FORT WAYNE, Ind. – Efraín Contreras wowed in six scoreless innings and the bullpen backed him up, giving Fort Wayne a 1-0 victory over the South Bend Cubs (Chicago Cubs affiliate) on a chilly Tuesday night at Parkview Field. Despite the temperature, the TinCaps are red-hot – they’ve won four of the first five games on their seven-game homestand.
The TinCaps struck early, scoring the game’s only run in the bottom of the second inning. Lee Solomon walked with one out and remained at first after Luis Almanzar was robbed of an extra-base hit on a great running catch in right field by South Bend outfielder Nelson Velazquez. Juan Fernandez then made sure Solomon would come home, smacking a two-out triple to deep left field. It was the first triple of the season for Fernandez.
After that, the pitching settled in on both sides. Cam Sanders pitched well in his start for the Cubs, allowing just the one run on two hits in five innings. Command was an issue for the LSU product (four walks), but he avoided danger with the help of four strikeouts.
For the TinCaps, Contreras tossed one of the best starts of his professional career. The 19-year-old from Mexico twirled six scoreless innings, surrendering just three hits while striking out five and walking none. Contreras retired 13 in a row at one point and 15 of the final 16 batters he faced.
Contreras finished on a high note. Rafelin Lorenzo doubled for South Bend with one out in the sixth, providing the Cubs with their first runner in scoring position. Yet, Contreras buckled down, striking out DJ Artis and inducing a Cole Roderer flyout to eliminate the danger.
Fort Wayne’s bullpen took over after that. Nick Kuzia, Carlos Belen, and Henry Henry each pitched scoreless innings out of the pen, slamming the door shut on South Bend.
The best chance the Cubs had to score came in the eighth, when Belen allowed a leadoff double to Tyler Durna. Despite the adversity, Belen bore down, inducing a popout, flyout and groundout to strand Durna at second.
Wednesday, May 22 vs. South Bend (11:05 a.m.)
- TinCaps Probable Starter: RHP Gabe Mosser
- Cubs Probable Starter: TBA
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