Fort Wayne, Indiana
In a pitcher’s duel on a chilly May night, the Fort Wayne TinCaps outlasted the South Bend Cubs for a 1-0 victory.
TinCaps starter Efraín Contreras had an excellent night on the mound, allowing only three hits while gathering five strikeouts over six strong innings.
Contreras’ fastball ranged from 90-94 mph throughout his appearance and, he also became more effective as the game progressed. After the second inning, Contreras gave up only one hit and recorded all five K’s, with four of the five in his last two innings of work.
The lone run of the game came in the second inning. With one out, Lee Solomon walked. After Cubs’ right fielder Nelson Velazquez chased down and caught a deep fly ball to the right-center gap, Solomon had to sprint back after rounding second to avoid an inning-ending double play. Juan Fernandez then tripled off the left-field wall to bring Solomon in for the 1-0 lead.
The only other time the TinCaps threatened to score was in the eighth when they loaded the bases after a walk to Justin Lopez and consecutive singles by Solomon and Dwanya Williams-Sutton. The Cubs made a call to the bullpen, and Luiz Almanzar grounded into a fielder’s choice to end the inning.
After Contreras’ sterling start, the TinCaps bullpen combined to finish the shutout with Nick Kuzia, Carlos Belen, and Henry Henry each pitching one inning of relief. Both Kuzia and Henry retired the side in order. Belen gave up a lead-off double but then forced three outs to prevent the tying run crossing the plate.
The series continues Wednesday with an 11:05 am EDT start.
-Announced attendance was 3,303.
-TinCaps pitching minimized the Cubs’ offensive chances, as only two Cubs reached scoring position during the game, both the result of doubles.
-Although he reached base, Xavier Edwards’ 14-game hitting streak came to an end as his grounder in the sixth inning was ruled an error.
-In four plate appearances, Solomon walked three times and had a 3-and-1 count when he singled in the eighth.