SOUTH BEND, Ind. – A night after their franchise record-tying 10-game winning streak came to an end, the TinCaps got back in the win column on Friday with a 6-2 victory over the South Bend Cubs at Four Winds Field.
Coupled with a West Michigan loss, Fort Wayne now holds a 3 1/2-game lead on the Whitecaps for first place in the Eastern Division with 17 games left in the regular season. The TinCaps are 7 /12 games in front of third-place Lake County. The top two finishers go on to the Midwest League Playoffs.
Fort Wayne (35-18, 67-54) showed no signs of weariness on Friday, despite traveling through the night from Bowling Green and not arriving in South Bend until 6:00 a.m.
Chris Huffman (W, 8-6), especially, looked fresh as he matched a career long with seven innings of work. The right-hander held the Cubs to four hits and a walk, while striking out three. The lone run against him came in the seventh on a questionable safe call at first base on a grounder to third by Charcer Burks that brought in Ian Happ with two outs.
South Bend (27-26, 56-64) also scored an unearned run in the ninth against Yimmi Brasoban. Taylor Cox pitched a perfect eighth.
Before that, the TinCaps jumped out to a 6-0 lead. The visitors scored once in the second, once again in the third, twice in the fourth, and twice more in the sixth. James Norwood (L, 2-2) went the first five on the mound for the Cubs.
First baseman Trae Santos headlined the offense with a two-hit, three-RBI performance. He drove in three of Fort Wayne’s first four runs.
Catcher Michael Miller also shined with a pair of hits, including a solo home run — his first as a TinCap — in the sixth. Luis Urias (1 RBI) and Luis Tejada (2 runs) also contributed two hits.
The TinCaps look to claim their eighth consecutive series with a win on Saturday night in a 7:05 game at South Bend. All-Star Thomas Dorminy (9-7, 3.26) is set to take the ball for Fort Wayne against Jake Stinnett (5-5, 4.61). The game can be heard on ESPN Radio 1380, TinCaps.com, and the TuneIn Radio app.