News release from the TinCaps:
TinCaps Lose Lead, Game to Lugnuts
(August 3, 2013) – The TinCaps lost to the Lansing Lugnuts Saturday night, 5-3, in front of a sellout crowd of 7,869 at Parkview Field. Fort Wayne staked itself to an early 3-0 lead only to see Lansing score five unanswered runs in the fifth and sixth innings. It was only the second time in 12 meetings with the Lugnuts that the TinCaps failed to win.
Fort Wayne (14-26, 57-52) took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning with just one hit. Mallex Smith led off with a walk, stole second base, and reached third on a throwing error by Lansing (16-25, 48-62) catcher Daniel Klein. With one out, Maxx Tissenbaum registered his team-leading 100th hit of the season and 41st RBI to score Smith.
The TinCaps’ lead blossomed to 3-0 in the third inning after Smith singled and Alberth Martinez cranked his team-best eighth home run of the season over the Home Run Porch in left field. Martinez, who also homered Friday night at Lake County, is the only Fort Wayne player this season to have homered in back-to-back games this season. Previously, the outfielder had also hit a home run in three straight games from April 29-May 1.
Fort Wayne’s lead lasted into the fifth, as starter Bryan Rodriguez (2-5) had allowed no runs and one hit through the first four innings. However, the Lugnuts bats came alive in the fifth. Jordan Leyland and Jason Leblebijian both singled and came in to score on a double by Dwight Smith Jr. and a groundout by Emilio Guerrero, respectively. Lansing then marched in front in the sixth. Klein ripped a double off the left-field wall to score Carlos Ramirez and Chris Hawkins to give the Lugnuts a 4-3 lead. Smith Jr. later brought Klein home with a single that made it 5-3.
Meanwhile, Lansing starter Ben White (7-6) settled down after Fort Wayne’s initial offensive success. The native of the Philadelphia suburbs didn’t surrender a run in his final four innings of work. White scattered six hits in his seven innings and struck out four. Ian Kadish pitched a perfect eighth inning and Arik Sikula closed the game with a one-two-three ninth.
Colin Rea relieved Rodriguez to toss 3 1/3 scoreless innings for tinCaps. But, with Fort Wayne’s five through nine hitters in the lineup going a combined 1-for-17, there was no overcoming the 5-3 deficit. In each of the TinCaps last seven losses, they’ve scored first.
Fort Wayne and Lansing continue their series at Parkview Field Sunday with a doubleheader beginning at 2:05.
All-Star Joe Ross is scheduled to start Game 1 for the TinCaps against Lugnuts left-hander Daniel Norris, while Walker Weickel and Eric Brown square off in Game 2. Both games can be heard on The Fan 1380 and TheFanFortWayne.com, and seen on XFINITY Channel 81.