SOUTH BEND, IN - The South Bend Cubs (75-60) took the early lead and never looked back in a 3-1 win over the West Michigan Whitecaps (88-44), Thursday night at Four Winds Field. The win was the Cubs' twenty-first in the month of August, and their tenth of the last thirteen.
In the race for the Midwest League Eastern Division Wild Card berth, South Bend remains a game behind Bowling Green who won 6-0 over the Dayton Dragons. Four games remain in the 2017 season.
The Cubs, the Class-A Affiliate of the Chicago Cubs, got a chance to show how they hit major league pitching Thursday night. And they took advantage early, jumping out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the first. Anibal Sanchez (L, 0-1), a Detroit Tigers pitcher, was making a rehab start for the Whitecaps Thursday night. The first batter he faced, right fielder Luis Ayala, sent a fly ball single down the left field line. He was followed by shortstop Aramis Ademan who knocked a double into the right field corner, which sent Ayala home. After center fielder D.J. Wilson walked, and both runners moved up a base on a deep foul fly out by left fielder Kevonte Mitchell, Ademan scored on a sacrifice fly to center by first baseman Austin Upshaw.
West Michigan, the Class-A Affiliate of the Detroit Tigers, put a run on the board in the top of the third. Catcher Austin Athmann reached on a error, when Cubs third baseman Andruw Monasterio threw over the head of first baseman Upshaw. The next batter, left fielder Luke Burch laid down a bunt that was fielded by South Bend starting pitcher Bryan Hudson (W, 9-3). Hudson slid to stop the ball then threw wild of first when he attempted to put out Burch. On the error, Athmann advanced to third and Burch moved up to second. When centerfielder Danny Woodrow grounded out to second, Athmann scored to bring the score to 2-1.
The Cubs responded in the bottom of the third. Wilson led off with a walk, then promptly stole second base. With Wilson on the move toward third, Mitchell followed with hard hit ball that Whitecaps third baseman Danny Pinero couldn't handle, allowing Wilson to score, making the Cubs' lead 3-1.
Sanchez came out of the game after four innings, turning over the pitching to Alfred Gutierrez. Sanchez gave up four hits, three runs, including two earned runs, two walks, and struck out three.
Hudson, in his longest outing of the outing as a professional, pitched seven and two-thirds innings. He scattered three hits, and gave up only one unearned run. Hudson walked two and struck out four. Wyatt Short (S, 16) collected the save for South Bend.
The South Bend Cubs close out their home schedule Friday night at Four Winds Field. The three-game series against the West Michigan Whitecaps concludes with Erling Moreno (2-3, 4.17 ERA) taking the mound for the Cubs and Eudis Idrogo (6-7, 3.14 ERA) pitching for West Michigan.
The home season concludes with a multitude of promotions! As always there will be Fantastic Friday Fireworks, presented by 1st Source Bank, WNDU and Sunny 101.5 FM. Stick around after the game for a spectacular fireworks show!
It's a Home Run for Life, presented by Beacon Children's Hospital. The South Bend Cubs will honor a patient from Beacon Children's Hospital and he/she will get to run the bases during the game.
Calendars and Posters! The first 1,000 fans through the gates will receive a 2017-2018 South Bend Cubs wall calendar. The World Champions Poster Giveaway is presented by Rink Printing. The first 1,000 fans through the gates will receive a poster depicting Chicago Cubs World Series Championship celebration. Original print donated by Jay Weinberg.
Finally, its Fan Appreciation Night! Join the South Bend Cubs for Fan Appreciation Night with in-game giveaways and a a few surprises.
First pitch is scheduled for 7:35 p.m. Gates open at 6:00 p.m.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.