FORT WAYNE – The TinCaps placed the tying run at first in the bottom of the ninth inning but fell to the Cedar Rapids Kernels, 8-6, on Sunday afternoon at Parkview Field.
The TinCaps (9-15 second half, 45-49 overall) trailed 7-3 at the seventh-inning stretch but scored single runs in the seventh and eighth to get within two. Down 8-5 in the ninth, the TinCaps plated a run and put runners at first and second, but the Kernels (14-10, 50-43) shut the door and have won the first two meetings of the three-game set.
TinCaps shortstop Ruddy Giron smacked a two-run home run — his first shot of the season — in the second, and second baseman Peter Van Gansen added an RBI single to stretch the early lead to 3-1.
But Cedar Rapids scored the next six runs to vault ahead 7-3. Center fielder Tyler Moore’s RBI groundout in the seventh and first baseman Brad Zunica’s RBI single in the eighth sliced the gap to 7-5. Designated hitter Carlos Belen roped an RBI double off the left-field wall in the ninth, but the Kernels warded off any more damage.
TinCaps starter Jake Nix spun five innings of two-run ball. Reliever J.C. Cosme (L, 7-5) allowed five runs on seven hits over two frames.
Cedar Rapids starter Eddie Del Rosario surrendered three runs in six innings, and southpaw Anthony McIver (S, 5) stranded runners at first and second in the ninth.
Fort Wayne will try to stave off a sweep by Cedar Rapids when the two teams meet in the final game of the series Monday at 7:05 p.m.