COMSTOCK PARK, Mich. – The TinCaps lost Fernando Perez to injury and then lost Game 2 of their playoff series against West Michigan in a 2-1 decision at Fifth Third Ballpark on Thursday night.
Though Cody Hebner gave Fort Wayne a terrific performance on the mound, the offense got nothing beyond Nick Schulz’s home run in the third. Dustin Peterson singled leading off the ninth, but John Nester struck out, and Schulz hit into a game-ending double play.
A winner-take-all Game 3 on Friday at Fifth Third Ballpark will pit Kyle Lloyd against the Whitecaps’ Jonathan Crawford.
West Michigan’s first hit was an RBI double by Raph Rhymes in the fourth, and the game remained 1-1 until the bottom of the seventh.
That’s when Colby Blueberg allowed back-to-back one-out hits. With Bennett Pickar at the plate – a .184 batter this year – Blueberg left an 0-2 pitch over the plate that was driven to center for a go-ahead sacrifice fly.
Perez, the star infielder who led the team with 18 homers and 95 RBI in the regular season, was hit by a pitch in the first inning and was replaced at third by Rey Bruguera to start the bottom of the second. Trainer Ricky Huerta examined Perez’s hand and arm.
For more on this story return later tonight to the "Full Count" blog, come back to www.journalgazette.net after 3 a.m. or see Friday's Journal Gazette.