Game recap from the TinCaps:
TinCaps lose but clinch playoff spot
LANSING, Mich. (August 30, 2015) – Fort Wayne dropped the series opener against the Lansing Lugnuts, 8-3, on Sunday afternoon, but clinched a playoff spot thanks to a Lake County loss to Dayton.
The TinCaps now have reached the Midwest League playoffs for a seventh consecutive season – the longest active postseason streak in the league. The next longest active streak is three years running (Cedar Rapids).
Fort Wayne has a three-game lead over West Michigan for first place in the Eastern Division with eight games to go in the regular season. The TinCaps’ magic number to win the division still stands at six.
On Sunday, Fort Wayne (40-22, 72-58) stumbled out of the gate. The Lugnuts tallied six hits in the opening inning against starter Ernesto Montas (L, 11-7), scoring four times. Later in the second, Richard Urena drilled a solo home to give the home team a 5-0 edge.
But with Justin Shafer (W, 6-4) on the hill for Lansing (29-32, 71-60) in the top of the third, the visitors batted around. Edwin Moreno began the frame with a base hit and moved to second after Michael Miller walked. Luis Urias loaded the bases with a single of his own. The next two TinCaps hitters – Franchy Cordero and Ruddy Giron – each drove in a run. The deficit was cut to just two runs when Franmil Reyes plated Urias to make it a 5-3 ballgame.
Montas quieted the Lugnuts bats his final three innings of work, and reliever Kyle McGrath pitched two scoreless innings as well afterword. The Louisville, Kentucky, native has still yet to allow an earned run in 17 second half appearances.
The home team added three more runs – all unearned off of Nick Monroe – in the bottom of the eighth to pull ahead, 8-3.
Fort Wayne attempts to snap its three-game losing streak on Monday at 7:05 p.m. Right-hander Chris Huffman (9-6, 2.94) – who’s been victorious in six of his last seven starts – faces Lansing righty Tom Robson (0-2, 3.86).
You can listen to the action on ESPN Radio 1380, Box Score, and the TuneIn Radio app starting at 6:45 p.m.
By Kevin Fitzgerald