FORT WAYNE – The TinCaps ended a successful homestand on a high note Tuesday night with a 6-3 win over the Lansing Lugnuts (Toronto Blue Jays) at Parkview Field.
With the victory, Fort Wayne went 6-1 at home over the last week, including taking three of four in this series, and gained four games on Lansing in the Eastern Division’s wild card race.
TinCaps (16-22, 52-56) first baseman Nick Vilter hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the fourth inning off Justin Maese (L, 1-1) that gave Fort Wayne a 3-2 edge it wouldn’t relinquish. For the 22-year-old from Seal Beach, California, it was his second home run and his ninth and 10th RBIs over his last five games.
Initially, the Lugnuts (19-19, 55-53) went in front, 1-0, in the top of the first against J.C. Cosme (W, 8-5). After the TinCaps tied it, 1-1, in the second inning, Lansing again sprung in front, 2-1, in the third.
Fort Wayne increased its lead to 4-2 on a fifth-inning sacrifice fly from catcher Austin Allen. While the Lugnuts responded with a run in the top of the sixth, Allen asnwered with a two-run single in the seventh. He finished the night 2-for-3 with 3 RBIs as he extended his hitting streak to 17 games. It’s the longest active hitting streak in the league and tied for the fourth longest all season.
Cosme, 20, settled in after allowing those early runs and finished with a season-high-tying seven strikeouts over five innings. Will Stillman, in his TinCaps debut, struck out three in the sixth, bridging to left-hander Elvin Liriano (S, 2), who went the final three on the mound.
Wednesday, Aug. 3 @ South Bend, 7:05 p.m.