LANSING, Mich. – The Fort Wayne TinCaps trailed the Lansing Lugnuts (Toronto Blue Jays) on two separate occasions, but a three-run ninth inning gave the TinCaps a 6-4 victory over the Lugnuts on Wednesday afternoon. The win gives Fort Wayne its first sweep of a series on the road since 2014.
Lansing (19-17) took its first lead of the series in the bottom of the first inning. With two outs, Bo Bichette worked a walk. With Bradley Jones batting, Bichette stole second base. Jones then singled to score Bichette and give the Lugnuts a 1-0 lead.
Fort Wayne (16-23) tied the game in the top of the second inning. Center fielder Jack Suwinski singled to begin the frame. After a fly out by second baseman Eguy Rosario, first baseman G.K. Young singled to put runners on the corners. Catcher Webster Rivas followed with a base hit that scored Suwinski, tying the game, 1-1.
The TinCaps took the lead in the third inning. With runners on the corners and no outs, right fielder Jorge Oña hit a sacrifice fly out to right field. Tatis Jr. scored from third base on the play to give Fort Wayne a 2-1 advantage, and shortstop Reinaldo Ilarraza moved to second base on the throw home. Ilarraza scored on a double from third baseman Hudson Potts for a 3-1 TinCaps lead.
The Lugnuts tied the score in the bottom of the third. With runners on second and third base and one out, Bichette doubled to left field, scoring Nick Sinay and Edward Olivares to tie the game, 3-3.
Lansing regained the lead in the seventh inning. With two outs, J.B. Woodman doubled to right field. Bichette followed with a single that scored Woodman to put the Lugnuts in front, 4-3.
Fort Wayne reclaimed the lead for good in the top of the ninth inning off Lugnuts relief pitcher Jackson McClelland (L). With one out, Rosario at third base, and pinch runner Nate Easley at second, Rod Boykin hit a ball to shortstop Yeltsin Gudiño. Gudiño misplayed the ball, allowing Boykin to reach first and Rosario to score, tying the game once again, 4-4. Designated hitter Fernando Tatis Jr. followed with a single that moved Boykin to third base and scored Easley to give the TinCaps back the lead, 5-4. Tatis Jr. was thrown out at second base on the play for the second out of the inning. Ilarraza then doubled to right field, scoring Boykin to push the Fort Wayne lead to 6-4.
TinCaps starting pitcher Austin Smith struck out seven batters in five innings of work. Reliever Blake Rogers allowed two hits and a run in three innings pitched, while right-hander David Bednar (S) didn’t allow a baserunner in the ninth inning en route to his fourth save of the season.
Thursday, May 18 vs. Great Lakes Loons (7:05 p.m.)
– TinCaps Probable Starter: LHP Will Headean
– Great Lakes Loons: TBD
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