The TinCaps couldn’t hold an early lead and lost a wild, back-and-forth slugfest to South Bend, 10-7, on Sunday afternoon at Parkview Field.
Fort Wayne (36-56, 6-17 second half) has dropped two of three in the four-game series, which concludes Monday. The TinCaps are 2-15 in their last 17 games.
South Bend (56-36, 16-7) prevailed largely because its bullpen was superior. The Silver Hawks scored three runs after TinCaps reliever Josh Richardson (0-1) entered the game, which turned a 7-5 TinCaps lead into an 8-7 South Bend edge.
The TinCaps got all of their runs, one of which scored on an error, in the first four innings. Silver Hawks starter Blake Perry was replaced to start the fifth, and four relievers pitched shutout ball the rest of the way to seal it.
Silvino Bracho worked a perfect ninth for his 17th save.
Nick Mutz gave up two runs in the top of the ninth. Stryker Trahan hit an RBI double, and Jamie Westbrook added an RBI groundout.
TinCaps cleanup man Franmil Reyes clubbed a two-run homer in the fourth to make it 7-3. That snapped a homerless drought of 164 at-bats.
Reyes also had an RBI single in a three-run third. Ryan Miller had an RBI groundout and Nick Schulz an RBI single.
While Perry was ineffective, so was Fort Wayne starter Ronald Herrera. When he walked slowly off the mound, South Bend had five runs and 11 hits on the scoreboard.