TinCaps starter Ben Sheckler surrendered nine runs in 3 1/3 innings and a late Fort Wayne comeback fell short in a 9-6 victory Thursday for the Great Lakes Loons at Dow Diamond in Midland, Michigan.
The win completed a three-game sweep for the Loons (54-74, 30-30 second half) and was the fifth straight loss for the TinCaps (59-68, 27-31), dropping them 1 1/2 games behind West Michigan for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Division.
Fort Wayne jumped out to an early lead in the first thanks to a Jack Suwinski two-run homer. It was the 10th home run of the season for the outfielder, setting a career-high. Gabriel Arias also homered for the TinCaps, his fifth of the season and second in the last three games. The 18-year-old shortstop has eight extra-base hits in his last eight games.
Sheckler gave up four singles and committed a throwing error in the first inning as three Loons scored. The second inning saw designated hitter Eric Peterson lead off with a solo homer and second baseman Devin Mann add a three-run blast to put Great Lakes ahead 7-2.
The TinCaps scored three runs in the third, including one on Arias' homer and another on an Owen Miller RBI double. Miller went 3 for 5 and is hitting .371 with Fort Wayne.
Sheckler walked two straight in the fourth and was pulled, but the runners scored on a single and an error by Suwinski. Fort Wayne's Jalen Washington completed the scoring with a home run, his seventh of the season, in the sixth.
Right-handed reliever Gabe Mosser made his first appearance with the TinCaps and pitched 2 2/3 scoreless innings while striking out seven.