin a three-game series on the road against Lansing. Ronald Herrera is slated to start for the Summit City squad against Starlyn Suriel. The game can be heard on ESPN Radio 1380, TinCaps.com, and the TuneIn Radio app.