FORT WAYNE – For the second time this season, Fort Wayne set an attendance record at Parkview Field with South Bend in town.
And once again, the TinCaps’ fans walked away disappointed.
A franchise-record 8,780 fans turned out for a 6-0 loss during a Fourth of July celebration at Parkview Field that featured $1 beers and postgame fireworks.
As has been the norm for Fort Wayne against South Bend, the TinCaps’ offense was nearly nonexistent.
When you can’t hit, you can’t win, manager Jose Valentin said. There was no offense at all.
Fort Wayne, which drew a then-record 8,643 on June 20, got just six hits and had no extra-base hits Thursday.
Only one Fort Wayne runner even got past first – shortstop Tyler Stubblefield, on a stolen base.
The Silver Hawks brought some fireworks of their own in the first inning. Leadoff hitter Fidel Pena hit a home run over the left field fence to start the game against TinCaps pitcher Max Fried.
The left-hander settled in after that shaky start. He went five innings with three hits and one earned run while striking out eight batters.
Fried went out there and gave us a chance to win, Valentin said. He just made one mistake.
South Bend starter Brandon Sinnery made none. He pitched a complete game, throwing 94 pitches. He struck out eight and walked no one.
South Bend tacked on four runs in the ninth inning off closer Roman Madrid to pad the lead and secure its 11th win against Fort Wayne in 12 tries.
The TinCaps (46-37), meanwhile, fell to 3-11 in the second half of the season.
We’re just playing the worst baseball, Valentin said. There’s like nothing – no defense, no offense. When we get offense, we cannot get the hits in clutch situations.
The TinCaps are second-to-last in the Midwest League Eastern Division’s current standings after finishing the first half a game behind the Silver Hawks.
South Bend (54-30) improved to 10-5 in the second half and has the best overall record in the division.
Note: San Diego Padres infielder Everth Cabrera finished his rehab stint with Fort Wayne after two games. Prior to this season, the largest crowd in the history of the ballpark was 8,577 fans, which came opening day in 2012.