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Michelle Davies | The Journal Gazette
The TinCaps’ Ryan Miller hits a foul ball in the second inning of Wednesday’s game at Parkview Field.

Swinging in the rain: TinCaps get sweep

– Coby Cowgill was on a nice, quiet run entering Wednesday’s matinee at Parkview Field.

After a wild outing raised his ERA to a misleading 5.14, Cowgill wasn’t disappointed.

When so many teammates pick up the slack, what’s one forgettable start?

The TinCaps had four relievers combine for 18 outs and five players with at least two hits in an 8-6 win over Lake County in a rain-shortened game.

Cowgill had control problems from the start, walking the first batter on four pitches and issuing six free walks in all. His rough outing was forgiven by the time the TinCaps finished a three-game sweep.

“That was a complete team effort,” Cowgill said. “I had no rhythm for us in the beginning. The bullpen stepped in and was working quick. The lineup was chipping away, chipping away and battled to get some runs in tough conditions. It was a huge thing.”

A steady drizzle continued throughout much of the game before a heavier downpour halted it after the eighth.

The umpires waited 33 minutes before calling it. Fort Wayne had a game this season shortened by snow earlier this season.

TinCaps manager Michael Collins altered his strategy because of the weather, bringing in setup man Tayron Guerrero for the fifth. Collins wanted to protect a 7-5 lead.

“I thought we might get rained out then,” he said. “I thought, ‘I’ll shut them down now, see what happens and worry about the seventh if we get there.’ ”

Guerrero (3-0) struck out four in two scoreless innings. The Colombian right-hander, who has 28 strikeouts in 20 2/3 innings, was clocked at 96 mph.

“He throws really hard,” said closer Nick Mutz, who got two outs in the eighth for his fifth save. “It’s coming in at a good angle. He’s (6-foot-7). It’s just hard to pick up coming from that high.”

Fort Wayne (17-21) has won four of five entering a seven-game road trip.

“Right now, we’ve got it together,” said second baseman Fernando Perez, who had two of the team’s 12 hits.

Cowgill threw 30 strikes among 61 pitches and was pulled after giving up two runs in each of the first two innings.

The TinCaps got an RBI single from Dane Phillips in the first and then scored five times in the third. Franmil Reyes had an RBI single and Jake Bauers a two-run double before Lake County let in two more on a throwing error.

The Captains (11-28) gave up runs on a wild pitch in the fourth and Josh VanMeter’s grounder in the fifth.

Throw in 10 outs from relievers Justin Livengood and Eric Yardley, and the TinCaps had just enough.

“Another pleasing game, really,” Collins said. “Guys came in and did a great job. Sweep, couple good team efforts. I’m sure it’s somewhat of a psychological boost.”

The day’s conclusion sure made Cowgill feel better.

“I really appreciate it,” he said. “It makes a bad outing easier when your teammates pick you up.”