The cure for what ails a struggling baseball team is often a healthy dose of good starting pitching. Fort Wayne got just that from Colin Rea on Friday, as it topped West Michigan 5-0.
Rea threw six shutout innings, which led to the TinCaps snapping a four game losing streak. The victory helped Fort Wayne avoid being swept for the first time this season.
Offensively, five different TinCaps hitters knocked in a run in the victory.
Fort Wayne (28-33) scored one run in each of the first two innings against West Michigan (30-31) starter Wilsen Palacios(6-4). The right hander surrendered an RBI single to Travis Whitmore in the first and allowed the second run on a fielder's choice that gave Jace Peterson a run batted in.
Palacios went seven innings, allowing three runs, two earned, and walked two while striking out six. He took the loss, just his second in his last eight starts. His only other loss in that span also came against Fort Wayne, back on May 12th at Parkview Field.
Rea (1-3) dazzled, making his sixth start of the year. In the right-hander's six innings, he scattered four hits, didn't walk a batter and struck out four. As a starting pitcher this year, Rea is now 1-0 with a 1.53 ERA. He lowered his season ERA to 2.76 with Friday's victorious effort.
The TinCaps got two more runs in the seventh against West Michigan reliever Warwick Saupold. The Australian hit Donavan Tate with the bases loaded, and then Duanel Jones lifted a sacrifice fly to the outfield to score Fort Wayne's fifth and final run.
While ending a four-game skid of their own, the TinCaps also ended a five game winning streak for West Michigan, shutting out the Whitecaps for the first time since May 14, which was also a game against Fort Wayne.
The TinCaps return home to Parkview Field to open a six-game homestand today against South Bend at 7:05 p.m.
The scheduled starters are Matt Wisler for Fort Wayne and J.R. Bradley for the Silver Hawks.