FORT WAYNE, Ind. – The TinCaps fell, 4-2, in the finale of their four-game series against the Lansing Lugnuts (Toronto Blue Jays) on Monday night at Parkview Field. The win for Lansing earned a series split, and clinched a Midwest League playoff berth, based on the first half standings.
Fort Wayne (28-34) starter Mason Thompson threw five scoreless frames before allowing a single and a walk to lead off the top of the sixth inning. He was replaced by reliever Ben Scheckler. A single and a sacrifice bunt scored both runners to give the Lugnuts a 2-0 lead.
Lansing (40-24) starter Colton Laws turned in a solid outing, tossing five scoreless innings, while allowing only two hits and no walks, and striking out two.
The Lugnuts added onto their lead in the bottom of the eighth. Samad Taylor laced an RBI double that one-hopped the right-field wall to score Brock Lundquist from second and extend the lead, 3-0. Later in the inning, Norberto Obeso hit a chopping ground ball up the middle to score Samad Taylor from third and give Lansing a 4-0 advantage.
The TinCaps threatened in the bottom of the ninth. Second baseman Esteury Ruiz and right fielder Tirso Ornelas singled to lead off the inning. After a strikeout, shortstop Justin Lopez followed with a one-out walk to load the bases and send the tying run to the plate.
Third baseman Luis Almanzar lifted a sacrifice fly to right-center field to score Ruiz from third and cut the deficit to 4-1. With two outs, designated hitter Nick Fieght singled through the hole into right field to score Ornelas from third and pull Fort Wayne within two. Runners were at the corners with two outs when catcher Jalen Washington grounded out on a 6-4 fielder’s choice to end the game.
In the loss, Ornelas went 2-for-4 with a run scored.
The TinCaps will have a chance to clinch a playoff spot themselves in the second half of the year. The standings reset when the first half ends on Sunday. Fort Wayne’s next opponent, Bowling Green, has already locked up the other first-half playoff bid.
Tuesday, June 12 @ Bowling Green Hot Rods (7:35 p.m.)
- TinCaps Probable Starter: LHP Nick Margevicius
- Lugnuts Probable Starter: LHP Josh Fleming
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