(South Bend, IN) - Jose Medina went deep on Sunday to extend the Lake County Captains' (27-42) home run streak to 13 straight games, but the South Bend Cubs' (39-30) offense was too powerful. In the final game of the first half, the Cubs defeated the Captains at Four Winds Field, 9-3. Lake County took two out of three in the series from South Bend.
The Cubs jumped in front early. Four batters into the ballgame, Isaac Paredes came up with a man aboard and hammered a two-run home run to give South Bend a 2-0 lead. The very next inning, South Bend scored two more thanks to a costly Captains error.
With one out and runners on first and second in the second inning, Luis Ayala hit a soft grounder to second. Kevin Bradley fielded the ball, spun around and flipped to second, but his toss sailed over Miguel Eladio's head and into left field. Michael Cruz scored from second on the play. Later in the inning, the Cubs loaded the bases on a hit batsman and a ground out by Vimael Machin scored Roberto Caro to give the Cubs a 4-0 advantage.
Another homer pushed the Cubs' lead to 6-0 in the fourth inning. Captains starter Luis Jimenez remained in the ballgame and issued a four-pitch walk to Ayala to lead off the frame. Two batters later, Machin hit a high fly ball over the right field wall for a two-run home run. Jimenez (0-2) was finished after the fourth and ultimately took the loss. He allowed six runs, four of which were earned, on four hits. Jimenez struck out four, walked three and hit a batter.
Medina put the Captains on the scoreboard in the fifth inning. The left-handed hitter led off against Cubs starter Bryan Hudson and hit the first pitch over the right field wall for his sixth home run of the year. Medina's blast gave the Captains 25 home runs in their last 13 games and 71 total homers on the year, good for second in the Midwest League.
South Bend's offense went back to work quickly after Medina's homer and scored three more home runs between the fifth and sixth innings. Captains reliever Ryan Colegate took over for Jimenez in the fifth. Chris Pieters led off the inning with a double and Yeiler Peguero came up next and hit a soft roller up the first base line. Emmanuel Tapia picked up the ball and flipped to Colegate covering first, but the toss handcuffed Colegate and bounced away. Pieters scored on the error by the first baseman. Later in the frame, Ayala hit an RBI single to give South Bend an 8-1 lead. The Cubs hit back-to-back doubles in the sixth to push their lead to 9-1. Alberto Mineo doubled with one out and Paredes doubled him home.
The Captains scratched across two more runs with two outs in the ninth inning. Medina singled and Jose Vicente rocketed a triple into the right-centerfield gap. Vicente scored shortly thereafter when Todd Isaacs rolled a grounder to the right side of the infield. Peguero ranged to his left, but the best he could do was get a piece of the grounder. Isaacs reached with a single and Vicente scored to trim the Captains' deficit to 9-3.
Isaacs' single was the Captains' last blow. Cubs reliever Jared Cheek struck out Junior Soto swinging to end the game. Hudson (1-2) earned the win for South Bend, who salvaged the final game of the series. The lefty starter pitched six innings and allowed just one run on six hits. He struck out five and walked one.
The Captains won their final three series of the first half and were victorious in five of their last seven games. Lake County heads into the All-Star Break with days off on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Relievers Ryder Ryan and Dalbert Siri will represent the Captains in the 53rd Midwest League All-Star Classic on Tuesday night. The game begins at 7:05 PM at Dow Diamond in Midland, MI, home of the Great Lakes Loons. The Captains return to action on Thursday night on the road against the Dayton Dragons.
Individual game tickets for all Captains games are on sale at the Classic Park box office, online at captainsbaseball.com and by phone at 440-954-WINS (9467). 12-, 20-, and 35-game mini ticket plans for the 2017 season are on sale now at great prices complete with several exclusive benefits. Information can be found at the Captains website www.captainsbaseball.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.