SOUTH BEND, Ind. - Zack Short laced a leadoff home run in the bottom of the 13th inning, and the South Bend Cubs (38-26) defeated the Lansing Lugnuts (35-27), 3-2, on Tuesday night at Four Winds Field.
With a Dayton doubleheader split against Great Lakes, the Lugnuts lost a half-game in the Eastern Division wild-card race. With five games to play in the first half, the Lugnuts trail the Dragons by 2.5 games.
South Bend forced extra innings in the eighth inning, thanks to a two-out RBI bunt single by Vimael Machin, squeezing in Roberto Caro to tie the game at 2-2.
The Lugnuts threatened in the top of the 13th against Pedro Silverio (Win, 4-3), loading the bases with one out, but Ridge Smith lined into a double play.
That left the stage to Short, and he seized it with his sixth home run of the season, a no-doubt shot down the left-field line against Andrew Deramo (Loss, 0-2).
Both Nuts runs came home in the fourth inning, thanks to a Mitch Nay RBI double and a Yeltsin Gudino RBI single.
Lansing starter Osman Gutierrez gave up a first-inning run on an Alberto Mineo RBI single, but settled in to work five innings, allowing four hits and four walks while stranding eight runners.
Yonardo Herdenez made his Midwest League debut with scoreless sixth and seventh innings. Dan Lietz allowed the game-tying run in the eighth before pitching a scoreless ninth. Nick Hartman held the Cubs off the board in the 10th and 11th innings, and Deramo struck out two in the 12th before getting victimized by Short an inning later.
Lansing right-hander Denis Diaz (0-3, 6.02) starts the second game of the three-game set at 7:05 p.m. Wednesday, taking on South Bend right-hander Duncan Robinson (5-3, 1.36).
The Lansing Lugnuts return home from June 16-18, hosting the archrival West Michigan Whitecaps. Tickets may be purchased at the Cooley Law School Stadium box office, by calling (517) 485-4500 or via lansinglugnuts.com.
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This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.