Four Dayton pitchers combined to scatter eight hits over the first six innings and then retire the final 10 batters of the game as the Dragons edged the South Bend Cubs 2-1 on Wednesday night. The Dragons will try to complete a road series sweep of the Cubs on Thursday.
The Cubs stranded 10 runners over the first six innings and had men in scoring position in each of the six. South Bend was 2 for 11 on the night with men in scoring position before Dragons relievers Dauri Moreta and Ryan Nutof combined for the final three and one-third innings without allowing a base runner. Dragons pitchers have allowed just one earned run in 18 innings in the series.
The Dragons broke a scoreless tie in the top of the fifth inning. With two outs, Montrell Marshall walked on a 3-2 pitch and then scored from first on a double by Jose Garcia. Mitch Piatnik followed with a base hit to center field to drive in Garcia and make it 2-0. South Bend scored one run with two outs in the sixth inning to close out the scoring.
Dragons starting pitcher Tyler Mondile (2-5) worked out of trouble in every inning, tossing five scoreless frames. He allowed seven hits with one walk and three strikeouts to earn the win.
Moreta was dominant in a set-up role for the Dragons. He went two and one-third innings, retiring all seven batters he faced, with six strikeouts including the last five batters he faced. Nearly all of his strikeouts came on swinging strikes at breaking balls below the knees.
Nutof earned his second save with a perfect ninth inning, striking out the final hitter to close out the Dragons second straight win.
The Dragons finished with eight hits. Garcia was 2 for 4 with a double and an RBI.
The Dragons improved to 31-33 in the first half with four games to play. They can still finish with a winning record in the half by winning their final four, or reach the .500 mark with three wins. South Bend fell to 33-32.
Notes: The Dragons 3-2 win on Tuesday and their 2-1 victory on Wednesday marked the first two times all season that Dayton pitchers allowed less than three runs in a road game…The Dragons have committed just two errors over their last seven games…Mondile has allowed two runs or less in four of his last six starts.