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The Journal Gazette

  • Chad Ryan | The Journal Gazette TinCaps second baseman Reinaldo Ilarraza gets the out at second and prepares to turn the double play with a throw to first during Wednesday afternoon’s game against the South Bend Cubs at Parkview Field.

Thursday, April 13, 2017 10:30 am

South Bend 4 TinCaps 2

Bullpen takes hit; TinCaps swept

Cubs score 3 in 8th off closer for winning rally

AUBREE REICHEL | The Journal Gazette

The TinCaps gave up three runs in the eighth inning and fell 4-2 to South Bend on Wednesday at Parkview Field, giving the Cubs a sweep of the three-game series.

It was the first of four 11:05 a.m. start times for the April and May schedule that brought in 6,401 fans, including kids from area schools.

“It was pretty fun with the kids screaming and jumping,” shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. said. “I just remember those days when I was in the stands, jumping. It was pretty fun.”

The Cubs (4-3) broke a 1-all tie in the eighth when Chris Peters hit a line drive to center field off TinCaps closer Mark Zimmerman to bring in Alberto Mineo to make it 2-1. Kevonte Mitchell followed with an RBI triple to left-center to bring in Wladimir Galindo and Peters and make it 4-1.

“It doesn’t matter what level you’re at, you’re facing professional hitters, and when you leave fastballs over the heart of the plate like that, you can get hurt and that’s what happened today,” TinCaps manager Anthony Contreras said of Zimmerman (0-2). “He’s been a good pitcher since he’s signed professionally. He’s kind of a bulldog out there, he’s not afraid of anybody. Just today wasn’t his day.”

Zimmerman gave up three runs on four hits, walking one and striking out two. Starter Jesse Scholtens struck out six and walked four in 51/3 for Fort Wayne.

Fort Wayne tried to rally in the ninth on doubles by Brad Zunica and Webster Rivas to score pinch-runner Rod Boykin to make it 4-2.

But the TinCaps (2-5) stranded runners on second and third to end the game.

“These guys have played like that all year so far,” Contreras said. “It’s only been (seven games) or so. They don’t show any signs of giving up, which is what you want from a team. It shows a lot about their character and with the talent that these guys have, I don’t think they’re out of any game especially when it’s within reach like that.

“They put up a good fight. There are just some small things we have to tighten up to get us back on track.”

The TinCaps went up 1-0 in the bottom of the first when Tatis Jr. reached on an error, stole second and scored on a single to left by Jorge Oña.

South Bend evened the score in the sixth on a bases-loaded single by Galindo to bring in D.J. Wilson.

The TinCaps go to Bowling Green, Kentucky, for the second time this season, starting a three-game series tonight. The TinCaps know the fundamentals have to tighten up, especially in the later innings.

“There are still some things we have to figure out, but where we’re playing right now, we’re doing a good job whether it’s in the outfield, bringing balls, shifting left or right or in the infield with double plays,” left fielder Jack Suwinski said. “We’re just a really talented defensive team.

“I know once it gets late in the game, whether you get tired or have a bad day, you have to be able to stay locked in, helping the team and doing what the game is asking you to do for the next play and learn to improve.”

areichel@jg.net