South Bend, IN: The South Bend Cubs have hit a bit of a cold streak this week with their fourth loss in five games after falling 9-5 Wednesday in the series opener against the Lansing Lugnuts. Although they lead by three runs in the 3rd inning, the Lugnuts mounted a comeback and took game one.
The Cubs got off to a hot start in the top of the 1st inning with four consecutive baserunners against starter Eric Pardinho. Jake Slaughter and Andy Weber both picked up hits and scored on a line drive double by Nelson Maldonado. Nelson Velazquez also reached for the first of his four times total for the night.
Weber picked up doubles in each of his first two at-bats Wednesday and continues to see the ball well in Lansing. In the final game of their previous three game series at Cooley Law School Stadium in July, Weber had a five hit game. He knocked three more tonight.
South Bend starter Faustino Carrera was cruising through four innings. He struck out six Lugnuts over his first three innings and was just one short of tying his career high. In the 5th, Lansing started their third time around the order against Carrera. Starting with a Johnny Aiello solo home run to start the inning, Lansing plated four runs off of the southpaw to take a 5-3 lead.
The Lugnuts then scored two runs in each of the 6th and 7th innings to finish the 9-5 final. South Bend squeaked out two more runs as Slaughter and catcher Marcus Mastrobuoni drove in late inning RBI.
With the loss, the Cubs fall to 61-52 on the season, but are still just two games out of the Eastern Division lead since Bowling Green also lost tonight. However, Lansing gains a game in the wild card race as South Bend now holds a two game advantage over the Lugnuts.
This key series will continue tomorrow night at 7:05 PM. Right-hander Zach Mort will return to the South Bend pitching staff after starting on the opening day roster and then subsequently being sent to Eugene. The 2018 8th round pick of Chicago will get the start in game two.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.