LANSING, Mich. - The Fort Wayne TinCaps brought a 10-3 lead to the sixth, a 10-5 lead to the ninth and an 11-10 lead to the bottom of the tenth, only to see the Lansing Lugnuts rally for a dramatic 12-11 victory on an Esteury Ruiz fielding error on Saturday
LANSING, Mich. - The Fort Wayne TinCaps brought a 10-3 lead to the sixth, a 10-5 lead to the ninth and an 11-10 lead to the bottom of the tenth, only to see the Lansing Lugnuts rally for a dramatic 12-11 victory on an Esteury Ruiz fielding error on Saturday night at Cooley Law School Stadium.
AUDIO: Lugnuts rally in 9th and 10th for thrilling victory
The Eastern Division-leading Lugnuts improved to 32-17 with their third straight victory, dropping the TinCaps to 21-27. Lansing has won five of the six meetings this season.
Facing former Lugnut Jared Carkuff in the bottom of the ninth, Kevin Smith lined a one-out RBI single to bring the Lugnuts within 10-6. Following a strikeout of Brock Lundquist , with Smith stealing second, four straight Lugnuts singled off Carkuff, narrowing the score to 10-9.
Fort Wayne turned to reliever Caleb Boushley (Blown Save, 1; Loss, 2-1), only to see Norberto Obeso supply an RBI single to tie the game at 10-10. Following an intentional walk of Chavez Young , Samad Taylor appeared to win the game with a line drive to left-center, only to see Robbie Podorsky make a running catch to force extra-innings.
The TinCaps recovered to take the lead in the top of the tenth against Dany Jimenez (Win, 3-1) on a Tirso Ornelas sacrifice fly.
But the Lugnuts struck back again in the home half. Smith tripled in free runner Taylor from second base to tie the game again. Following intentional walks to Lundquist and Brandon Grudzielanek , Boushley retired Gudiño on an infield fly and coaxed a fielder's choice from Kevin Vicuña , forcing Smith out at home plate. Andres Sotillo then grounded to second baseman Ruiz, who failed to field it cleanly as Lundquist scored the winning run.
The TinCaps had been flying high early. The visitors scored three runs in the second inning, one in the third and three runs in the fourth inning against Lugnuts starter Colton Laws , and then added three runs in the fifth inning against reliever Andy Ravel to build a seemingly comfortable seven-run lead.
A Yeltsin Gudino sacrifice fly made the deficit 10-4 in the sixth.
Two innings later Gudiño came home on a Matt Morgan RBI single, bringing the Lugnuts within five and setting up the ninth-inning fireworks.
Morgan went 4-for-5 with three RBIs and Grudzielanek finished 4-for-5 with a walk and three runs scored to lead the Lugs' offense. In defeat, Fort Wayne's Jeisson Rosario and Carlos Belen each collected four hits with Belen smacking his fifth home run of the year.
The Lugnuts and TinCaps play the third game of their four-game series at 1:05 p.m. Sunday on a Delta Dental Kids Day featuring Play Catch on the Field before the game and Kids Run the Bases after the game! Right-hander Turner Larkins (4.21 ERA) takes on TinCaps left-hander Osvaldo Hernandez (2.50). To purchase tickets and live the Lug Life, visit lansinglugnuts.com or call (517) 485-4500.
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