TinCaps’ struggles continue; streak at 3

May 6, 2019

The first baseball game ever in a professional league was played in Fort Wayne on May 4, 1871. The Fort Wayne Kekiongas won that inaugural game 2-0 over Forest City of Cleveland.

Nearly a century and a half after their ancestors started pro baseball in Fort Wayne, the TinCaps weren’t so lucky. Scott Schreiber went 3 for 5 with an RBI and three runs scored and Quad Cities handed Fort Wayne its third straight loss, 10-3 at Parkview Field on Saturday in front of an announced crowd of 6,066.

The loss assured that Fort Wayne will lose its fourth series in a row. The TinCaps (12-16) have not won a series since April 8-11, when they swept Dayton. 

For the second time in less than a week, manager Anthony Contreras was not pleased with his team’s performance and let them know.

“It’s just time to turn things around,” first baseman Lee Solomon said of Contreras’ postgame message. “We have so many games, it’s easy to get in a rut and be OK with how things are going. It’s time for us to take it to another level. 

“Tonight just wasn’t competitive. You can live with the competitive losses, but we really need to flip a switch mentally and physically.”

The River Bandits (17-10), who came in leading the Western Division, started hitting in the first inning, taking a 1-0 lead on a Jonathan Lacroix sacrifice fly, and never really stopped. 

Quad Cities took control for good in the second inning with a pair of powerful swings. Catcher Cesar Salazar led off the inning against TinCaps starter Angel Acevedo and lofted a fly ball to left that kept carrying over the wall for a 358-foot home run. Acevedo pitched cautiously to the next hitter, Austin Dennis, and walked him, bringing center-fielder Ross Adolph to the plate.

Adolph did not wait, turning on the first pitch and launching it to deep right-center for a two-run homer, his second of the year. The ball traveled 410 feet, an impressive blast for a player that came into the game batting .106.

Acevedo stuck around for 41/3 innings, giving up seven runs, four of which were earned, and striking out five while walking one and surrendering eight hits. He’s struggled through his last three outings, posting a 11.57 ERA in 91/3 innings. 

The TinCaps got some bad news in the sixth inning. Shortstop Xavier Edwards, the No. 14 prospect in the Padres’ organization, left the game with what appeared to be an injury or illness. The 19-year-old came into the game leading the Midwest League in hitting at .369 and went 1 for 3.

The loss of Edwards was at least partially offset for Fort Wayne by the return of Solomon. The first baseman had been in the concussion protocol since April 25, but returned to the lineup Saturday and had his best game of the season, going 2 for 3 with a double and a walk. He drove in three runs, equaling his total for the entire season coming into the game.

″(I was) really excited,” Solomon said. “Just been sitting on the side waiting to get in. ... It was a good day for me personally, but just wish we could’ve come out with a win.”