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The Journal Gazette

  • Mike Moore | The Journal Gazette TinCaps third baseman Luis Almanzar bats in the second inning Monday against Great Lakes.  

  • Mike Moore | The Journal Gazette TinCaps shortstop Tucupita Marcano throws to first base in the third inning Monday against Great Lakes.  

Tuesday, July 02, 2019 1:00 am

Great Lakes 16 TinCaps 9

TinCaps sloppy in losing to Loons

DYLAN SINN | The Journal Gazette

The Great Lakes Loons have been one of the best teams in the Midwest League all season. Right now, the TinCaps are one of the worst.

Fort Wayne made a season-high five errors, Loons second baseman Miguel Vargas hit two home runs for the second consecutive day and the TinCaps dropped their fourth straight game, an embarrassing 16-9 defeat Monday in front of an announced crowd of 5,072 at Parkview Field.

The loss was the TinCaps’ sixth in a row against the Loons and dropped them to 3-8 in the second half, good for last place in the Eastern Division. The TinCaps (36-43) went 2-5 on the seven-game homestand that ended Monday. 

The game got off a to an inauspicious start when Vargas, leading off the game, hit a routine ground ball to short that went through Tucupita Marcano’s legs for an error. It did not get much better after that.

The Loons (49-29, 6-5 second half) scored four unearned runs in the first inning thanks to two Fort Wayne errors and added four earned runs off starting pitcher Gabe Mosser in the second, including a three-run home run from Dillon Paulson, his third of the series. The first baseman’s 425-foot blast was the longest homer hit at Parkview Field this season.

Vargas got in on the long ball act in the fourth inning with a massive three-run homer to left. He knew it was out as soon as he hit it and admired it a bit as it flew well over the Home Run Porch, extending Great Lakes’ lead to 12-3. 

Vargas added a second home run later, a towering shot to right off TinCaps catcher Juan Fernandez, who was pressed into duty as a pitcher to save the bullpen once the game was out of reach. In the final two games of this series, Vargas, who came into the series with one home run this season, had four home runs, eight hits, eight runs scored and eight RBI.

The highlight of the night for the TinCaps was a solo home run in the third inning from second baseman Justin Lopez. It traveled 357 feet to left, his team-leading seventh homer of the year, all of which have come since May 15.

In better news for Fort Wayne, Joey Cantillo was named the Midwest League Pitcher of the Week on Monday for the second consecutive week. The 19-year-old left-hander was the first league pitcher to win the award in back-to-back weeks since Clark Beeker of Cedar Rapids in 2017.

“I appreciate those who selected me for this award,” Cantillo said in a statement. “I’m thankful for my teammates and coaches who’ve helped me develop and push me to get better. We’re excited to improve in this second half of the season.”

Cantillo’s only start last week was an eight shutout-inning performance against the South Bend Cubs in which he struck out nine and took a no-hitter into the seventh inning. It was the first time a Fort Wayne pitcher had pitched eight innings in a regular season game since future AL Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber did so in 2008.

“Joey’s work between starts has been very impressive, which has led to him going out and pitching with confidence,” pitching coach Matt Williams said in a statement. “He has done a tremendous job attacking the zone and being efficient.”

dsinn@jg.net