Kevonte Mitchell launched a grand slam over the left field wall to break a 1-1 tie in the bottom of the 6th inning as the South Bend Cubs (20-26, 59-56) defeated the Dayton Dragons (14-32, 55-61) 5-2 in front of a crowd of 5,222 on Thursday night at Four Winds Field. Mark Malave (W, 1-2) tossed 3 innings in relief to earn the win for the Cubs.
Dayton, the Class-A affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds, got on the board right away in the top of the 1st inning. With two outs, centerfielder Jose Siri grounded a single through the right side. Left fielder Taylor Trammell blooped a single to right with Siri on the move and Siri took advantage of some lackadaisical play in right field to come all the way around to score as the ball was lobbed in towards second base.
South Bend, the Class-A affiliate of the Chicago Cubs, struck right back in the bottom half of the first. Third baseman Andruw Monasterio led off with a single to center. Shortstop Aramis Ademan then hit a high drive down the right field line that looked to be hooking foul. It stayed fair however, and hit high off the wall in right for an RBI double that tied the game at one.
Both pitching staffs kept the offenses in check through the first 5 ½ innings as they squared off in a pitchers' duel. Cubs starter Erling Moreno left after four innings having allowed three hits and one run. Dayton starter Wennington Romero (L, 3-9) pitched well through the first five innings but ran into trouble in the sixth.
After a great play by Dragons catcher Mitch Trees robbed Cubs right fielder Luis Ayala of a bunt single, the next five batters reached for South Bend. Monasterio beat out an infield single to short and Ademan followed with a single to right that put runners at the corners. Centerfielder D.J. Wilson walked to load the bases and Mitchell launched a curveball over the left field wall to give the Cubs a 5-1 lead.
Malave came on in relief of Moreno to start the fifth inning and tossed three scoreless innings, striking out two and allowing just two hits. Jhon Romero entered the game in the top of the 8th and finished it off for the Cubs, allowing one run in two innings of work.
The Cubs and Dragons meet again on Friday night at Four Winds Field with first pitch slated for 7:35pm. Tyson Miller (5-4, 4.92 ERA) gets the start for South Bend while Scott Moss (11-6, 3.66 ERA) takes the hill for Dayton. Friday is another Fantastic Fireworks Friday with a fireworks show after the game, but make sure to get to the game early as the first 1,000 fans through the gates will receive a Stu Garden Gnome. It is also Girl Scout Night so registered Girl Scout troops can spend the night on the field and watch a movie on the video board.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.