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Aliendo, Murray Mash Homers in Cubs 4-2 Win

South Bend wins their third game in a row and seventh straight at home
(Kayleigh Sedlacek)
August 31, 2022

SOUTH BEND, IN – On a night in which the Cubs had left-hander Wade Miley making a rehab start with South Bend, it was actually the 21-year-old Porter Hodge who shined brightest on the mound. Hodge entered in the fifth inning, making his first relief appearance with South Bend. However,

SOUTH BEND, IN – On a night in which the Cubs had left-hander Wade Miley making a rehab start with South Bend, it was actually the 21-year-old Porter Hodge who shined brightest on the mound. Hodge entered in the fifth inning, making his first relief appearance with South Bend. However, with the game tied and the top of the order coming up to start the inning, it must've felt as close to a start as you could have that late in a game.

Hodge, the Cubs 13 round pick from 2019, went the rest of the game and didn't allow a run, punching out six along the way while surrendering just three hits and one walk. He lowered his ERA to 1.78 in high-A and now his ERA at Four Winds Field is an incredible 0.46!

The Cubs plated two runs in their half of the fifth inning on a two-run blast by Pablo Aliendo, his seventh long ball of the season. The inning started with Christian Hernandez, who himself came in relief and went the final five innings, retiring the first two batters. But BJ Murray worked a walk and the Aliendo blasted one the opposite way just over the "360" sign in right field.

That's all the Cubs needed as they won their third straight game and seventh in a row at home, 4-2 over the Lugnuts.

Hodge never really encountered any danger down the stretch, in fact only once did a baserunner reach second base and it was with two outs in the sixth. Jared McDonald led off the ninth inning with a single and Hodge erased that in a hurry, deflecting a line shot from Sahid Valenzuela into the air off his calf, coming down with it and then throwing to first to double-up McDonald for the double play.

On a night in which the South Bend bats were stymied and limited to just four hits, they somehow scraped out a victory.

South Bend struck in the first inning as Luis Verdugo sent a shallow liner to right that Joshwan Wright easily got to but simply closed his glove too early and missed the baseball, allowing Murray to score all the way from first. Jacob Watters got the start for Lansing, his second pro appearance and first with a full-season affiliate. He allowed just the one earned run but walked three and didn't see the second inning.

Toeing the rubber for the Cubs for the second time in the second half, Miley looked strong early. The 35-year-old lefty retired the first four batters he faced and didn't really allow anything in the way of hard contact on the night. But in the second Alexander Campos and McDonald connected on back-to-back base hits to put runners at the corners with one out. Valenzuela tied it up with a grounder to Kevin Made at short and Cooper Bowman gave Lansing their first lead of the series with a two-out RBI single. Miley wound up allowing two runs in his 3.2 innings.

Meanwhile the Cubs first hit didn't come until the third inning. While Aliendo had South Bend's second hit, his homer in the fifth, their first hit was also a homer – a solo-shot to right from Murray to right field. Of the four hits for South Bend, two left the yard, plus a double from Made and a triple from Jordan Nwogu. They didn't hit one single.

South Bend maintained their six-game lead and now just 10 games remain in the 2022 season.