The TinCaps have spent most of their current losing streak playing competitive baseball. In four straight games last week against Great Lakes, they held a lead in the sixth inning or later before falling.
By contrast, Fort Wayne’s sixth straight loss, which came Tuesday night against the Lake County Captains in the opener of a six-game series at Parkview Field, was not competitive after the second inning.
The Captains hit three two-run homers, Fort Wayne grounded into three double plays, and Lake County emerged with a 12-3 victory in front of an announced crowd of 2,885, sending the last-place TinCaps (23-31) a season-worst eight games below .500 and a season-high eight games out of a High-A Central playoff spot.
Fort Wayne is 4-9 against the Captains (30-25) this season.
The game was tied at 2 after an inning, but Victor Nova launched a mammoth two-run homer to right off TinCaps starter Moises Lugo in the second inning that put the Captains ahead for good. Nova homered twice, doubling his season total, and drove in five.
Lugo, who came into the game leading High-A Central in opponent batting average and was seventh in ERA, surrendered season-highs in runs (five) and hits (six) and struck out a season-low two hitters in three innings, his shortest start of the season. He has a 12.15 ERA in his last two starts after posting a 2.10 mark in his previous six outings.
The TinCaps’ best chance offensively came in the first inning, when the first three hitters reached and Tirso Ornelas worked a bases-loaded walk to bring in Fort Wayne’s first run. Instead of capitalizing on two walks and two Lake County errors in the inning, Justin Lopez popped out and Luis Almanzar grounded into a double play to end the inning.
Fort Wayne right fielder Agustin Ruiz also grounded into a double play with the bases loaded and no one out in the seventh. The TinCaps went 0 for 9 with runners in scoring position.
Prior to the game, the Padres demoted Double-A San Antonio infielder Chris Givin to Fort Wayne.
Givin, who played 13 games with the TinCaps in 2019, started at third base Tuesday and in his High-A debut went 0 for 3 with two walks. The TinCaps drew eight walks in the game.
Fort Wayne catcher Jonny Homza went 2 for 5 with a double and a run scored and has reached base 13 times in his last four games.
Notes: The TinCaps announced Tuesday that infielder Kelvin Melean was promoted to Double-A San Antonio. He hit .375 in his final 13 games with Fort Wayne. ... Fort Wayne placed infielder Ethan Skender on the Injured List. Skender has not played since Thursday. ...Left-hander Erik Sabrowski (1-0, 0.90 ERA) will make his first pro start tonight after four appearances out of the bullpen. He is replacing Anderson Espinoza in the rotation this week. Espinoza was ejected from his last start because the umpires believed they had found a foreign substance on his glove.
vs. Lake County
When: 7:05 p.m. today
Where: Parkview Field
Pitchers: LHP Erik Sabrowski (TinCaps) vs. RHP Xzavion Curry (Captains)
TV: Xfinity 81
Radio: 1380 AM, 100.9 FM