FORT WAYNE, Ind. -- In a 6-4 loss Thursday night at Parkview Field, the Kane County Cougars (7-10) could not overcome a 5-run third inning by the Fort Wayne TinCaps (11-8) in the opener of a three-game series.
In the third, Corey Adamson broke a 1-1 tie with a solo shot off Cougars starter Lendy Castillo (0-1). With two-outs and two runners on, Gabriel Quintana added an RBI single and Jeremy Baltz delivered a sacrifice fly before Brian Adams capped the 5-run inning with a 2-run homer to left field to give the TinCaps a 6-1 lead.
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TinCaps starter Joe Ross (3-0) shutdown the red-hot Cougars' offense over a season-high 5 innings, allowing just 6 hits while striking out three. The only run he allowed was on a second-inning RBI single to Wilson Contreras.
The Cougars did not go down quietly against the TinCaps' bullpen. In the eighth inning, TinCaps reliever Genison Reyes issued a pair of one-out walks. Bijan Rademacher made him pay with an RBI single that knocked Reyes out of the game.
Chris Nunn (third save) relieved Reyes and surrendered a two-out, 2-run double to Oliver Zapata, bringing the tying run to the plate. Pin-Chieh Chen popped out, and Nunn retired the Cougars in order in the ninth.
Castillo settled down after the third inning. The righty allowed just 1 more hit in his final 3 innings of work. He finished after 6 innings, allowing 8 hits and 6 runs. He did not walk a batter and struck out three.
Cougars relievers Justin Amlung and Stephan Perakslis combined to allow just 1 hit and no runs over the final two innings. Rademacher scored once and drove in a run as part of a 2-for-4 day. Zapata went 1-for-4 with a double and two RBI.
The Cougars and TinCaps play the middle game of a three-game set Friday at 6:05 at Parkview Field in Fort Wayne.
Right-hander Pierce Johnson (1-1) takes the hill for the Cougars against lefty Max Fried (1-0).
The Cougars return home Wednesday to open a three-game series against the Bowling Green Hot Rods at 6:30 p.m.