South Bend, IN - In an intrastate rivalry that has been lopsided in the last two seasons, the TinCaps were in position Friday night for a win at Four Winds Field, entering the eighth inning tied, 3-3. However, South Bend scored two unearned runs in the bottom of the eighth to escape with a 5-3 victory in the second game of a four-game set.
Silver Hawks designated hitter Daniel Palka led off the eighth against Eric Yardley (0-1) by hitting a ground ball to third base, which bounced through the legs of Dustin Peterson for an error and set the stage for the game's decisive frame. Palka ended up at second and scored when the next batter, Steve McQuail, singled him home. McQuail later scored on a fielder's choice, giving South Bend (23-17) an insurance run.
Fort Wayne (17-23) had taken a 3-1 lead in the top of the fourth inning against Silver Hawks starter Braden Shipley, who had fanned five batters in the first three innings. Fernando Perez and Franmil Reyes delivered back-to-back singles, and they were followed by Jake Bauers who tripled both of them home. Bauers later scored on passed ball to extend the Fort Wayne lead.
TinCaps starter Adrian De Horta, who worked five innings for the second time this season, encountered self-induced trouble in the bottom of the fourth by walking three consecutive batters, two of which came in to score, tying the game at three.
The best opportunity for Fort Wayne to break the three-inning tie came in the eighth with Josh VanMeter at the plate. Lefty Daniel Gibson (3-2) had been summoned from the bullpen one batter earlier, and walked Jake Bauers to load the bases. Gibson got VanMeter to pop out to third base, ending the threat, and leaving the TinCaps 1-for-5 with runners in scoring position on the night.
With the loss, the TinCaps have now dropped 11 straight games at South Bend, dating back to August 1, 2012, and are 6-18 against the Silver Hawks since the start of last season.
Saturday's game in South Bend is scheduled for 7:05 p.m., with Erik Cabrera set to pitch for Fort Wayne and Blake Perry scheduled to throw for South Bend. The game can be heard on The Fan 1380 and TheFanFortWayne.com.