South Bend, IN: The South Bend Cubs completed their comeback over the Fort Wayne TinCaps on Sunday afternoon from Four Winds Field and won 8-3 in one of the club's most important games of the year. With the Lansing Lugnuts right on their tail for the wild card, and the Bowling Green Hot Rods losing today, the Cubs are now just two games back of first place in the Eastern Division.
Sunday's win got started in a positive way for the Cubs, as Nelson Maldonado got South Bend on the board with a sharp RBI single into center field scoring Darius Hill. However, against starter Peyton Remy, the TinCaps came roaring back with three runs between the 4th and 5th innings. Remy exited after 4.1 innings pitched in line for the loss.
His teammates picked him back up though. South Bend, who continues to fight for their playoff hopes every day, was able to mount a comeback that featured seven runs in their last three innings.
With the help of the bullpen which featured Ivan Medina and Eugenio Palma combining for 4.2 innings of shutout relief, the Cubs went to work offensively. After Fort Wayne starter Ryan Weathers exited after five innings and just one run allowed, the Cubs tested their luck against right-hander Jose Quezada.
Quezada, who gave up two runs the last time he faced the Cubs, was responsible for five earned runs on Sunday including a bases clearing three run double by Nelson Velazquez. The bases were loaded in the 7th because Andy Weber pushed Darius Hill and Jake Slaughter to second and third base on a sacrifice bunt.
With first base open, Fort Wayne decided to walk Maldonado to get to Velazquez. This ultimately was a mistake, as Velazquez lasered a ball down the left field line for three RBI. In the bottom of the 8th, Yonathan Perlaza smacked his first Midwest League home run over the right field wall for the 8-3 lead.
Today's win means the Cubs can go for the sweep tomorrow night and also an opportunity to climb to just a game back of first place in the Eastern Division. Tomorrow's finale will begin with first pitch at 7:05 PM.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.