Fort Wayne rallied from four runs down at Lansing on Friday in Midwest League action, but the effort fell short as the TinCaps fell 5-4.
After digging itself a 4-0 first inning hole, Fort Wayne fought back and had the game-tying run at third base in its final at bat, but could not pull out the victory.
TinCap starter James Needy (6-2) allowed four first-inning runs against Lansing (28-24 second half, 74-46), all of which scored with two outs. He was making just his second start of the season and after the troubled first inning, he allowed just three hits over the remainder of his outing. He worked five innings, allowing nine total hits and four earned runs.
Fort Wayne (31-22, 62-61) first scored in the third inning on an RBI single by Jace Peterson. That was the only run allowed by Lansing starter Justin Nicolino (8-4), who worked five innings and allowed just two hits, while walking one and striking out six. Once the TinCaps reached the bullpen, they were able to narrow the gap.
In the seventh, Travis Jankowski hit his first professional home run. He was batting in place of Lee Orr, who had been ejected in the top of the fourth after arguing a called third strike. Jankowski's homer brought the score to 5-2. Later in that inning, BJ Guinn singled home Kyle Gaedele, pulling the TinCaps one run closer, 5-3.
Lansing brought on closer Ajay Meyer, who leads all of Minor League Baseball in saves, in the ninth inning.
Fort Wayne's Austin Hedges delivered a lead-off double, and moved to second on an infield single by Kyle Gaedele. Lugnuts Manager John Tamargo Jr. was ejected, arguing that Gaedele should have been called out. After a Guinn sacrifice bunt, Peterson used a sacrifice fly to plate Hedges, and make it a 5-4 Lugnuts lead. Travis Whitmore then pinch-hit for Tyler Stubblefield, delivering an infield single, putting runners on the corners with two down. Mike Gallic came to the plate with a chance to tie the game, but struck out, ending the game.