Fort Wayne TinCaps (14-25) @ Lansing Lugnuts (24-18)
RHP Chris Huffman (1-1, 3.00) vs. LHP Shane Dawson (5-2, 3.20)
Saturday, May 23, 2015 — Cooley Law School Stadium (Lansing, Mich.) — First Pitch 7:05 p.m. — Game 40
ABOUT LAST GAME: The TinCaps shut out the Lugnuts on Friday for eight innings before sealing it in the ninth, winning 5-4 at Cooley Law School Stadium. That was Fort Wayne’s third straight win over Lansing. Four different players drove in runs, including Franmil Reyes who belted his second home run of the season.
BE THE BEST, PLAY THE BEST: If an 11-game road trip wasn’t tough enough, the TinCaps are facing some of the league’s best offenses during the stretch. When Fort Wayne began the trip last Friday, it took on — at the time — the league’s best offense in the Bowling Green Hot Rods. Bowling Green entered that series with a MWL-best .270 team batting average. Next, the TinCaps played four games against the Lake County Captains, who currently lead the league with 31 home runs. Fort Wayne finishes the trip with four games against the Lugnuts, leaders of the Eastern Division in team batting average, runs, doubles, slugging percentage & stolen bases.
THREE OF A KIND: If the TinCaps prevail on Saturday against Lansing, it’ll be their third consecutive win. The last time Fort Wayne accomplished that feat was Labor Day Weekend of 2014. The TinCaps swept the Bowling Green Hot Rods from August 31st to September 1st. The three straight victories clinched Fort Wayne a playoff birth. (The TinCaps then won their opening playoff game.)
EXTRA, EXTRA: The TinCaps connected on four more extra-base hits on Friday. Each of the four innings in which they scored featured either a double, triple or home run. As a team, the TinCaps have 61 extra-base hits during their 17 games in May. The top three league leaders in that category will be on display on Saturday. Lugnuts Rowdy Tellez (18) and Ryan McBroom (17) and Trae Santos (17) are the best in the Midwest League in extra-base hits.
BULLPEN BOUNCING BACK: Through eight games on this road trip, Fort Wayne’s bullpen has worked 32 2/3 innings and only allowed seven earned runs. That’s a 1.93 ERA. (Through the first 31 games of the year before this stretch, the TinCaps’ bullpen ERA was 4.97.)