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Struggles continue as TinCaps return home

So maybe this was the remedy for a baseball team looking to take wing: A flock of Loons.

Or, maybe it wasn’t.

Four days before their playoff opener, the TinCaps welcomed the Great Lakes Loons to Parkview Field on Saturday night, and the visitors proceeded to play against type. For only the fourth time in 15 meetings, they beat the TinCaps 4-3 before 7,463 fans at Parkview Field.

It was the TinCaps’ fourth loss in their last five games, and their sixth in their last eight games – although there were some positives, chief among them Luis Tejada’s skyscraping home run in the ninth, the TinCaps’ nine total hits and starting pitcher Max Fried’s solid seven-inning, six-hit outing.

“Luis, he’s capable of hitting those,” TinCaps manager Jose Valentin said. “(But) I’m not asking him to hit home runs. I’m just asking him to get hits because most of the time when he’s at home plate, he’s going to find some guys who are in scoring position.”

And Fried?

“Good outing for him,” Valentin said. “He was throwing strikes, working ahead, and making pitches when he had to. There was just one inning we didn’t help him out.”

That was the second, when the TinCaps fumbled their way to a 2-0 deficit in the Loons’ second.

After Brandon Dixon reached on a two-out fielder’s choice, Jose Capellan brought him home with a double that turned into three bases on TinCaps’ right fielder Hunter Renfroe’s throwing error. Capellan then came home when Tejada bobbled Brandon Trinkwon’s slow roller.

The TinCaps got one back on back-to-back doubles from Tejada and Rodney Daal in their half, but the Loons answered with another run in the third on Devin Shines’ RBI single. They got their final run in the eighth when Leo Rodriguez’ ground-rule double into the Loons’ bullpen and Tyler Ogle’s single plated the extra run they needed.

“I think the second was the only bad inning that we played,” Valentin said. “We’ve got two more games in the regular season, so hopefully we can carry momentum into the playoffs and hopefully go in and do some damage.”

Notes: Outfielder Brian Adams was reinstated from the disabled list and right-handed reliever Joe Church placed on the disabled list. Adams, who started in left field Saturday, had started 48 games in right field and is batting .217. Church is 3-3 with a 5.63 ERA.