South Bend (IN) -- The South Bend Cubs had some big time help from Chicago Cubs left-handed pitcher Mike Montgomery on their way to a 2-1 series finale win over the Great Lakes Loons on Wednesday night.
In his rehab start, Montgomery struck out four batters in two complete innings. The owner of the last pitch thrown in Game 7 of the 2016 World Series looked comfortable on his way back from a lat strain.
"I felt good," Montgomery said. "A little rusty. I hadn't thrown a ball in two days but it's fun to get back out there. I hadn't pitched in a game in about two weeks now and it's just get things right, get things feeling good and I think it was a good step. We just need to see how it recovers and move forward. I kind of like where I am at. Just need to see how I recover tomorrow and the next day and talk to those guys and see what the plan is."
Montgomery’s night was a huge help to the Cubs getting off to a good start. The tall, lanky lefty got some immediate run support on an RBI sac fly from Andy Weber in the bottom of the 1st inning. Montgomery struck out three batters in the 2nd inning to close his rehab appearance. In his postgame press conference, he said he feels ready to get back to the Big Leagues with the Chicago Cubs.
After Montgomery departed, Buddy Bailey gave way to his right handed piggyback starter Cam Sanders. Sanders shined with five shutout innings and four strikeouts. Through 15 innings pitched this year, Sanders has not given up a run.
Another RBI sac fly in the bottom of the 7th was enough to put away the Loons. A pop fly off the bat of D.J. Artis was flown to the right-center field gap. Drew Avans made the catch and Christopher Morel tagged from third base. Morel scored easily, but Avans’ throw sailed over the catcher Jair Camargo. Delvin Zinn and Rafael Narea advanced another 90-feet off of the throwing error.
In the top of the 9th, the Loons picked up one base runner, but Riley McCauley held on and shut the door. McCauley recorded his second save of 2019 and the Cubs celebrated the series win.
With the win, the Cubs are 7-6 on the year and over .500 in time to start a three-game road trip against the Lake County Captains. First pitch from Classic Park tomorrow night is set for 6:30 p.m.