FORT WAYNE, Ind. -- For the second straight night the TinCaps started the fireworks show early with another outstanding offensive performance to win the series opener against the South Bend Cubs (Chicago Cubs), 13-2, at Parkview Field on Friday. The ‘Caps are on a three-game winning streak and have won four of five to begin their homestand.
Fort Wayne (18-22) opened the scoring in the bottom of the first. It started with a pair of two-out walks from center fielder Tirso Ornelas and third baseman Luis Almanzar. Ornelas scored after a single from second baseman Justin Lopez and an error from South Bend (17-22) third baseman Austin Filiere to give the TinCaps the early 1-0 lead.
First baseman Carlos Belen grounded to Cubs second baseman Jhonny Bethencourt, but his error kept the inning alive and brought Almanzar home to give the TinCaps a 2-0 lead. Lopez crossed home plate after an RBI-double from catcher Juan Fernandez and right fielder Jack Suwinski followed with a two-run double, scoring both Belen and Fernandez, to give Fort Wayne the 5-0 lead after one inning.
The TinCaps continued the scoring in the second inning. After designated hitter Esteury Ruiz was hit by a pitch, Ornelas singled to center, scoring Ruiz and increasing Fort Wayne’s advantage to 6-0. After an error sent Ornelas to third, yet another error on a stolen base attempt from Almanzar brought Ornelas home and made it 7-0 TinCaps.
In the fourth inning Fort Wayne struck again thanks to more errors from South Bend. Back-to-back miscues from Cubs shortstop Rafael Narea allowed TinCap shortstop Gabriel Arias to reach first and then advance to third. He would score after Almanzar grounded into a fielder’s choice, making it 8-0 TinCaps. A single by Lopez and a seventh South Bend error allowed Almanzar to score and gave Fort Wayne a 9-0 lead.
South Bend broke through in the top of the fifth. An Austin Filiere single followed by a double by Miguel Amaya put runners on first and second with no outs. Michael Cruz hit a sacrifice fly to center field, scoring Filiere. That would be the only run to cross home plate in the inning for the Cubs.
South Bend got another run back in the top of the seventh when Cruz crushed a 387-foot home run over the right field wall to trim the TinCap lead to 9-2.
In the bottom of the seventh, Fernandez smashed a 366-foot home run to left field to give the TinCaps their biggest lead of the night at that point, 12-2. Ornelas added to one more in the bottom of the eighth with his own 393-foot home run, finalizing the 13-2 win for Fort Wayne.
The offensive explosion for the TinCaps was paired with an impressive showing on the mound from starting pitcher Nick Margevicius. He worked seven innings pitched, including a perfect first four frames, allowing only four hits and no walks while striking out eight batters.
Saturday, May 19 vs. South Bend Cubs (7:05 p.m.)
- TinCaps Probable Starter: RHP Mason Thompson
- Cubs Probable Starter: RHP Cory Abbott
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