FORT WAYNE – TinCaps manager Jose Valentin mourned his team’s batting in a loss Wednesday.
Fort Wayne was even worse in a pair of games Thursday.
The TinCaps (25-20) dropped a 5-0 decision in the first game of a doubleheader at Parkview Field against South Bend and then lost the second game 1-0.
Fort Wayne, which is in third place in the Midwest League Eastern Division standings, dropped to 3 1/2 games behind South Bend (28-16).
The Silver Hawks overtook Bowling Green for the division lead after their pair of wins Thursday.
A crowd of 4,489 ebbed and flowed throughout the four hours and 15 minutes of baseball.
The TinCaps’ bats stayed consistently cold.
In the first game, Silver Hawks starter Brad Allen went all seven innings and gave up four hits while recording six strikeouts.
Only five Fort Wayne players got into scoring position during the shutout.
TinCaps starter Justin Hancock gave up three runs in the third, and South Bend tacked on two unearned runs in the fifth.
Fort Wayne had an opportunity to close the gap in the sixth, loading the bases with three straight hits to start the inning. But a baserunning error coupled with a flyout produced a momentum-sapping double play. Allen got the next batter to ground out to short and end the threat.
The TinCaps faced similar frustration in the second game.
Fort Wayne got eight strikeouts from starter Zach Eflin, who gave up one run in five innings. Reliever Michael Kelly added five more strikeouts in two scoreless innings.
But the TinCaps couldn’t generate any offense.
They got runners in scoring position in the first, third and fifth innings but spoiled their opportunities.
Silver Hawks starter Rob Coe gave up two hits in six innings and struck out six.
Closer RJ Hively got two straight groundouts, walked one and then got a swinging strikeout to end a hapless day at the plate for the TinCaps.
Fort Wayne totaled six hits in both games and lost its fifth straight against South Bend.
The loss moved the TinCaps to 4-13 against teams better than .500 this season.
The TinCaps play the final game in the series at 7:05 p.m. today before traveling to Bowling Green for a three-game series.