Lansing, Michigan- A three-run home run by Lansing slugger Kevin Patterson was all the offense the Lugnuts would need as they rolled to their second consecutive victory, a 5-1 win over the Fort Wayne TinCaps on Monday night at Cooley Law School Stadium.
Fort Wayne (34-29, 65-68) starter Colin Rea (5-9) and the TinCaps fell behind early after the Peterson home run, and the deficit continued to grow in the following innings. Lansing scored in the second inning on a double-play groundout by Aaron Munoz, which scored Shane Optiz who had led off the inning with a double. The lead increased to 5-0 in the third as Patterson doubled home Chris Hawkins.
Rea went five innings and allowed five earned runs on nine hits, while walking two.
The TinCaps got their lone run in the fourth. Yeison Asencio led off the inning on an error by shortstop Shane Opitz. He moved to second on a Kyle Gaedele single, and scored on a Matt Colantonio single to right field. Lansing (32-29, 79-51) starter Justin Nicolino (10-4) allowed three hits over five innings, walked two and struck out two.
In the last two games, the TinCaps have scored one run, picked up 10 hits and gone 0-11 with runners in scoring position. With wins by both Lake County and West Michigan, the TinCaps now trail the Captains by one game in the standings. With seven games remaining in the regular season, Fort Wayne still would qualify as the second half wild card, but West Michigan is just one game back of the TinCaps for the second and final playoff spot.
The finale of the four-game series is scheduled for Tuesday evening at 7:05. The scheduled starters are Ruben Mejia for Fort Wayne and Anthony DeSclafani for Lansing.
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