James Needy pitched a complete-game four-hitter for Fort Wayne. But the TinCaps lost to West Michigan 1-0 in front of 5,428 fans Wednesday at Parkview Field.
The race for the Eastern Division's wild card spot tightened with the Whitecaps' win in the opener of an important three-game series.
Here are the highlights.
Costly error: The only run came in the second inning. With one out, Lance Durham and Pat Leyland singled. Brandon Loy flew out to center for the second out. Gabriel Purroy hit a grounder to shortstop Jace Peterson, who threw wildly to first. Durham scored on the error.
Stellar outing: Needy struck out five and did not walk a batter. He became the first Fort Wayne starter to have a nine-inning complete game since Stephen Faris on July 17, 2007.
No offense: Four West Michigan pitchers limited the TinCaps to three hits. West Michigan starter Wilsen Palacios gave up two hits in five innings.
Streaking: Travis Jankowski did extend his hitting streak to 12 games with a single in the ninth inning.
Playoff update: With five games remaining in the regular season, Fort Wayne's (35-30, 66-69 overall) lead over West Michigan (34-31, 70-65) for the Eastern Division's wild card is down to one game.
Lake County is in the top spot among teams eligible for a playoff spot. The Captains have a two-game lead over Fort Wayne after defeating Bowling Green 7-2.
Lansing and Bowling Green qualified for the playoffs in the first half.
Fort Wayne has two games left with West Michigan and finishes with three at Bowling Green.
"We have five left. We have to win ballgames."
- Fort Wayne catcher Austin Hedges