SOUTH BEND, Ind. – South Bend’s Yeiler Peguero scored from second base on a dropped fly ball with two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning to break a 2-2 tie and lift the Cubs to a 3-2 victory over the Dayton Dragons on Sunday afternoon. The Cubs swept the four-game series in South Bend.
The Dragons trailed 2-1 as they came to bat in the top of the eighth and had not collected a base hit since the first inning. Dayton’s Carlos Rivero reached on an infield single to start the inning and was forced a second on Michael Beltre’s fielder’s choice grounder. Beltre went to second on an error and eventually scored on a two-out double by Hector Vargas to tie the game.
But South Bend regained the lead in the bottom half of the inning. With two outs and a runner at second, Luis Ayala hit a fly ball to right field that was dropped by Beltre for an error, allowing the go-ahead run to score. The Dragons were retired in order in the ninth inning to end the game.
The Dragons scored in the top of the first inning on a solo home run by Vargas, his fifth homer of the year. It was the fourth straight time in the four-game series that the Dragons jumped out to the lead in the first or second inning.
But for the fourth straight date, South Bend battled back to get the lead. They answered quickly, with two runs in the bottom of the first inning.
Dragons starter pitcher Andrew Jordan pitched well. He worked five innings, allowing two runs (one earned) on four hits with one walk and four strikeouts. Carlos Machorro followed Jordan and tossed two perfect innings, striking out two. Jesse Adams (4-2) replaced Machorro and worked the eighth, allowing one hit and an earned run to take the loss.
The Dragons finished with just four hits. Vargas led the way with a home run, double, and both RBI.
Dayton’s Jose Siri was 0 for 4 as his 50-game on-base streak came to an end. It was the first time Siri did not reach base in a game since June 14.
Up Next: The Dragons (14-35, 55-64) return home to open a four-game series with the West Michigan Whitecaps (35-13, 80-35) on Monday at 7:00 p.m. The series marks the final regular season meetings between the Dragons and Whitecaps before the two teams meet in the first round of the Midwest League playoffs starting September 6 in Dayton. Matt Blandino (2-4, 5.98) will start for the Dragons against West Michigan’s Matt Manning (0-0, 21.60).
Manning was the Detroit Tigers first round draft pick in 2016 and the ninth overall pick in the draft out of Sheldon High School in Sacramento, California. He will be making just his second start with West Michigan. Manning was rated as the Tigers #1 prospect entering this season by Baseball America.