FORT WAYNE – TinCaps starter Max Fried pitched six scoreless innings, and Fort Wayne picked up its third straight win in a 3-1 victory over Lansing on Tuesday at Parkview Field.
Fried gave up four hits, walked two and struck out one a day after a seven-inning gem from fellow starter Zach Eflin. Fort Wayne (60-53, 17-27 second half) used those pitching performances to put together its first three-game winning streak of the second half.
The last three days have been pretty good games, TinCaps manager Jose Valentin said. Offensively it hasn’t been there yet but we get in a groove when we’re playing a lot better baseball defensively and pitching-wise.
Lugnuts starter Kenall Graveman had a solid outing of his own, but the TinCaps broke through in the fifth inning.
A walk, base hit and fielding error by the catcher loaded the bases for Fort Wayne, and an infield single by catcher Rodney Daal scored the game’s first run.
Center fielder Mallex Smith came up with a single to score the second run.
That was all the TinCaps needed to top Lansing (49-65, 17-28).
We’re getting hits – not in every situation, but when we have to, Valentin said. I’m not satisfied. I want those guys to get better and better and better, especially the guys who have been struggling and continue to be struggling. We are wasting too many at-bats.
Reliever Matthew Chabot came on as an emergency replacement for Ruben Mejia, who had some tension in his back during his warmup in the seventh inning and stepped out.
Chabot gave up the Lugnuts’ lone run, a two-out double by shortstop Emilio Guerrero that scored first baseman Jordan Leyland.
Left fielder Alberth Martinez helped pad the lead in the bottom of the eighth. His single with two outs scored right fielder Brian Adams to make it 3-1.
It’s a great feeling, Daal said. Team chemistry has been great, and we’ve just got to keep fighting. That’s all we can do – keep fighting through this and we’ll be there.
Trevor Gott came on in the eighth to get the hold, and Roman Madrid got the save in front of 5,078 fans at Parkview Field.
It was the first three-game winning streak since the TinCaps won nine in a row from June 2-11.
The past couple games, we’ve been able to put some hitting and pitching together, which hasn’t been the case so much lately, said Fried, who improved to 5-5 as a starter. I’m really happy, and it’s a lot happier in the locker room. Everything’s a lot lighter since we’re not pressing so much.
We’re just coming back together as a team.