5-run sixth inning sinks Cubs

Published: Aug. 15, 2021 at 12:01 AM EDT
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FORT WAYNE, Ind. -- Ryan Jensen (4 IP, H, 0 R, BB, 5 K) made his return to the starting rotation after spending 10 days on the Development List but his strong outing wasn’t enough as the Fort Wayne TinCaps (42-47) topped the South Bend Cubs (40-48) 6-3 on Saturday night in front of a crowd of 7,333 at Parkview Field.

Bryce Ball took the first pitch of the second inning over the wall in right center to put the Cubs on the board first, his fourth homer since coming over to the Cubs farm system. Going into tonight’s game the Cubs had scored the first run in just 32 games this year, only Fort Wayne had done so fewer times.

Justin Lopez then appeared to homer on the first pitch of the TinCaps half of the third inning but the ball was ruled to be off the wall and went as just a double. Jensen eventually struck out the side and didn’t allow Lopez to advance past second.

In the fifth inning the Cubs had runners at second and third base and nobody out but failed to score. That chance going by the wayside would come back to bite South Bend because in the sixth inning the TinCaps would send 10 batters to the plate and plate five runs. Three batters reached in a row, capped off by an RBI single from Tirso Ornelas that tied it, 1-1. With two outs Luis Almanzar delivered a two-RBI single to give Fort Wayne their first lead. Then Bryan King induced a slow comebacker to the mound but airmailed the throw to first allowing an unearned run to come around. Adam Kerner then stepped up against Blake Whitney and singled in a run to cap off the inning and make it 5-1.

South Bend looked to make it a game again, scoring two runs in the seventh. Liam Spence hit a grounder to third with two aboard that Kelvin Alarcon threw into right field trying to turn a double play to score Yonathan Perlaza and Edmond Americaan singled in Harrison Wenson with two away but Spence was thrown out at the plate to end the inning.

The Cubs entered the home portion of the eighth trailing just 5-3 when Yorman Rodriguez hit a ball to the warning track in centerfield that was ruled a home run. That would be the final run scored in the game.

Yonathan Perlaza reached base three times and extended his on-base streak to 20 games.

South Bend Cubs manager Michael Ryan and Fort Wayne TinCaps hitting coach Jonathan Matthews were both ejected during the game.

Next up: Former TinCap Anderson Espinoza (0-2, 4.89) will climb the hill tomorrow and face off against Connor Lehmann (1-2, 8.76 ERA) for the second time this week.