Fort Wayne, Indiana
The TinCaps committed five errors Sunday night, four of which helped the Lansing Lugnuts to a 7-5 victory in the last series of the Single-A season.
The fielding woes hit Fort Wayne starting with the first batter, as the Lugnuts’ Otto Lopez led off the game with a fly ball to Dwanya William-Sutton that the left-fielder muffed, putting Lopez on second. Yorman Rodriguez and Griffin Connie then singled and doubled, respectively, to give the Lugnuts a 2-0 lead after one inning.
Twice in two innings, a botched pickoff play led to Lugnuts runs. In the third, Lopez again led off the inning by getting on base, this time with a base hit to right. TinCaps’ starter Omar Cruz attempted a pick-off play, but the ball sailed out of the reach of first baseman Chris Givin and into right field. With Lopez on third, Rodriguez doubled to bring him in for a 3-0 Lugnuts lead.
Again in the fourth, with runners on first and second, Cruz went to second for the pickoff, but the errant throw missed the target, advancing the runners to second and third. A double by Lopez brought in both to bring the score to 5-2. The Lugnuts added two more in the fifth inning off reliever Austin Smith.
Although Cruz struck out six and threw the fastball in the low 90s, he struggled with consistency, allowing at least two hits in all but one of his four innings. Cruz retired the side 1-2-3 only once and faced five or more batters in the other innings.
On the offensive side of the game, the TinCaps managed eight hits, but they were spread among only four batters. Catcher Chandler Seagle led hitting, going 3-for-3 with two singles, a double, and a sacrifice fly. Agustin Ruiz had two doubles, and Juwaun Harris had two hits, one of which was a two-run blast to the left-field concourse to put the TinCaps on the board in the bottom of the third.
Despite these bright spots, the rest of the lineup struggled; Ripken Reyes was the only other TinCap with a hit. TinCaps bats were exceptionally quiet at key times, as eleven men were left on base, and the team was 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position.
The TinCaps conclude the series and the 2020 season on September 2.
–Announced attendance was 6,060.
–Over their nine at-bats, the Lugnuts grounded out only twice.
–The Lugnuts’ pitchers also struggled with control at times, with three wild pitches and three hit batsmen.
–In the Condiment Packet Race, Ketchup executed a diving crossbody splash on Relish, and then sprinted to the finish to beat Mustard. On the season, Mustard leads Ketchup 21-19, and Relish remains winless.