FORT WAYNE, Ind. - Jalen Washington hit a two-run homer and the Fort Wayne TinCaps (27-32) welcomed in the Lansing Lugnuts (38-23) with a 9-3 series-opening defeat on Friday night at Parkview Field.
Ryan Noda slugged his third homer in two days, his fourth in his last six games, in the loss.
The TinCaps scored all of their runs in a three-inning span, knocking out Lugnuts starter Matthew Gunter (Loss, 0-2) with a four-run third inning, tallying three runs against Andrew Deramo in the fourth, and then scoring two more runs (one unearned) against Brody Rodning in the fifth.
Aside from those three frames, the TinCaps' offense went 0-for-15 in the game, with Nuts pitchers facing the minimum in the first, second, sixth, seventh and eighth innings. Rodning led the way with 3 1/3 innings of relief, with Dany Jimenez following him with an easy eighth.
The Lugnuts' offense began the game promisingly against Fort Wayne left-hander Osvaldo Hernandez on a Kevin Vicuna first-pitch single and back-to-back walks to Ryan Noda and Chavez Young to load the bases with none out. Brandon Grudzielanek drilled a Hernandez pitch to deep right field, but Jack Suwinski made a fine catch near the wall and relayed it in to double up Young at first base. Vicuña tagged and scored on the play, but it was the Nuts' only run in the inning.
Hernandez (Win, 4-2) fired six innings in all, striking out six and allowing only one other run, a Yeltsin Gudino RBI single in the fifth.
Noda finished the scoring in the ninth with an opposite-field drive down the left-field line against reliever Evan Miller. He finished the game 1-for-3 with a walk, giving him 10 hits in his last 27 at-bats.
Gudiño added two hits in three at-bats, increasing his hitting streak to 12 games.
The Lugnuts fell to 3-4 on their season-long 13-game, 14-day road trip.
Right-hander Maverik Buffo (5.08 ERA) starts the second game of the four-game series, facing Fort Wayne right-hander Luis Patiño (4.15) on Saturday night at 7:05 p.m.
The Lugs return to Cooley Law School Stadium on Friday, June 15th, opening a three-game series against South Bend featuring Family Faith Night with LAFCU Fireworks on June 15th, Star Wars Night with LAFCU Fireworks on June 16th, and a Father's Day Delta Dental Kids Day with a special Jersey Giveaway on June 17th. To purchase tickets and live the Lug Life, visit lansinglugnuts.com or call (517) 485-4500.
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This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.