Lansing, Michigan (Indiana's NewsCenter) – With his team trailing 3-2 in the top of the ninth inning, and with two outs and strikes against him, Lee Orr rocketed an Ajay Meyer fastball off the batter’s eye in center field for a three-run home run, propelling the Fort Wayne TinCaps to a 5-3 win over the Lansing Lugnuts on Wednesday night.
The scoring started early for Fort Wayne (19-21) as the TinCaps put up two runs in the third inning. Lansing starter Jesse Hernandez surrendered a leadoff walk to Clark Murphy to begin the inning, and Donavan Tate followed with a single. Both runners advanced one extra base on a fielding error by left fielder Kevin Pillar. With runners at second and third Travis Whitmore grounded out, allowing Murphy to score from third and making it 1-0 Fort Wayne. Mike Gallic later singled Tate home, extending the advantage to 2-0.
Fort Wayne starter Matt Wisler retired the first six batters he faced, and saw the minimum nine over the first three innings. He faltered in the fourth, though, as Andy Burns knocked in a run with a double to left. In the fifth, the Lugnuts scored again, as K.C. Hobson singled to center and scored Kevin Pillar. The game was tied at two at the end of five innings, at which point Wisler departed. The righty gave up five hits, two earned runs, walked two and struck out four.
In the sixth, Yordany Ramirez entered the game for the TinCaps and allowed a home run to Burns over the wall in right, putting Lansing (27-12), which holds the league’s best record, in the lead by a 3-2 margin. In the seventh and eighth innings, Fort Wayne went down in order.
Ajay Meyer, whose 12 saves are the best in the circuit, entered the game in the ninth trying to secure the win for Lansing. Meyer (1-1) struck out Gallic, but then walked Duanel Jones and Austin Hedges. Kyle Gaedele fanned, and the TinCaps were down to their final out. Orr stood in, playing in just his third game of the year for Fort Wayne, and with a two-strike count, hit a home run to straight away center field that gave the TinCaps a 5-3 lead.
Matt Stites pitched the bottom of the ninth, earning his fourth save in five tries. Fort Wayne has now won three consecutive games and also snapped Lansing’s four-game winning streak.
Game two of the series is scheduled for Thursday night at Cooley Law School Stadium at 7:05. The scheduled starters are Cody Hebner for Fort Wayne and Noah Syndergaard for Lansing.
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