Bowling Green, KY: The South Bend Cubs came back from deficits of 3-1 and 4-2 to beat the Bowling Green Hot Rods by a final of 6-4 on Tuesday night for their third straight series win and fifth consecutive victory.
On a bright and sunny night in downtown Bowling Green, both clubs scored in their half of the 1st inning. Right-hander Derek Casey made his first start since the club's no-hitter last Monday night. After seven perfect innings that day, Casey earned the Midwest League Pitcher of the Week honors.
Casey settled in as the night went on, but gave up two key extra base hits for Bowling Green. In the bottom of the 2nd, Ford Proctor doubled for a 3-1 lead. Later in the 4th inning, top Rays prospect Wander Franco drilled his fourth home run of the season deep over the right field wall for the 4-2 lead.
After the home run, the Hot Rods bats went uncharacteristically quiet off of Casey. The former Virginia Cavalier fired two consecutive 1-2-3 innings after the 4th to keep South Bend in it.
After Bowling Green starter Shane Baz departed, that gave way to lefty Nick Sprengel. Much like last night, it took a new arm on the mound to get the Cubs bats going. Sprengel was charged with a blown save after giving up four runs in two innings of work. The southpaw first had trouble in the 6th as the Cubs tied it at 4-4.
The inning was started with the hot swinging Andy Weber. Through two games this series, Weber is a scorching 6/8. Jonathan Sierra walked, and Nelson Velazquez came up and laced a double to the left field wall. After Weber scored, Tyler Durna came up and scored Sierra on a RBI sac fly.
In the 7th, Sprengel came back and allowed another pair of runs. This time, it was the bottom of the Cubs order that came through.
After Delvin Zinn walked to extend his on-base streak to 22 consecutive games, Christopher Morel smashed a double into left field. Catcher Eric Gonzalez then drilled a line drive over the glove of the jumping first baseman Connor Hollis. The comeback was complete and it was 6-4 Cubs heading to the 7th inning stretch.
Eugenio Palma and Sean Barry shut the door out of the bullpen and South Bend picked up their fifth straight win. On the year, the Cubs are 21-15 and will go for the series sweep over the Hot Rods tomorrow at 11:35 a.m. Cam Sanders is the expected starter for South Bend.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.