SOUTH BEND, Ind. — The Cubs couldn’t crack Great Lakes starting pitcher Grant Holmes and fell to the Loons, 2-0, in the series opener Monday night at Four Winds Field.
Holmes stymied the Cubs (13-12) over six shutout innings in which he allowed just four hits — two through the first five frames. Holmes, the Dodgers’ first-round pick (22nd overall) this past summer, consistently pounded his hard fastball around the zone. Holmes ran his heater to 97 MPH to fan Gioskar Amaya to end the fourth inning.
Loons relievers Yeuri Gonzalez and Joe Broussard combined to shut out South Bend for the first time this season.
Great Lakes (11-11) grabbed a run in the top of the first inning, using a walk, a single, a hit batsman and an RBI groundout to take an early 1-0 advantage. The Loons plated another in the second on a two-out single up the middle by leadoff man Faustino Oguisten. Great Lakes added two more soft infield singles in the third, but Cubs starting pitcher Jake Stinnett struck out two and induced a groundout to strand the runners and escape danger.
Stinnett didn’t allow any further offense from the Loons. Of the seven hits he scattered in five innings of two-run ball, five were infield singles and another barely snuck through up the middle and underneath the mitt of a sliding Gleyber Torres. Stinnett punched out five and walked just one.
The Cubs did load the bases against Holmes in the sixth inning, as Chesny Young and Jason Vosler singled, and Cael Brockmeyer worked a free pass. But Holmes worked out of the jam with a pair of flyouts.
South Bend right-handed reliever Francisco Carrillo worked three innings and faced the minimum, utilizing a 4-6-3 double play in the sixth stanza to erase the lone baserunner he admitted.
The Cubs only scratched out five hits and had just one base-runner in the final three innings.
South Bend and Great Lakes return for the middle game Tuesday at 7:05 p.m. ET at Four Winds Field. Cubs right-hander Jeremy Null (2-0, 0.79 ERA) is in line to oppose Loons righty Trevor Oaks (2-1, 2.35 ERA).