Thursday's Midwest League game at South Bend will go down in the record books for Fort Wayne. However, it will do so for the wrong reason.
The TinCaps dropped a 16-0 decision at Coveleski Stadium to the Silver Hawks, which tied the franchise mark for margin of defeat, which had not been matched in 15 years.
The defeat also snapped the club's five-game winning streak.
South Bend (19-20 second half, 54-55) jumped out to a 1-0 margin in its first at-bat courtesy of an RBI double by Matt Helm. That was the first of six runs that scored against Fort Wayne (24-15, 55-54) starter Colin Rea (3-7), although just two of the runs were earned.
An error against TinCaps third baseman Tyler Stubblefield began the bottom of the second inning, in which five Silver Hawks runs scored. Roidany Aguila and Raul Navarro knocked in runs, with two more scoring on a ball mishandled by Fort Wayne second baseman BJ Guinn.
After batting around in the second inning, the Silver Hawks chased Rea in the third inning.
Daniel Sarria, who was activated off the disabled list Wednesday, came on to pitch for the first time in a TinCaps uniform since April 19. His stay in the game was short-lived, as he retired the final two batters of the third but faced only two batters in the fourth. Sarria surrendered a lead-off home run to Chris Ellison, then hit the next batter, Raul Navarro, in the head, prompting an immediate ejection by home-plate umpire Clay Park.
Johnny Barbato then entered the game with a 7-0 deficit.
He faced seven batters over the remainder of the fourth, allowing the inherited runner, as well as two more Silver Hawks, to score. Barbato lasted two batters into the fifth, giving up a double and walking a batter.
For the first time this year a position player came on to pitch, when Stubblefield took the hill in the fifth, down 10-0.
The Fort Wayne infielder appeared in one game as a pitcher last year with the TinCaps, tossing two-thirds of an inning, allowing one run, in a June 26 loss to Lake County at Parkview Field.
Stubblefield threw an array of pitches ranging between 75 and 79 miles per hour and retired the first three batters he faced.
Over the first five innings, the TinCaps collected two hits and advanced only two runners into scoring position against Andrew Barbosa (2-2). In that same span, the Silver Hawks picked up 11 hits and went 5-for-18 with runners in scoring position.
South Bend tacked on one run in the sixth, another in the seventh and four more in the eighth to complete the night's scoring. Travis Whitmore pitched the eighth inning, which was his first time taking the mound as a professional.
The two other 16-run defeats took place when Fort Wayne's team was known as the Wizards. The first was a 20-4 loss against the Michigan Battle Cats on May 18, 1996, and the second was against the Beloit Brewers on July 20, 1997.