DAYTON, Ohio – All-star slugger Eloy Jimenez blasted a three-run home run and three South Bend pitchers combined on a four-hit shutout as the Cubs defeated the Dayton Dragons 5-0 on Saturday night. The season’s second largest crowd, 8,831, attended the game at Fifth Third Field.
South Bend starting pitcher Casey Bloomquist (5-3) earned the win as he worked the first seven innings, allowing three hits with one walk and seven strikeouts. A pair of Cubs relievers each worked a scoreless inning to close out the game.
The game was scoreless through five innings before the Cubs scored single runs in the sixth and seventh innings to build a 2-0 lead. In the eighth, Jimenez came to the plate with two men on base and one out and drilled a line drive over the left field fence that was clocked at 116 mph off the bat. It was Jimenez’s 10th home run of the season.
Dragons starting pitcher Jose Lopez (4-7) was a tough-luck loser. He worked seven innings, allowing two runs on four hits with two walks and four strikeouts.
The Dragons collected just four hits. James Vasquez had two of the four Dayton hits. Zack Shields and Mitch Trees each had a hit.
The Dragons (0-3, 21-52) and Cubs (3-0, 44-28) close out the series at Fifth Third Field on Sunday at 2:05 p.m. Tanner Rainey (2-5, 5.30) will start for the Dragons against South Bend’s Kyle Miller (2-1, 1.35).
The Dragons begin a four-game series in Fort Wayne, Indiana against the Fort Wayne TinCaps on Monday night at 7:05.