Fort Wayne, IN -- The TinCaps committed three errors, which led to three unearned runs, in a 4-3 loss to the Quad Cities River Bandits Wednesday night. The game was tied, 2-2, entering the ninth inning but Fort Wayne made allowed two runs to lead to their demise. Though he only received a no-decision, TinCaps starting pitcher Zach Eflin tossed 6 1/3 smooth innings. River Bandits starter Lance McCullers was every bit as impressive in 6 1/3 as well.
With two 19-year-old 2012 first-round draft selections dealing on the mound, hits were few and far between in the early goings Wednesday. After Eflin allowed only one hit through the first three innings, Quad Cities (14-10, 52-41) eventually pushed across the game's first run in the fourth by playing small ball. Jordan Scott led off with a bunt single, advanced to second base on a wild pitch, and stole third. Jesse Wierzbicki hit a sacrifice fly to drive Scott home and make it 1-0 in favor of the visitors.
The River Bandits expanded their lead to 2-0 in the top of the seventh with the first of three unearned runs allowed by the TinCaps. Rio Ruiz reached on an infield single and moved to second base on a Roberto Pena grounder to third, which was misplayed by Gabriel Quintana. With no outs, Dan Gulbransen sacrificed the runners over to second and third. In turn, Eflin intentionally walked Bobby Borchering to load the bases. Eflin exited after that, leaving with four strikeouts. It was the third game in a row in which a Fort Wayne starter went at least six innings. Trevor Gott replaced Eflin and struck out the first batter he faced, but then walked Austin Elkins to force in Ruiz.
Offensively, Fort Wayne (9-16, 52-42) had fits with McCullers, who struck out eight. Corey Adamson, however, extended his hitting streak to 10 games in the seventh with a base hit to right field. The next batter, Tyler Stubblefield then followed with a two-run shot to the Home Run Porch in left field to tie the game, 2-2.
The contest remain tied going into the ninth inning, as TinCaps closer Roman Madrid (5-2) entered in the non-save situation. Leading off, Gulbransen charged a fly ball to right field that Brian Adams over-ran for a two-base error. Later in the inning, with the bases loaded and one out, Scott provided an RBI single to put Quad Cities up, 3-2. A fourth run scored when the next batter, Carlos Correa, hit a grounder to third that Quintana threw wildly to home for another error, enabling Borchering, who Madrid had walked, to score. Wednesday's game was Quintana's first after a nearly two-month hiatus on the disabled list.
The TinCaps tried to rally in the home ninth but came up short. Quintana started the frame with a single and made it to third when Correa mishandled a grounder by Luis Domoromo. Adamson plated Quintana on a fielder's choice to first, but Stubblefield and Adams struck out to end the game. Mitchell Lambson received the win after throwing a scoreless eighth.
Fort Wayne and Quad Cities continue their series at Parkview Field on Thursday night at 7:05. Left-hander Max Fried starts for the TinCaps against Vincent Velasquez for the River Bandits. The game can be heard on The Fan 1380 and TheFanFortWayne.com, and seen on XFINITY Channel 81.