Three Kane County pitchers combined for 13 strikeouts and a shutout of the visiting Burlington Bees in a much-needed 4-0 victory on Monday, pulling the Cougars within 2 games of Burlington for the second-half wild card with 7 games remaining.
Rudy Brown made the first start of his professional career and posted 3 scoreless innings while punching out six.
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Michael Antonio gave the Cougars (66-67, 32-31) the lead in the first when he cracked a two-out double to score Danny Mateo and Dean Espy.
Kellen Moen (4-10) helped keep the lead intact by tossing 4 innings while surrendering just 4 hits and fanning three.
In the seventh, Chris Elder doubled with one out against reliever David Mota and scored on a double off the bat of Tim Ferguson.
Jack Lopez added to the Cougars' cushion in the eighth by leading off with a single, stealing two bases and eventually scoring.
Andrew Triggs (save) did the rest of the work for the Cougars, recording the final six outs, including 4 more strikeouts.