FORT WAYNE, Ind. -- For a while on Friday night at Parkview Field, fans must've been thinking they had seen this movie before. The TinCaps came from eight runs down to beat Lake County in wild fashion Thursday. But on Friday, it turned out not to be a sequel after all. Despite chipping into a seven-run deficit, Fort Wayne eventually fell to the Captains, 8-5, in front of a sell-out crowd of 7,701.
Lake County (22-24, 49-67) showed no signs of despair after its atrocious loss the previous night and made a statement in the top of the first inning by scoring seven runs. Grant Fink capped the Captains' big inning with a grand slam off Cody Hebner (1-2). The TinCaps starter hadn't allowed a run in his last 10 2/3 innings before things unraveled for the right-hander. A Dustin Peterson error at third base preceded Fink's four-run hit, meaning that five of the seven runs allowed by Hebner were unearned.
Fernando Perez, who hit a grand slam of his own Thursday during Fort Wayne's comeback, hit a solo home run in the bottom of the first to put the TinCaps on the board. Perez is now tied with Ryan Miller for the team lead in longballs with 11.
Justin Livengood relieved Hebner after the first and continued to roll on the mound. Livengood helped to give Fort Wayne a chance at a comeback with three scoreless innings before yielding one run in the fifth. Livengood had gone 19 innings since he had last allowed an earned run nearly a month ago on July 10.
The TinCaps got another run back in the bottom of the fifth when Ronnie Richardson scored on a balk by Captains reliever Caleb Hamrick. Down 8-2, Fort Wayne made a serious push in the seventh with three runs. Josh VanMeter plated one with one of his two hits on the night to bring the TinCaps within five at 8-3.
Two batters later, Perez came up with bases loaded again and -- though it wasn't another grand slam -- came through with a two-run single. That brought up the hulking Franmil Reyes as the tying run with one out. But both Reyes and the following batter, Jake Bauers, were struck out by Justin Brantley (4-0). The TinCaps didn't have a man reach base in neither the eighth nor ninth.
Friday was the 20th sellout of the season at Parkview Field, where Fort Wayne and Lake County continue their four-game tilt on Saturday at 7:05 p.m. Kyle Lloyd -- second in the Midwest League in strikeouts on the season -- starts for the TinCaps against Dace Kime. The game can be heard on ESPN Radio 1380, TinCaps.com, and the TuneIn Radio app. It can also be seen on XFINITY Channel 81.