Stinnett Stars in South Bend's 5-4 Win
DAYTON, Ohio - South Bend starter Jake Stinnett shined over six strong innings, and the Cubs scored two runs in the ninth after blowing a lead in the eighth to topple Dayton, 5-4, on Saturday night at Fifth Third Field.
The Cubs (17-19 second half, 46-57 overall) scored the first-inning trifecta on four hits, but the Dragons (17-19 second half, 56-50 overall) tallied four runs, including two in the eighth, to grab a 4-3 lead. South Bend, however, nabbed two runs in the ninth to vault back ahead and even the three-game series at a game apiece. The Cubs snapped a five-game losing skid.
South Bend had been 0-46 this season when trailing after eight innings, one of just two teams in the Midwest League without such a victory.
Trailing 4-3 with the bases loaded and one out in the top of the ninth, Cubs shortstop Gleyber Torres bounced a potential double-play ball to second. Cubs right fielder Jeffrey Baez slid into second to disrupt the relay throw, which missed the mark at first and allowed a pair of runs to trot home, pushing South Bend ahead.
Cubs right-hander Corbin Hoffner recorded the final out in the ninth.
Stinnett allowed two runs in six innings, surrendering five hits but no walks to go along with five strikeouts. The righty, Chicago's second-round draft pick in 2014, hasn't issued a free pass in consecutive starts, totaling 12.2 innings. Stinnett used double plays in the second and sixth stanzas to extend his night.
Dayton starter Tyler Mahle turned in five scoreless innings after allowing the three runs in the first. The right-hander struck out eight Cubs, including the final three batters he faced to close the sixth.
Baez (4-for-5, four singles, one run, one stolen base) set tone atop the order and made a terrific leaping catch against the right-field wall to end the fourth inning.
Torres slapped an RBI triple to the right-field corner to score Baez, who began the top of the first with a single through the right side, and hand the Cubs an early 1-0 lead. Three batters later, Cubs third baseman Jesse Hodges rapped an RBI double down the left-field line to make it 2-0. Hodges then scored on an RBI single by first baseman Gioskar Amaya.
The Dragons nabbed one back in the home half of the first on a sacrifice fly by right fielder Aristides Aquino, who pulled Dayton within two, 3-1.
In the third, Aquino cracked an RBI infield single to cut the deficit to 3-2.
After Dayton second baseman Cory Thompson reached on an error with one out in the bottom of the eighth, center fielder Narciso Crook pulled a two-run shot to left field to lift the Dragons ahead, 4-3.
South Bend struck three singles to load the bases in the top of the ninth for Torres.
South Bend and Dayton wrap up their three-game series Sunday at 2:00 p.m. ET at Fifth Third Field. Cubs right-hander Zach Hedges (4.00 ERA) gets the ball opposite Dragons righty Wyatt Strahan (2.87 ERA).
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