TinCaps designated hitter Mallex Smith had a home run and two RBI to help lead Fort Wayne to a season-opening 5-2 victory over the Great Lakes Loons on Thursday night.
A crowd of 3,765 attended the game at the Dow Diamond in Midland, Mich., where the Loons got shut out until the bottom of the ninth.
The TinCaps, who lost to Wisconsin in the Midwest League championship series last year, got a strong performance from starting pitcher Joseph Ross. He worked five innings, giving up one hit, striking out four and walking one.
Six pitchers saw action for Fort Wayne, including Erik Cabrera, who gave up the two runs on two hits in two-thirds of an inning before Roman Madrid faced one batter to get the save.
Center fielder Brian Adams was 2 for 5 with a home run for the TinCaps, who were struck out eight times by three Loons pitchers, including reliever Scott Griggs, who fanned five batters and walked two in only two innings.
The Loons struck out 11 times and were led offensively by Jeremy Rathjen and Malcolm Holland, who had two hits apiece.