Fort Wayne TinCaps (25-40 – 7th, 61-74) vs. Great Lakes Loons (32-32 – 3rd, 61-73)
LHP Eric Lauer (1-1, 2.17) vs. RHP Yadier Alvarez (3-2, 2.27)
Thursday, Sept. 1 — Parkview Field — First Pitch 7:05 p.m. — Game 136
LAST GAME: The TinCaps opened up this three-game series with a 6-4 win over the Loons.
PDC EXTENDED: Earlier today the TinCaps and Padres announced that they’ve extended their Player Development Contract for two more years through the 2018 season.
ROSTER MOVES: The Padres have added left-handed starters Eric Lauer and Joey Lucchesi to the TinCaps’ roster from the Short Season-A Tri-City Dust Devils. Lauer is starting tonight, while Lucchesi will go tomorrow night. In turn, righty relievers Evan Miller and Will Stillman have been transferred to the Peoria Padres (AZL).
FIRST ROUNDERS IN FORT WAYNE: Lauer makes 30 first or supplemental first-round picks the Padres have sent to Fort Wayne — and 13 in a row. Recent TinCap first-rounders include Trea Turner (2014), Hunter Renfroe (2013), Max Fried (2013-14), Zach Eflin (2013), Travis Jankowski (2012), Walker Weickel (2013-14), Cory Spangenberg (2011), Joe Ross (2011), and Jace Peterson (2012).
LOOKING THE PART: See Page 2 for more information on Lauer’s performance so far in his rookie campaign of pro ball.
ANOTHER ONE: Lauer is the 60th different player used by the TinCaps this season, adding to a new franchise record (which until this year was 54). The TinCaps have had 25 position players and now 35 pitchers.
MCKINSTRY BACK IN THE FORT: Loons infielder Zach McKinstry is at home on the road. McKinstry is from Fort Wayne and graduated from North Side High School in 2013. Funny enough, his dad, Alex, who used to be the head coach at North Side, is a part-time employee at Parkview Field as an usher. He worked last night. Zach was drafted by the Dodgers in the 33rd round in June out of Central Michigan.
WHAT’S AT STAKE: The TinCaps have been eliminated from playoff contention, but the Loons lead the Eastern Division’s second-half wild card race by 1.5 games over Lansing. Lake County is 2.5 back.
SOMETHING TO PLAY FOR: The TinCaps may not be postseason bound, but it could still wind up as a record-setting season for the team from an attendance standpoint. With two home games left, the TinCaps have drawn 399,897 fans. That’s an average of 6,059 per game. The franchise record for regular season attendance is 406,715 — set in 2014. That year, counting two playoff games, the TinCaps drew an overall record 411,028 fans. Fort Wayne’s current attendance ranks 2nd out of 100 Single-A/Rookie teams and is higher than 27 of Double-A clubs and 12 of 30 Triple-A organizations.