LANSING, Mich (WLMI) The Lansing Lugnuts (27-23, 74-45) offense was shut out by the Fort Wayne TinCaps’ (31-21, 62-60) duo of Ruben Mejia and Johnny Barbato in a 2-0 rain-shortened loss on Thursday night on Jackson Field.
With no outs in the top of the 8th inning, the tarp was pulled on the field. After a 44-minute rain delay, the game was called.
Mejia (Win, 2-6) tossed a season-high 5 2/3 shutout innings while allowing just three hits, walking two and striking out three. Barbato (Save, 3) tossed 1 1/3 scoreless innings and allowed just one hit, walked none and struck out one.
The decisive offensive blow came from the TinCaps’ Kyle Gaedele, who delivered a two-RBI single in the fourth inning off Lugnuts reliever Brandon Berl (Loss, 2-6). Berl worked just the fourth inning allowing two hits and two runs.
The Lugnuts, fearing rain, spot-started Kramer Champlin, who came through with three scoreless innings, allowed two hits, walked one and struck out three.
Noah Syndergaard was scheduled to start but instead entered the game in the top of the fifth inning out of the bullpen. The righty did not allow a hit over three scoreless innings in which he struck out three. Syndergaard was on the mound in the top of the 8th inning when the rains came and the tarp was pulled on the field.
In the losing cause, Chris Hawkins walked twice for the Lugnuts and Gustavo Pierre extended his on-base streak to 21 consecutive games with a double.
The Lugs went 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position, slumping to 1-for-24 with runners at second or third in the series.
It is the sixth consecutive loss at home for the Lugs, their longest home losing streak of the year.
The finale of the three-game set with the TinCaps is scheduled for Friday, August 17th at 7:05 p.m. It is a Facebook Friday and the last Auto Owners Insurance bobblehead giveaway featuring 2011 Lugnuts manager Mike Redmond. Lansing will send lefty Justin Nicolino (7-4, 2.67) to the mound. James Needy (6-1, 1.74) will start for Fort Wayne.