Fort Wayne rallied to prevent an embarrassing loss to Lansing on Sunday at Parkview Field, and the victory allowed the TinCaps to earn a three-game sweep in Midwest League action.
The TinCaps gave up a 5-0 lead, but jumped back with enough offense to claim a 7-5 win.
The Lugnuts’ deficit evaporated in the fifth inning, but Fort Wayne took a lead it would not relinquish on a sixth-inning solo home run from catcher Rodney Daal.
The sweep is the TinCaps’ first at home since July 2012 against the Great Lakes Loons.
A night after scoring 17 runs, Fort Wayne (9-6) wasted no time in getting on the scoreboard Sunday against Lansing left-handed starter Daniel Norris. The TinCaps put up one run in each of the first two frames thanks to an RBI-groundout by third baseman Gabriel Quintana and a run-scoring single from designated hitter Mallex Smith.
The TinCaps then added to their lead in the fifth with three runs to go up 5-1. Second baseman Diego Goris brought home Smith and shortstop Maxx Tissenbaum on a base-hit to left field. Four batters later, Corey Adamson plated Goris on a groundout to shortstop.
While the TinCaps’ Justin Hancock did not earn a win, he did breeze through the Lansing (4-9) lineup through the first five innings. He allowed just two hits and walked four, but faced the minimum 15 batters over the first five innings thanks to three double-plays turned by his defense. Hancock worked 5 2/3 innings, the most for any Fort Wayne starter in the first 15 games of the season.
With John Hussey (1-0) on the mound, all five of the Lugnuts’ runs scored in the sixth inning after Hancock’s departure. Two of the runs, which were charged to Hancock, were unearned due to an error on first baseman Luis Tejada, who dropped a foul pop-up. The other three were charged to the 26-year-old Hussey.
The TinCaps tacked on two more runs in the bottom of the sixth, first with a Daal home run to left, and then on a sacrifice fly. Lugnuts reliver Ben White (0-1), who allowed the final two runs to score, took the loss.
Roman Madrid closed out the game, earning his third save of the season.