SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- For the second straight night, the Kane County Cougars scored first only to watch the South Bend Silver Hawks cruise to a victory, this time 6-1 at Coveleski Regional Stadium.
After the first two Cougars (34-51, 4-15) reached base, two fielder's choice outs and a strikeout kept the Cougars from scoring early on against right-hander Jesse Darrah (9-5).
In the third, Albert Almora doubled with two out and scored on a single to center off the bat of Dan Vogelbach.
Brian Smith (2-4) didn't keep the lead as the Silver Hawks (57-33, 13-8) came right back to go on top in the bottom of the third.
Smith surrendered another pair in the bottom of the fourth. Carter Bell singled and shifted to second on a knock from Pedro Ruiz. Velasquez reached first on a fielder's choice to force out Ruiz, pushing Bell to third while Fidel Pena knocked home both runners with a single to make it a 5-1 contest.
Darrah only worked five frames while scattering seven hits. Four relievers were used out of the South Bend bullpen as the unit only gave up one hit and retired the final 10 batters in the contest. South Bend tacked on a run in the bottom of the seventh with Alex Glenn singling home Socrates Brito against Lendy Castillo.
The Cougars and Silver Hawks play the finale of their three-game set on Friday night from Coveleski Regional Stadium at 6:35 central time. Right-hander Jose Rosario (0-5) starts for the Cougars against fellow righty Kyle Winkler (1-2). The Cougars return to Fifth Third Bank Ballpark on Wednesday, July 17, at 6:30 p.m. to take on the Great Lakes Loons. For tickets, please call (630) 232-8811 or visit www.kccougars.com.