The TinCaps got what they have come to expect out of right-hander Kyle Lloyd on Saturday.
But unfortunately it didn’t result in a win for Fort Wayne.
The TinCaps let a solid outing by Lloyd go for naught in a 5-2 loss to the Lake County Captains in front of 7,949 fans at Parkview Field.
Lloyd, who has 52 strikeouts in his last six starts, went six innings (plus one batter), giving up two hits and striking out seven.
He was charged with a run after walking a batter to start the seventh and was taken out. The baserunner eventually scored with Eric Yardley on the mound.
The TinCaps led 2-0 when Lloyd was replaced.
Lloyd was great, TinCaps manager Michael Collins said. He attacked the zone very well and kept hitters off balance with a pretty good mix. He used his split-fingered (fastball) very well again today. It was another outstanding outing for him.
The right-hander threw only 74 pitches, one of the reasons Collins sent him back out to start the seventh.
We are a little thin in the bullpen, so we are looking to get as much out of (Lloyd) as possible, Collins said. His pitch count was pretty low at that point. We thought, Let’s throw him back out for the seventh because he has been outstanding, and we will have Yardley ready just in case.’ After the leadoff walk, we thought, Oh well, it’s been a great outing and let’s shut it down right there.’
Yardley (1-4) took the loss after giving up four hits and two earned runs in two innings and walking two. He gave up two runs in the seventh as Lake County tied the game and then let in the go-ahead run in the eighth.
Obviously, it is disappointing to lose those kinds of ball games late, Collins said. But Yardley has been our guy all year, and he has been outstanding.
The Captains (50-67 overall, 23-24 second half) got two solo home runs in the ninth off newcomer Tyler Wood to clinch their second straight win over the TinCaps (51-65, 22-26).
With the loss, the TinCaps are now 1 1/2 games behind Lake County in the race for a second-half playoff spot in the Midwest League’s Eastern Division.
Great Lakes (23-25 second half) is a half-game ahead of Fort Wayne.
The TinCaps play the Captains seven more times this year, including the finale of a four-game series today.
We just continue coming out there for every day, Collins said. The good thing for us is we play the other potential teams that we are in the playoff race with, so at the end of the day, we come out and play good, quality baseball, win the games we should and can win, and we give ourselves a chance.
Notes: Relief pitcher Josh Richardson was placed on the disabled list. Wood was transferred to the TinCaps from the Arizona League Padres.