The South Bend Cubs overcame an early three-run deficit to defeat the Dayton Dragons 6-3 on Friday night. The Cubs have won the first two games of the four-game set that will continue through Sunday.
Dayton took the lead in the first inning and held a lead until South Bend tied the score at 3-3 in the seventh. The Cubs broke the tie with three runs in the eighth.
The Dragons got off to a quick start, scoring three runs on four hits in the top of the first inning. Michael Siani was hit by the first pitch of the game, and Juan Martinez followed with a hit to move Siani to third. Mariel Bautista singled to right-center field to drive in Siani and an error on the play allowed Martinez to go to third with Bautista advancing to second. Pabel Manzanero delivered a two-run single to bring in Martinez and Bautista and give the Dragons a 3-0 lead.
South Bend scored two runs in the fourth to pull within a run. They collected three doubles in the inning and had the tying run at second when Rafelin Lorenzo flied out to the fence in left to end the inning.
Meanwhile, the Dragons were not able to build on their hot start offensively. After collecting four hits in the first inning, the next 14 Dragons batters were retired. They ended the string with three straight singles in the sixth by Manzanero, Jay Schuyler, and Miguel Hernandez, but the threat ended on a base running mistake by Schuyler, who tried to advance from first to third on Hernandez’s single, but Manzanero was already at the bag. Schuyler was tagged out to end the rally.
The Cubs scored in the bottom of the seventh on a two-out run-scoring single by Cole Roederer to make it a 3-3 game. The scored three runs in the eighth, keyed by a pair of doubles, to take a 6-3 lead. The Dragons got a lead-off single from Manzanero in the top of the ninth but could not get the tying run to the plate.
Dragons starting pitcher Lyon Richardson worked the first four innings, allowing two runs on five hits with one walk and two strikeouts. Matt Pidich replaced Richardson to start the fifth and tossed two scoreless innings, allowing no hits with two walks and two strikeouts. Eddy Demurias entered the game to start the seventh and allowed the tying run to score, working two-thirds of an inning while surrendering one run on one hit with a walk. Jerry D’Andrea got the final out in the seventh before allowing three runs in the eighth on two hits and one walk. He struck out one.
Manzanero led the Dragons offensively, going 3 for 4 with two runs batted in. The Dragons did not have an extra base hit in the game.
Notes: The Dragons are 1-4 on the road trip…Dragons starting pitcher Jhon De Jesus is expected to be activated from the injured list to start on Monday vs. Lake County at Fifth Third Field. Alexis Diaz, who replaced De Jesus in the starting rotation, will return to the bullpen.
Up Next: The Dragons (13-26) meet the Cubs (22-16) in the third game of the four-game series on Saturday at 7:05 p.m. at Four Winds Field. Jared Solomon (0-2, 3.99) will start for Dayton against Riley Thompson (2-1, 1.86). The next home game for the Dragons is Monday, May 20 against the Lake County Captains.