FORT WAYNE, Ind. -- The other scores went their way on Wednesday night. The only question was, would the TinCaps carry their own weight? The answer: Yes. Barely. John Nester broke a 1-1 tie against the West Michigan Whitecaps in the bottom of the eighth inning with a single to score Franmil Reyes. In the ninth, Ryan Butler registered the save while stranding the tying run at third base.
With the win, Fort Wayne (29-36, 59-75) moved to within 1.0 game of Dayton for the Eastern Division wild card. The Dragons lost at home to Lansing on Wednesday, 3-2. Great Lakes, which started the night 1.5 ahead of the TinCaps, also lost at home to Lake County.
Nester's hit came on a 2-2 pitch against right-handed reliever Zac Reininger (4-4). The catcher said he shortened his swing and the result was a base-hit to shallow center field. Since he debuted with the TinCaps on Aug. 9, he has hit .308.
The run for Reyes, who had walked, was the second he scored in the game. Jake Bauers plated Reyes in the fourth on a single to right field against West Michigan (39-26, 80-55) starter Austin Kubitza. The RBI hit came on the 10th pitch of the at-bat.
While Eric Yardley (2-4) earned the win out of the bullpen with 1 1/3 scoreless innings of relief, all four pitchers the TinCaps turned to got the job done. Starter Ronald Herrera allowed only one run, which came in the fifth, in five innings. Colby Blueberg, in his Fort Wayne debut, worked 1 2/3 without giving up a hit, and Butler collected his eighth save.
The TinCaps go for their third win in a row Thursday at 7:05 p.m. against the Whitecaps. Jimmi Brasoban is scheduled to start for Fort Wayne against Kevin Ziomek. 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 throughout Indiana.