FORT WAYNE, Ind. — For the third day in a row, the TinCaps walked off to beat the West Michigan Whitecaps on Sunday at Parkview Field, 3-2. Franmil Reyes singled in the bottom of the ninth inning with the bases loaded and one out to score Rey Bruguera for the win.
The TinCaps completed their six-game homestand with a perfect 6-0 record. Fort Wayne’s six-game winning streak is its longest since June 2-11, 2013, when the club won nine in a row.
Just as they had the previous two nights against the Whitecaps, the TinCaps came from behind on Sunday.
West Michigan (Tigers affiliate, 19-17, 52-53) scored twice in the top of the first. But after that, Fort Wayne starter Michael Kelly settled in to throw five scoreless innings with a season-high seven strikeouts.
Fort Wayne (Padres affiliate, 22-15, 54-51) got a run back in the bottom of the first, as Reyes drove in Franchy Cordero, who had doubled, with two outs. The TinCaps then tied the game in the third after Reyes doubled and came in on a Trae Santos two-out single.
Aaron Cressley kept the visitors off the scoreboard in the seventh and eighth, while Yimmi Brasoban (W, 3-3) struck out the side in order in the ninth.
TinCaps pitchers struck out 13 batters on Sunday, which was Stand Up To Cancer Day presented by Fifth Third Bank. For each strikeout, Fifth Third agreed to donate $100 to SU2C, meaning Kelly, Cressley, and Brasoban helped raise $1,300 to fund cancer research.
Whitecaps reliever Trey Teakell replaced starter Fernando Perez for the fifth inning and stymied the TinCaps until the ninth. Bruguera had been hitless for 16 consecutive at-bats going back to July 15, but delivered a lead-off single. With Bruguera running, Luis Urias singled to move Bruguera to third base. Urias took second on a throw to third and then West Michigan elected to intentionally walk Cordero to load the bases.
Teakell (L, 3-1) struck out Ruddy Giron for the first out in the bottom of the ninth, but that wouldn’t be the case against Reyes. The right fielder sent a 1-1 slider away to right field. It was his second walk-off hit against the Whitecaps this season. (He hit a 12th-inning walk-off home run on May 29.)
In addition to the strikeouts, the TinCaps also raised $4,410 by auctioning off their SU2C jerseys.
The TinCaps now enter an off day Monday with a 2 1/2-game lead over the Whitecaps for first place in the Eastern Division with 33 regular season games remaining.
Fort Wayne visits the Burlington Bees (Angels affiliate, 14-23, 49-57) on Tuesday night at 7:30 EST. The TinCaps are set to start Chris Huffman (5-6, 3.52) against Keynan Middleton (5-7, 4.71). The game can be heard on ESPN Radio 1380, TinCaps.com, and the TuneIn Radio app.