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Cubs Take Step Closer to Playoffs with 13-4 Win over TinCaps

August 28, 2019 - Midwest League (MWL) - South Bend Cubs News Release

Fort Wayne, IN: After last night's rain out in Bowling Green, the South Bend Cubs came into their series opener against the Fort Wayne TinCaps on Wednesday night ready to take another step towards the Midwest League Playoffs. In a 13-4 win, the Cubs scored eight runs in the first two innings and now see their magic number drop to just two to clinch a playoff spot.

South Bend got off to a roaring start against Fort Wayne starting pitcher Cullen Dana. The lefty Dana allowed hits to Clayton Daniel and Chase Strumpf to start the game, then the bases were loaded because of a walk to Andy Weber. The Cubs struck with six runs in the 1st. Ironically, the Chicago Cubs did the same thing on the road against the New York Mets.

Also in the 1st, Nelson Velazquez picked up the first of his career high four hits when he drove in Weber and Jake Slaughter on a single. Velazquez had by far his best night in a Cubs uniform on Wednesday. He also picked up a career high five RBI.

On the mound, Cubs starter Zach Mort continued his solid work out of the rotation with five innings of one run baseball. The right-hander struck out two batters and earned his sixth Midwest League win.

The pitching situation for Fort Wayne was a different story. After the Cubs knocked Dana out of the game after just 0.2 innings, the first man out of the bullpen Jose Quezada made it through only 1.1 innings of his own. In total, the TinCaps had to use five separate pitchers, along with position player Kelvin Alarcon to record 27 outs.

Already up 9-4 in the 7th, the Cubs really broke the game open when Velazquez tripled home three runs on a sinking line drive towards left field. Michael Curry dove to try and make the catch, but the ball skipped past him all the way to the wall. Velazquez was into third base standing.

Out of the bullpen, Brendan King and Sean Barry combined for three scoreless innings of relief to close out the victory. The series opener win gives the Cubs a 73-59 record and a chance to win the series tomorrow night.

Tomorrow's game is also the first opportunity for South Bend to clinch a playoff position. The Eastern Division title is still up for grabs as Bowling Green lost tonight, but the Cubs can assure a spot in the postseason with a win tomorrow and a Lansing loss. Right-hander Riley Thompson will take the mound in one of the biggest games this year.

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