Hot Start Not Enough as Cubs Fall to Loons 5-3
Midland, MI: The South Bend Cubs got off to a roaring start against the Great Lakes Loons with three runs in the top of the 1st inning to begin game three of their four game series on Monday. On a triple crushed to the right-center field gap by Nelson Maldonado, three runs scored and the club looked to be on their way to a series win.
The Loons ended up scoring the final five runs of the night to win 5-3. The Cubs capitalized off of shaky starting pitching as Great Lakes starter Jack Little did not record an out in the top of the 1st inning. He exited injured with the Loons Athletic Trainer Jesse Guffey with the bases loaded.
Robinson Ortiz allowed the bases clearing triple to Maldonado, but he settled in and cruised as the night went on. Ortiz tossed seven shutout innings and struck out eight batters to earn the win. To end the game, Loons pitching retired 16 consecutive Cubs.
South Bend starter Carlos Vega went the first 3.2 innings and allowed three runs. Lefty Brandon Hughes made his Midwest League pitching debut after spending the entire 2018 season with the Cubs as an outfielder. Hughes allowed two hits in the bottom of the 4th inning that changed the complexion of the game.
On a Chris Roller single and a Matt Cogen double, two runs were charged to Vega and two were for Hughes. The four run outburst made it a 5-3 Loons lead and that score held the rest of the night.
With the loss, the Cubs fall to 68-56 on the season and still possess a one game lead over Lansing for the wild card. South Bend is now two games back of Bowling Green for the Eastern Division lead. They will again have the opportunity to win the series tomorrow night from Dow Diamond at 7:05 PM. Lefty Faustino Carrera is the expected starter for the Cubs.
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