South Bend, IN – In the opener of a three-game series on Friday night between the Quad Cities River Bandits and South Bend Cubs, it was a return to action for both sides from the All-Star Break. Quad Cities, who has played good baseball all season against the Cubs, continued
South Bend, IN – In the opener of a three-game series on Friday night between the Quad Cities River Bandits and South Bend Cubs, it was a return to action for both sides from the All-Star Break. Quad Cities, who has played good baseball all season against the Cubs, continued their strong play in South Bend with a 3-1 defeat.
The Cubs entered the weekend with a three-game lead in the Midwest League’s West Division over the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers. That lead will stretch again into Saturday, because Wisconsin lost to the Beloit Sky Carp tonight by a final of 10-9.
Despite the loss, South Bend put together some important moments on Friday, which included big right-hander Porter Hodge making his Midwest League debut. The Chicago Cubs Minor League Pitcher of the Month for April was just called up to High-A yesterday, and he did not disappoint.
Going against one of the Kansas City Royals top prospects, Jonathan Bowlan, it was quite the tale of the tape for the starting pitching match-up tonight. Bowlan impressed, but Hodge commanded the zone efficiently and fired 4.2 scoreless innings. With a pitcher’s duel taking place, the game was scoreless heading to the 7th inning.
The first man out of the bullpen for South Bend was lefty Riley Martin. Since returning from the Development List, Martin had been almost untouchable, going 5.2 innings in three combined appearances without a hit, run, or walk surrendered.
Quad Cities took advantage of opportunities in the top of the 7th, as a triple by Tyler Tolbert and an RBI sacrifice-fly from Kale Emshoff gave them a 2-0 lead.
The tally was quickly answered by South Bend after the 7th inning stretch when Pete Crow-Armstrong crushed his fifth home run with the South Bend Cubs deep over the right field wall. The solo-shot was preceded by a Fabian Pertuz base hit, but Pertuz was thrown out at second base trying to stretch his knock into a double.
For Pertuz, he picked up a two-hit ballgame. Also raking in two hits were Yohendrick Pinango, Pablo Aliendo, and BJ Murray. The River Bandits added a run of insurance in the bottom of the 8th with a solo homer from Diego Hernandez.
As the game went to the 9th, Quad Cities closer Kasey Kalich took the hill. The hard-throwing righty gave up a lead-off single to Aliendo, and then walked Murray. With two runners on and nobody out, the Cubs had the tying run on base, and the winning run at the plate.
Pertuz came up and laid down a successful sacrifice-bunt, putting runners at second and third. With PCA and Jordan Nwogu both due-up, Kalich shut the door and closed out the Quad Cities win.
South Bend will have the opportunity to tie the series on Saturday night when the two teams clash again at 7:05 PM. Right-hander Luis Devers is the expected starter for the Cubs.