South Bend, IN: For the first time in almost a month, the South Bend Cubs have lost a series to an opposing club. Five straight series wins against West Michigan, Great Lakes, Lake County, Fort Wayne, and West Michigan again have come to an end after a 2-1 loss to the Dayton Dragons on Wednesday night.
Sending left hander Ricky Tyler Thomas to the mound, the Cubs hoped to tie the series after losing 3-2 last night. Thomas got off to a roaring start in his second appearance off of the disabled list. Working the first four innings scoreless, Thomas ran into trouble in the top of the 5th.
A two out walk got the rally started for Dayton in the 5th. After striking out the first two batters, and with his pitch count rising, Thomas walked Montrell Marshall. The next batter, Jose Garcia, then lined a ball down the left field line into the corner. Marshall came in to score and the Dragons took the 1-0 lead.
After the double, Thomas was pulled in favor of right hander Brendan King. King came in with the runner Garcia in scoring position. On the first batter he faced, Mitch Piatnik singled into center to bring home Garcia. The run was charged to Thomas. It was a 2-0 Dayton lead after five innings played.
South Bend did not capitalize on their opportunities on Wednesday night. Leaving 10 runners on base, and going just 2-11 with runners in scoring position, the Cubs plated their only run of the game in the bottom half of the 6th inning.
On two walks, Christian Donahue and Chris Singleton both reached. After a balk was called to bring Donahue to third base, Roberto Caro drove in his 14th RBI of the season on a single. The RBI hit made it a 2-1 Dayton lead. Still with two runners on, and one in scoring position, Jhonny Bethencourt struck out against new reliever Dauri Moreta to end the inning.
Moreta went on to strike out six Cubs in just 2.1 innings pitched. The opportunity in the 6th would be South Bend's final solid chance of the night.
With the loss, the Cubs drop their record to 33-32 on the season. They will have the chance to salvage the final game of the three game set when they take on the Dragons tomorrow night from Four Winds Field at 7:05 p.m.
The pitching matchup is slated to be a good one, as the number two overall selection in last year's MLB Draft Hunter Greene will start for Dayton. Right hander Erich Uelmen will take the hill for South Bend in search of his fifth win of the season.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.