FORT WAYNE, Ind. – Fort Wayne stifled the Lansing Lugnuts again on Tuesday night with a 5-3 win, tying a franchise record in the process. The victory was the club’s 15th in a row at home, matching what the 2009 TinCaps accomplished six years ago. The team that season went on to win the Midwest League Championship.
The TinCaps have taken the first two games of three from the Lugnuts, clinching their ninth straight series victory. That stretch has helped Francisco Morales‘ club maintain its stranglehold on first place in the Eastern Division for 27 straight days.
Fort Wayne has a four-game lead over West Michigan with 13 games left, and the magic number to clinch a playoff birth is just five games.
Starter Ernesto Montas (W, 11-6) scattered just five hits over six innings, allowing one earned run. His 11 wins now lead the team. Josh Almonte drove in a run off the right-hander in the top of the third, but the home team responded with a tally in the bottom of the frame.
Justin Shafer (L, 5-4) hit Luis Tejada on the back and he advanced to second base on a passed ball. Tejada found himself at third after a botched rundown, and Ruddy Giron drove him in to tie the game at 1-1.
Fort Wayne (38-19, 70-55) extended its lead to 4-1 in the fourth. First, Trae Santos clubbed his team-leading 12th home run of the season. Then Luis Urias and Franmil Reyes followed with run-scoring singles.
Lansing (26-30, 68-58) added scores in the fifth and seventh innings, but the TinCaps insurance came in the sixth frame. Urias, leading off of first base, took off with the pitch to the batter Giron. The 18-year-old bounced one through the hole on the right side of the infield for a base hit. Urias hustled around third base and scored ahead of the center fielder Almonte’s throw to the plate.
With a two-run lead, Yimmi Brasoban turned in a one-two-three ninth inning to notch his ninth save of year.
Fort Wayne tries for its eighth sweep of the season on Wednesday at 7:05 p.m. Chris Huffman (8-6, 3.03) starts for the TinCaps and faces Lugnuts scheduled starter Tom Robson (0-1, 3.71) at Parkview Field.
You can watch the action on Comcast Network 81 starting at 7:00 p.m. or listen in on ESPN Radio 1380, TinCaps.com, and the TuneIn Radio app starting at 6:45 p.m.