FORT WAYNE – The TinCaps stormed back after falling behind 10-2, but the Lansing Lugnuts (Toronto Blue Jays) managed to hang onto a 10-9 victory on Monday night at Parkview Field.
Led by two home runs from Connor Panas, Lansing (19-18 second half, 55-52 overall) piled on early. The Lugnuts plated two runs in the second inning, three in the third and five in the fourth.
During that stretch, Fort Wayne (15-22, 51-56) scored its only runs on a Ruddy Giron double and an Austin Allen sacrifice fly in the home third.
Then as the TinCaps’ pitching settled down, the bats heated up.
Brad Zunica rolled a two-out, two-run single into right field during the fifth frame, closing the gap to 10-4.
To open the home eighth, five straight Fort Wayne batters reached base. Allen scored on Nick Vilter‘s bases-loaded walk before Tyler Selesky doubled in Jose Carlos Ureña and Zunica.
Alan Garcia smacked a sac fly to bring Vilter home, and Peter Van Gansen hit an RBI single that plated Selesky to put the TinCaps behind 10-9.
However, Lugnuts reliever Jackson Lowery (H, 1) induced an inning-ending double play, then Andrew Case (S, 4) worked a perfect ninth. Tayler Saucedo (W, 6-9) pitched three innings of relief and picked up the win.
Fort Wayne starter Austin Smith (L, 3-6) allowed nine runs in 3.1 innings. Braxton Lorenzini yielded one run over 3.2 innings in his team debut.
The TinCaps’ seven-game homestand concludes Tuesday night at Parkview Field. After edging Lansing in the first two contests, Fort Wayne will attempt to earn a series win.