- TinCaps RHP Zach Cates delivered five dominant innings and Connor Powers smacked a three-run double as Fort Wayne blanked the Great Lakes Loons, 5-0, Sunday at Dow Diamond.
The loss dropped the Loons out of the playoff picture; a win or a Lansing loss would have given them the wild card spot in the Eastern Division for the first half.
Fort Wayne jumped ahead in the top of the first when Rymer Liriano reached on an infield single, stole second and scored on a single to left by Luis Domoromo.
In the third, Liriano led off with a single. Domoromo reached on catcher's interference and Jake Blackwood lifted a fly ball which was dropped by the left fielder to load the bases with nobody out. After a popout, Powers drilled a double to left-center which chased home all three runners to make it 4-0. Two batters later, Oscar Garcia lined an RBI single to center to push the lead to 5-0.
The pitching staff took it from there. Cates retired the first ten batters he faced and didn't allow a hit until Christian Lara led off the fifth with a flare single to center. He struck out six and walked two. RHP Deiber Sanchez worked two scoreless innings, LHP Jeff Ibarra struck out the side in order in the eighth and RHP Adam Dominick closed it out in the ninth.
Cates (2-4) picked up his first win since May 25. Loons RHP Angel Sanchez (2-1) gave up five runs in three innings and was hurt by four Great Lakes errors.
The TinCaps finished the first half with a 30-39 record; Great Lakes fell to 39-30, percentage points behind second-place Lansing in the standings.
The TinCaps open the second half with a three-game series against the Lake County Captains (Class-A Cleveland Indians) beginning Friday at 7:05 p.m. at Parkview Field.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.