SOUTH BEND – The TinCaps lost on the road to the South Bend Cubs, 7-4, on Saturday night at Four Winds Field.
Fort Wayne (9-8) brought the tying run to the plate in the top of the eighth inning, but eventually succumbed to its in-state rival. After winning three consecutive games against the Cubs last week, the TinCaps now have dropped four in a row to South Bend, including the first three games of this series that concludes Sunday.
South Bend (10-6) broke a 1-1 tie in the bottom of the third inning and then erupted with a five-run fourth inning to lead 7-1. That’s the way the score stayed until the eighth when left fielder Rod Boykin began a rally with a double. Boykin scored on a sacrifice fly hit by third baseman Ty France. Later, designated hitter Carlos Belen — in his Fort Wayne debut — plated two with a single that made it 7-4.
TinCaps starter J.C. Cosme (L, 2-1) had allowed only three earned runs over his first 14 innings of the season, but gave up six over three-plus innings. After walking just two batters in his previous two outings, he walked back-to-back hitters in the fourth to open the floodgates.
Meanwhile, Cubs starter Adbert Alzolay (W, 1-0) held the visitors to an unearned run on two hits across six frames. Fort Wayne shortstop Peter Van Gansen tied the game, 1-1, in the third with an RBI single. South Bend initially led 1-0 with a run in the second.
Out of the TinCaps bullpen, Austin Smith impressed with 3 2/3 scoreless innings, striking out five. After Smith, Lou Distasio struck out the only batter he faced.
The series between the Cubs and TinCaps closes out Sunday with a 2:05 p.m. first pitch.