Dunedin, FL - RHP C.J. Edwards and RHP Ryan Searle combined to two-hit the Dunedin Blue Jays in Wednesday's 4-0 win at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium. Edwards (W, 1-0) worked five no-hit innings while walking one and striking out eight to earn his first win in the Cubs organization. Searle (S, 1) did not surrender the two hits until there was one out in the ninth inning.
"I'm very proud of these guys," Cubs Manager Dave Keller said. "We played great defense, had even better pitching and came up with timely hits."
Edwards struck out the side in order in the first inning before the tarp was pulled due to rain after just 11 minutes of play. The game had previously been delayed 120 minutes to start due to rain.
"It was frustrating seeing the tarp come out," Edwards said, "but luckily it was short enough [of a delay] where I was able to come back out."
Fresh out of the 29 minute delay, 3B Kris Bryant was hit by an RHP Aaron Sanchez fastball to start the second. Sanchez, the top-ranked prospect in the Blue Jays system according to MiLB.com, started the game for the Jays and also survived the delay. With Bryant on second and two outs, 2B Wes Darvill lined a double to left-center to score Bryant and give the Cubs a 1-0 lead.
In the bottom of the frame, Edwards picked up right where he left off and struck out CF Jonathan Jones. After retiring the first 10 batters of the game in order, Edwards walked C Derrick Chung, the lone Blue Jays player to reach base against the Prosperity, SC native over his five innings.
"I had my fastball really working tonight," Edwards said. "I went out there to compete and give my team the chance to win."
Edwards felt motivated by the positive mentality his teammates showed towards him prior to taking the mound in game two.
"They had confidence in me and it made me feel great," Edwards said. "Just coming to a new team, in general, and them having confidence in me right away is something special. It makes me feel welcome in the family."
The Cubs scored the remainder of their runs in the third and fourth innings.
RF Pin-Chieh Chen walked to begin the third. CF Zeke DeVoss then grounded an infield single to the right side and advanced to second on a throwing error by 2B Jon Berti, his second in as many games. After Sanchez struck out back-to-back batters with runners on second and third, Bryant lined a single to left that scored both runners and gave the Cubs a 3-0 lead.
"Our two out hitting was really clutch tonight," Keller said. "We've been coming up with the two-out hits like Darvill's and Bryant's and that really makes a difference when you look back at the game."
In the fourth, Darvill singled to left and scored on a SS Elliot Soto double which was blasted to the wall in right-center field to take the 4-0 lead.
Bryant went 3-for-3 in the game and 5-for-6 in the series with four RBIs, a walk and the hit by pitch.
Searle struck out five in his four shutout innings with a walk and the two ninth inning singles.
The Cubs did not allow an earned run in the series and have 17 shutouts on the season, the most in Daytona Cubs history.
Daytona will take on the Charlotte Stone Crabs in the best-of-five FSL Championship Series. The Cubs will play at Jackie Robinson Ballpark on Thursday, September 5th and Friday 6th, with both games scheduled for 7:05 p.m. The final three games of the series will be played at Charlotte Sports Park. Saturday's game is scheduled for 6:00 p.m., Sunday's game (if necessary) would be played at 5:00 p.m. and Monday's game (if necessary) would be played at 6:30 p.m.
Tickets for Thursday's and Friday's games are available online at daytonacubs.com, by calling (386) 257-3172, and at Jackie Robinson Ballpark. Both night's will feature Thirsty Thursday prices, including $1 small sodas and domestic draft beers.