Lansing, MI (Indiana's NewsCenter)- A season-high-tying 16-hit attack coupled with an off night by the Lansing defense delivered the Fort Wayne TinCaps to a series-opening 9-1 victory over the Lansing Lugnuts on Wednesday night. TinCaps starter Colin Rea pitched five innings and allowed just one run, earning his fifth win of the season.
Fort Wayne (30-21, 61-60) scored first when Travis Whitmore grounded into a second-inning fielder’s choice, scoring Yeison Asencio, and giving the TinCaps a 1-0 lead against starter Aaron Sanchez (8-3). Sanchez, making his first start since July 30, lasted three innings. Fort Wayne increased its early lead to 3-0 on back-to-back sacrifice flies by Tyler Stubblefield and Mike Gallic in the fifth inning. Stubblefield went 1-4 in his return from a 10-day stint on the disabled list.
The lone run allowed by Rea came in the bottom of the fifth. He allowed a leadoff double to Gustavo Pierre, who moved to third on a Shane Opitz single and scored on a throwing error by Rea. The pitcher’s attempted pickoff throw to first sailed wide, sending Pierre home and Opitz to second.
Following Rea’s departure, the offense continued to flourish tacking on two runs in the sixth, one run each in the seventh and eighth and two more in the ninth. Lansing (27-22, 74-44) committed three errors in the ninth inning and four total on the night, equaling its season-high for miscues in one ballgame.
Austin Hedges led the TinCaps offense with a four-for-five night, including his 10th home run of the year. Hedges is now tied with Lee Orr for the team lead in home runs. Whitmore finished the night two-for-five with three runs batted in. The other occasion on which the TinCaps collected 16 hits was a 12-1 win on April 20th against the Kane County Cougars.
Game two of the series is scheduled for Thursday night at 7:05. The scheduled starters are Ruben Mejia for Fort Wayne and Noah Syndergaard for Lansing.
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