On “Christmas in July” night, the TinCaps' specialty Santa Claus jerseys couldn't bring the gift of a win to the announced crowd of 6,448 at Parkview Field Friday night, as Fort Wayne fell to the Peoria Chiefs 6-4.
A five-run fifth inning for the Chiefs, last place in the Midwest League, negated a solid first four innings for Fort Wayne (42-53, 9-18 second half). A sacrifice fly by Ivan Herrera brought in Brendan Donovan to start the Peoria (35-61, 5-22) rally. Jonatan Machado's double scored Brady Whalen to tie the game at 3-3. Cody Tyler came in to replace TinCaps starting pitcher Omar Cruz and immediately gave up a single to Leandro Cedeno, which scored Machado. Finally, an Edwin Figuera double brought Cedeno and Benson around the bags to put the Chiefs up 6-3 before Tyler got out of the inning.
After giving up a Figuera RBI single in the top of the second, which scored Cedeno, Fort Wayne rattled off three runs and seemed to be in control of the game. Tucupita Marcano blasted a two-run homer 409 feet at 104 mph in the bottom of the third, also scoring Harris.
Marcano had a nice showing at the plate with two hits in five at bats, notching a run and two RBI.
With Juan Fernandez batting in the bottom of the fourth, a wild pitch brought home Luke Becker to put the TinCaps up 3-1.
Ethan Skender grounded out in the bottom of the seventh to bring home Jawuan Harris, making it 6-4.
Fort Wayne starting pitcher Cruz went 4 and 2/3 innings, giving up nine hits and four runs – all earned. He takes the loss.
Fort Wayne starts a three-game series with Cedar Rapids today. Efrain Contreras is expected to be on the mound for Fort Wayne.