South Bend, IN: After scoring a season-high 17 runs in their previous game against the Bowling Green Hot Rods on Wednesday, the South Bend Cubs returned home on Friday and picked up their ninth win of the season. A 5-2 victory over the Great Lakes Loons gave the Cubs a solid start to their weekend homestand.
With another dominant pitching performance from right hander Javier Assad, the Cubs gave him immediate run support with two runs in the first four innings. Jhonny Bethencourt's RBI sac fly scored Roberto Caro in the 1st inning to put the Cubs up 1-0. Then in the 4th inning, Miguel Amaya launched his third home run of the year over the Tiki Hut in left field.
Assad earned his team leading third win of the season. Changing speeds and locations with ease, Great Lakes hitters struggled to pick up Assad all night. In five innings, Assad did not allow a run and struck out three. His ERA now sits at 0.95 on the year.
Piggybacking Assad tonight was Ricky Tyler Thomas. Thomas was supposed to start in the postponed game yesterday, so he was tasked with pitching out of the bullpen for the first time this season. Entering the day with an ERA at 0.60, Thomas struck out seven batters in four innings of work. The southpaw allowed two runs in the 9th inning, with both of them being earned. His ERA now sits at 1.42.
The Cubs added three insurance runs combined in the 7th and 8th innings. Tyler Payne finished his night 2-4 with a pair of RBI. He now leads the team in RBI with nine on the season. Right fielder Brandon Hughes has now reached base eight times in the past two games.
With two consecutive wins, South Bend gets back to .500 on the season after dropping both games of their doubleheader on Tuesday. They will go for the series win tomorrow night with first pitch coming from Four Winds Field at 7:05 p.m.
Left hander Brendon Little is scheduled to start for the Cubs in tomorrow's outing. Little, who is still searching for his first win of the year, is 0-1 on the year in two starts and three appearances overall.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.