The TinCaps had their chances Saturday night, but they couldn't cash in.
Fort Wayne went 0 for 11 with runners in scoring position, Luis De Los Santos went 3 for 3 with an RBI and two runs scored for Lansing and the Lugnuts handed the TinCaps a 7-1 loss in front of an announced crowd of 7,152 at Parkview Field.
The loss snapped a two-game winning streak for the TinCaps (17-23), dashing their hopes of winning three in a row for the first time since April 8-11. The defeat was their first on their seasonlong eight-game homestand.
Fort Wayne had a couple cases of bad luck among those 11 hitless at-bats with runners in scoring position, including a blistering line drive straight at the first baseman from Luis Almanzar in the sixth and a bad called third strike on Agustin Ruiz later in the same inning.
“Guys are on balls, on balls, tough at-bats, we just didn't win them today,” TinCaps first baseman Lee Solomon said. “We'll be all right.”
For the Lugnuts, it was a streak-breaking victory, their first road win after a franchise-record 10 consecutive losses.
TinCaps starting pitcher Angel Acevedo cruised through the first inning on 11 pitches, all of which were strikes, but ran into trouble in the second. The first four Lugnuts (18-23) reached base in the inning, including a two-run double down the left-field line off the bat of Jake Brodt and an RBI single from Hunter Steinmetz.
By the time Acevedo settled down, it was 3-0, which was more than enough for Lansing starter Josh Winckowski.
Winckowski worked seven innings for the third time in four starts to earn his fourth win while striking out six.
“He's a good pitcher, man,” Solomon said. “He's got good downhill movement on his pitches, so the ball looks like it's coming at you real quick, not to mention he's throwing 94-95 (mph). He's got two plus pitches that work well. We got some good swings off, had some opportunities.
“Just didn't fall our way today, but we'll be back at it tomorrow.”
The TinCaps' only run came in the seventh inning, when Solomon and Xavier Edwards singled and Grant Little drove in Solomon with a sacrifice fly to center. It was Fort Wayne's first run in 14 innings going back to Friday's win and drew a somewhat sarcastic cheer from the nearly full ballpark.
Solomon and Edwards had big nights at the plate, combining for five hits, including a double, and Fort Wayne put a runner on base in every inning except the first, but could not come up with a big hit. Solomon went 3 for 3 with two doubles, his first three-hit game since Aug. 6, 2018.
“For me, it was just trying to stay aggressive,” said Solomon, who missed 10 days in late April and early May after being hit in the face with a pitch. “It's been a process for me this season, just trying to pick the right pitches to swing at, getting healthy swings off and today I feel like I did that well.”
Acevedo (0-5) took the loss for Fort Wayne. TinCaps reliever Carlos Belen struck out the side in his only inning of work, the only Fort Wayne pitcher to register a scoreless outing.
TinCaps vs. Lansing
Where: Parkview Field
When: 1:05 p.m.
Pitchers: Ramon Perez (TinCaps) vs. TBA (Lugnuts)
TV: Xfinity 81
Radio: 1380 AM, 100.9 FM