FORT WAYNE – The largest crowd in Parkview Field history didn’t see much offense Thursday.
South Bend beat the TinCaps 2-1 in front of 8,643 fans, the most in attendance at the 5-year-old downtown ballpark, in the first game of the second half of the season.
Three South Bend pitchers held Fort Wayne to two hits, while South Bend had five.
You can’t win with only two hits, TinCaps manager Jose Valentin said. Our big guys in our lineup are struggling, and that’s something that is not new for us. It was the same way in the first half. We couldn’t get the hits with runners in scoring position.
In games like this, one-run games, you have to go up there and get a hit or at least get a good at-bat.
Fort Wayne struck out eight times, including Mallex Smith striking out looking to end the game with a runner on first base.
The TinCaps had their chances with five walks and two hit-batsmen. Alberth Martinez had an RBI double in the fifth and Corey Adamson a single in the ninth for the two hits. Fort Wayne fell to 0-1 in the second half and 43-27 overall. South Bend is 1-0 and 45-25.
After getting no-hit through 4 2/3 innings by Blake Perry of the Silver Hawks, Martinez broke through with the double in the fifth to cut the deficit to 2-1, but that was about it.
Perry went five innings, giving up just the one hit and one earned run. He struck out three, walked four and hit two batters. Relievers Kyle Winkler and R.J. Hively also kept Fort Wayne’s offense quiet.
(Perry) was all over the place, and we went up there swinging at too many bad pitches, Valentin said. We need to go up there with some patience and make the guy work.
TinCaps reliever Walker Weickel kept the team in it with a solid appearance.
The right-hander threw 4 1/3 innings and struck out nine of the 17 batters he faced. He retired the last 16 batters.
In his second of three rehab assignment outings, Fort Wayne starter Adys Portillo went 3 2/3 innings and gave up two runs (one unearned).
He gave up four hits and struck out five with one walk.
It looks like Portillo is back, Valentin said. In his first start, he struggled, but tonight he got a lot stronger.
Weikel was more of the same. At the end of the first half, he was one of the best pitchers we have. The pitchers kept us in the game.
The TinCaps, who finished second in the division for a playoff wild-card spot in the first half, are 0-7 this year against the Silver Hawks, who won the division.
Notes: Fort Wayne’s roster added some names and saw some advance in the San Diego Padres system.
Leaving the team are pitcher Justin Hancock and outfielder Jeremy Baltz to Advanced-A Lake Elsinore (Calif.) and outfielder Wynton Bernard to extended spring training.
Rejoining the team are outfielder Luis Domoromo and infielder Tyler Stubblefield.