South Bend, IN: The South Bend Cubs picked up their second win of the season with a 9-4 victory over the Bowling Green Hot Rods on Monday night.
After striking out four times in the first two innings off of Bowling Green starter Brendan McKay, the Cubs bounced back with nine unanswered runs over the course of four innings. South Bend fell behind 3-0 after just two innings of play, but patience at the plate and timely hitting led the Cubs to their series opening win.
With five runs scored in the bottom of the 4th inning, Jared Young got it going with his fifth hit in two games. A double by Young was followed by three walks, a wild pitch, and a single. Bowling Green reliever Jhonleider Salinas gave up all the damage in his 2018 Midwest League debut. South Bend led 6-4 after four innings.
The game also featured the pitcher Salinas having to come in to hit. Due to an injury to catcher Zacrey Law, the designated hitter Ronaldo Hernandez, who was the only other catcher on the roster, had to come in to catch. Since Hernandez was the DH coming into play the field, the pitcher had to replace him in the batting order. Salinas struck out looking in his only at-bat of the night.
Cubs starter Cory Abbott was strong in his South Bend debut. The 2017 second round pick of the Cubs struck out five batters in five innings of work, while also picking up his first professional win.
Bailey Clark tossed three scoreless innings of relief and struck out four Hot Rods. Manuel Rodriguez finished things off in the 9th inning and picked up two strikeouts of his own. For the Cubs, their pitching continues to lead the way.
Making his second start of the season behind the plate, Tyler Payne doubled in the bottom of the 3rd picking up an RBI and then singled in the 4th. Payne, of the two 25-year-olds on South Bend, has acted as a veteran presence in the dugout this season.
The Cubs will be back in action tomorrow night at 7:05 p.m. when the Hot Rods will visit Four Winds Field for game two of four this week. Chicago Cubs 2017 first round draft pick Brendon Little will take the ball for the South Bend tomorrow. Like Abbott today, Little will be making his South Bend Cubs debut.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.