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The Journal Gazette

Saturday, June 10, 2017 6:30 pm

Game 62: TinCaps (22-39) vs. Lansing (33-25)

CHRIS GOFF | The Journal Gazette

The TinCaps, for whatever reason, are 4-0 against Lansing, which might prevent the Lugnuts from obtaining one of the two playoff spots available from the Midwest League's Eastern Division based on the first-half standings.

With nine days left in the first half, West Michigan (39-21) and second-place Dayton (37-23) are in pole position. South Bend (36-24) and Lansing (33-25) are the only other teams still with a legitimate shot to clinch early.

Fort Wayne, already mathematically eliminated, will look to the second half to make a playoff push. However, this four-game series, which began Friday with a 5-4 win over the Lugnuts, is an opportunity for the TinCaps to play a spoiler role.

Marcus Greene Jr. did just that Friday, going 3 for 4 with a two-run home run. For the Lugnuts to beat Fort Wayne, they are going to have to figure out how to get Greene out. In 13 plate appearances against Lansing, Greene has five hits and three walks.

"Just staying on the fastball, like I have been," Greene said.

The catcher was more pleased with the TinCaps' pitching staff, which dialed up 12 strikeouts.

"For the most part, they did a really good job trying to put guys away when they are able to," Greene said. "It's always fun when the pitchers are commanding their pitches."

Bullpen shuffle: TinCaps reliever Austin Smith has been sent down to short-season Tri-City, which opens play Thursday. Low-A Fort Wayne activated reliever Nick Monroe from the disabled list.