Fernando Perez homered in the first inning and hit a game-winning RBI double in the eighth as the TinCaps snapped a two-game losing streak with a 5-4 victory over Lake County on Friday night at Parkview Field.
The TinCaps (54-68, 24-29 second half) gained ground in the Eastern Division’s second-half playoff race. Lake County (53-69, 26-26) entered Friday leading the pack.
The Captains took a 4-1 lead, scoring all of their runs in the fifth off TinCaps starter Kyle Lloyd, who struck out eight and gave up seven hits in five innings.
The TinCaps appeared headed for their sixth loss in seven games before light-hitting Henry Charles delivered an unlikely jolt to an offense in need of one. His three-run shot tied it at 4 in the seventh.
Erik Cabrera (4-7) earned the victory on his 24th birthday by working a scoreless eighth.
With runners at first and third, Ryan Butler blew a 99 mph fastball by Lake County cleanup batter Nellie Rodriguez to end the game. The save was Butler’s eighth for Fort Wayne.
Up next: The second game of this three-game series pits Fort Wayne’s Jeffery Enloe (4-4, 3.15 ERA) against Lake County’s Luis Lugo (6-9, 5.43) in a matchup of lefties.