After finishing the first half of the season on a five-game losing streak, the Fort Wayne TinCaps opened the second half strong on Friday at Parkview Field, scoring four runs in the first three innings en route to a 4-3 win over the Lake County Captains. Donavan Tate went 2-5 with an RBI, leading the TinCaps to the series-opening victory.
Fort Wayne (1-0, 32-39) began the bottom of the first inning with back-to-back doubles by Jace Peterson and then Tate. The second of the two extra-base-hits made it a 1-0 game. Austin Hedges later singled home Tate, stretching the advantage to 2-0.
Frank Garces (3-4) encountered little resistance from Lake County (0-1, 31-39) over the first three innings. The TinCaps' lefthander allowed three base hits, but faced no more than four batters in any of the first three frames. In the bottom of the third inning, Lee Orr led off with a single, and came across on an RBI double by Duanel Jones. Jones later scored on a two-out error by Lake County first baseman Jerrud Sabourin, making the score 4-0.
Garces worked five innings, giving up a run on seven hits, walking one and striking out three. After earning a win in his last start, Garces has now picked up back-to-back wins for the first time since beginning his professional baseball career in 2009. Lake County starter Felix Sterling (3-6) suffered the loss, throwing four innings and giving up four runs.
Ruben Mejia worked two scoreless innings of relief, keeping the game at 4-1 through the sixth and the seventh. Johnny Barbato allowed a two-run home run to Luigi Rodriguez in the ninth, but hung on for his second save of the season.
The two squads will battle today at 7:05 p.m.
The scheduled starters are Adys Portillo for the TinCaps and Elvis Araujo for the Captains.