SOUTH BEND, Ind. - Fort Wayne starter Thomas Dorminy dazzled with seven shutout innings, and South Bend fell to the TinCaps, 2-0, in Saturday's middle game at Four Winds Field before 6,574 fans.
The Cubs (27-27 second half, 56-65 overall), who entered the series with Fort Wayne (36-18 second half, 68-54 overall) having won four consecutive series, have dropped the first two matchups in the three-game set. South Bend began the night 4.5 games behind West Michigan for second place in the Midwest League's Eastern Division. The top two teams in each division clinch playoff berths.
South Bend starter Jake Stinnett allowed two runs on three hits over 5.2 innings, striking out six and walking two. In his last five starts, Stinnett has racked up 30 strikeouts to just five walks.
Dorminy retired 13 consecutive batters into the seventh inning before Cubs second baseman David Bote reached on an error by TinCaps shortstop Ruddy Giron.
Cubs left-hander Jordan Minch added 1.1 hitless stanzas out of the bullpen, and righty Alexander Santana struck out the side in order in the eighth and faced the minimum three with another strikeout in the ninth.
South Bend right fielder Jeffrey Baez (2-for-4, two singles) notched another multi-hit effort.
The TinCaps struck in the top of the first. Center fielder Michael Gettys led off with a triple to center field and scored on a sacrifice fly by No. 2 hitter Luis Urias.
Cubs center fielder Rashad Crawford smacked a double to right-center to begin the home third, but he was gunned down trying to stretch his two-bagger into a triple.
In the fifth, TinCaps first baseman Trae Santos slapped an RBI single to left field to plate designated hitter Franchy Cordero and extend Fort Wayne's lead to 2-0. Stinnett, though, got a strikeout and a popout to strand runners at second and third and prevent further damage.
The Cubs loaded the bases with two outs in the home eighth, but South Bend shortstop Gleyber Torres struck out swinging.
Fort Wayne righty Colby Blueberg pitched a 1-2-3 ninth to earn the save.
South Bend and Fort Wayne finish their three-game series Sunday at 2:05 p.m. ET at Four Winds Field. Cubs right-hander Zach Hedges (3.73 ERA) is scheduled to oppose TinCaps righty Pete Kelich (1.80 ERA).
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.