Fort Wayne, Indiana-
In the first of a four-game set with the South Bend Cubs, the Fort Wayne TinCaps struck early, taking a four-run lead in the bottom of the first that eventually led to a 9-1 victory.
Additionally, in his first start since being injured, prospect Ryan Weathers returned to the starting rotation, pitching 2.2 solid innings.
The TinCaps sent seven batters to the plate in the bottom half of the first, as the rally began with Tucupita Marcano’s single up the middle. Grant Little then doubled to the warning track in center to bring Marcano home. Dwanya Williams-Sutton followed with another double to score Little, and two batters later, Justin Lopez smacked a first-pitch home run over the right field fence to give the TinCaps a 4-0 lead.
In the third inning, Lopez started another rally by hitting a one-out double. Cubs’ started Derek Casey walked two of the next three batters, bringing lead-off hitter Xavier Edwards to the plate with two outs. Edwards doubled down the first base line, scoring Lopez and catcher Blake Hunt.
The TinCaps added insurance runs in the sixth and eighth innings. After Jawuan Harris walked and stole second base and third base, Little hit a two-out single to bring Harris across the plate. Little struck again in the eighth, singling with the bases loaded to plate his thrid RBI of the night. A subsequent walk to Williams-Sutton resulted in the TinCaps’ final run.
Weathers’ final line in his return was one run, four hits, three K’s, and no walks in 2.2 innings of work. Weathers gave up one hit in the first inning, but got the runner out on a pick-off play to end the inning. The remaining hits and run came in the second inning. Weathers retired both batters he faced in the third, striking out Cole Roederer before he was replaced by Jose Quezada to end the inning.
The TinCaps’ bullpen was strong in its performance following Weathers’ departure. Ramon Perez entered the game to start the fourth inning and allowed only two baserunners through the seventh inning. Perez had one walk and one hit while striking out three. Adrian Martinez closed the game giving up just one hit in two innings.
The series continues Tuesday night. Efrain Contreras is expected to start for the TinCaps.
–Announced attendance on a chilly May night was 2,933.
–Grant Little led TinCaps’ hitting, going 4-for-5, his first four-hit game of the season and only the second for the TinCaps in 2019.
–Two other TinCaps had multiple hit games: both Marcano and Lopez were 2-for-4, though Marcano also had a fifth plate appearance that resulted in a walk.
–Edwards’ third inning double extended his hitting streak to 14 games.