FORT WAYNE – Maybe the TinCaps were due.
On the heels of winning five in a row, and 16 of 23 games, the TinCaps lost 7-0 to the Lansing Lugnuts in front of 5,301 fans at Parkview Field on Wednesday afternoon.
Lansing’s starting pitcher, Starlyn Suriel (1-1), went six innings and gave up only one hit – a fifth-inning single by Jake Bauers – and finished with four strikeouts and no walks.
He had pretty good stuff. He kept us off balance, TinCaps manager Michael Collins said. It looked like we didn’t get too good a look at him. I didn’t think we squared too many balls off him. We had a couple guys hit some balls pretty well, but it was a pretty good outing for him.
The TinCaps mustered only three hits off four pitchers, while Lansing was led by David Harris’ 3-for-4 day, as the Lugnuts got 12.
He was a pitcher. He wasn’t throwing extremely hard, but he was throwing all three of his pitches wherever he wanted. It’s hard to hit pitchers like that. Pitchers are unpredictable when hitters struggle. We battled but couldn’t get it done today, said Fort Wayne’s Trea Turner, who was 0 for 4 and for the first time in his 22-game career with the TinCaps didn’t reach base.
After winning the first two games of the three-game series – 4-3 on Monday and 7-1 on Tuesday – the TinCaps (51-63, 21-24 in second half) had pulled into a tie with Dayton for the last playoff spot in the Midwest League’s Eastern Division. The Dragons played Great Lakes on Wednesday night.
It’s just another game, and we have to move on, said Turner, the San Diego Padres’ first-round pick this year. You have to play every single day. You’ve got to forget pretty quickly the previous game, whether your win or lose, play good or play bad.
There’s another team out there trying to beat you the next day. We’ll regroup.
Fort Wayne’s starting pitcher, Ronald Herrera (5-7), went five innings and gave up two runs (one earned) and five hits, while striking out three and walking one. His replacement, Erik Cabrera, who pitched three innings, gave up one unearned run and three hits, while striking out four and walking one.
The Lugnuts (52-62, 20-25) got going in the third inning, starting with a Daniel Klein line-drive single. The next batter, Ian Parmley, had a bunt single that was compounded by a throwing error by Herrera. Klein then scored to make it 1-0 when Derrick Loveless’ liner up the middle ricocheted off the glove of Herrera.
Things got worse for the TinCaps in the fourth, when Matt Dean, who had reached base because he was hit by a pitch, scored for a 2-0 lead on a Justin Atkinson sacrifice fly.
And in the seventh, a wild pitch and a throwing error by Cabrera, and an exciting game of pickle down the third-base line, culminated with a Jason Leblebijian run for a 3-0 lead.
The TinCaps threatened to come back in the bottom of the inning – Fernando Perez and Franmil Reyes singled with no outs – but Bauers flew out, Dustin Peterson grounded out and Ryan Miller did the same. The Lugnuts tacked on four runs off four hits in the top of the ninth off Jason Jester.
We’ve played great baseball, and today it’s didn’t quite click on a number of fronts, Collins said. It’s all part of it. We’ll come back (today against Lake County) and be prepared and ready to play.
Notes: Fort Wayne catcher Adolfo Reina missed a second straight game with an elbow injury, which occurred during a tag at home plate Monday.
As part of an annual event hosted by the AWS Foundation, 676 people with disabilities, and 253 personal assistants/family members, attended the game. Parkview Field is accessible to people of all abilities, making it an ideal venue for individuals with disabilities to enjoy and the TinCaps have been wonderful to work with to identify the best seating arrangements and access to services, said Lynne Gilmore, executive director of the AWS Foundation.