The TinCaps were just six outs away from winning for the sixth time in eight games, but they weren't able to hold onto a late lead.
The host Lansing Lugnuts pushed across four runs off TinCaps reliever Austin Smith in the eighth inning, turning a one-run deficit into a commanding lead, en route to a 6-3 victory Thursday night at Jackson Park.
Fort Wayne (35-40) entered the bottom of the eighth in front 3-2 with Smith, who had given up one earned run in his previous 121/3 innings entering the night, on the mound. The 2015 second-round pick had already surrendered a run in the seventh, and the first two hitters in the eighth doubled to knot the score. Lansing's Lester Madden then tried a sacrifice bunt, but Smith threw the ball away and another run scored to put the Lugnuts in front for good.
Smith (2-3) gave up five runs on six hits in 11/3 innings to take the loss.
Fort Wayne went in front with a three-run fourth. Ethan Skender's RBI single tied the score at 1. Reinaldo Ilarraza's two run triple put the TinCaps up 3-1.
Skender also tripled, his fourth extra-base hit in six games, and went 3 for 4.
Fort Wayne starter Moises Lugo gave up one run on four hits in five innings. He struck out five. The 22-year-old right-hander has a 1.29 ERA in his last three starts and his 3.49 overall mark would rank fifth in the league if he had enough innings to qualify. He departed with a 3-1 lead.
Mason Feole pitched a scoreless sixth for Fort Wayne, his fifth consecutive scoreless outing, covering five innings.