COMSTOCK PARK, MI — Despite nine hits, the Fort Wayne TinCaps ended their seven-game road trip with an 8-2 loss to the West Michigan Whitecaps (Detroit Tigers) on Wednesday afternoon at Fifth Third Ballpark.
The TinCaps (7-13) scored first in the top of the fifth inning with one swing of the bat. First baseman Brad Zunica crushed his third home run of the season over the left-center field fence to give Fort Wayne a 1-0 lead.
The Whitecaps (12-8) responded in the bottom of the fifth inning. Cam Gibson walked to begin the frame. Gibson then advanced to second base on a Jacob Robson sacrifice bunt. Blaise Salter followed with a base hit to center field that scored Gibson to tie the game, 1-1.
West Michigan took the lead in the sixth inning. With two outs, Anthony Pereira doubled. With Danny Woodrow batting, Pereira stole third base. Pereira then scored on a Woodrow bunt single to put the Whitecaps up, 2-1. Gibson followed with a single to put runners on first and second base. With Robson batting, Woodrow stole third base and Gibson stole second. Robson worked a walk to load the bases. Woodrow, Gibson, and Robson all scored on a Salter double that extended the West Michigan lead, 4-1.
Fort Wayne cut into the West Michigan lead in the seventh. With the bases loaded and nobody out, left fielder Rod Boykin grounded into a force out where catcher Webster Rivas was out at second base, but Buddy Reed scored to trim the Whitecaps’ advantage to 4-2.
The Whitecaps took full command in the eighth inning with four hits, including two triples. Those hits led to three runs to put West Michigan ahead, 8-2.
Right-hander Ben Sheckler (L) took the loss. The Michigan native struck out three batters in two innings pitched but allowed four runs. West Michigan starting pitcher Eudis Irodgo (W) allowed eight hits in six innings pitched, but struck out six batters en route to the win.
Thursday, April 27th vs. South Bend Cubs (7:05 p.m.)
-TinCaps Probable Starter: LHP Jerry Keel
-Cubs Probable Starter: RHP Tyson Miller