By completing a four game series sweep over the Dayton Dragons with a 4-2 victory on Thursday night, the South Bend Silver Hawks have opened up a three game lead for the wild card spot with 10 games remaining in the regular season.
The sweep for South Bend was their third of the season, and their first of a four game set. South Bend also swept three game series from Cedar Rapids in early May and Quad Cities in late July, both at Coveleski Stadium.
Keny Sosa (WP, 1-3) had not received much support in his first five starts, going 0-3 with a strong 2.70 ERA. On Thursday night, Sosa finally earned his first win in a South Bend uniform, tossing 7.2 innings and allowing only two unearned runs to the Dragons.
Trailing 1-0, South Bend scored all the runs they would need in the bottom of the fifth. With one out, A.J. Pollock singled and moved to third on a double by Victor Estevez. Rossmel Perez brought both runners home with a single to right, putting South Bend in front 2-1.
After a walk and a hit batter loaded the bases, Alfredo Marte bounced a ball to the second baseman. Cody Puckett misplayed it for an error, allowing two more runs to score and giving South Bend a 4-1 lead. Alfredo Marte was credited with his team leading 64th RBI on the play.
Both of Dayton's runs came on errors, as the South Bend defense committed three of them on the night. Puckett had a sacrifice fly in the second inning as Dayton's lone RBI.
The Dragons did threaten in the eighth, scoring once and putting the tying run on base. With runners at first and third with two outs, Bayron Zepeda (ND) entered the game from the bullpen and got Carlos Mendez to bounce into a fielder's choice, ending the threat.
Victor Capellan (SV, 2) struck out the side in the ninth, despite allowing a double and a walk to make things interesting.
* Clayton Conner singled twice in the game after doubling twice the previous game, raising his slugging average with the Hawks to an even.400.
* Pollock collected three hits for the second time this season
* Capellan has allowed exactly one earned run in each month that he has played with the Silver Hawks
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