BURLINGTON, Iowa – Marco Hernandez cracked a solo home run in the second inning as the Cougars shutout the Burlington Bees, 1-0, to even a three-game series Thursday night at Community Field.
Tyler DeLoach (5-3) started for the Bees (21-30, 47-69) and retired the first five batters he faced. With two outs in the second Hernandez smacked his third home run of the year to give the Cougars (19-32, 49-68) a 1-0 lead. DeLoach would finish after four innings allowing just two hits while striking out two.
That solo home run turned out to be all that the Cougars needed.
Tyler Skulina, the Cubs’ fourth-round pick in June, started and retired the first five batters he faced.
The righty worked three innings, allowed two hits and struck out four without issuing a walk.
Second-round draft pick Robb Zastryzny (1-0) followed with three shutout innings of his own.
The lefty walked two but allowed just two hits while striking out four.
Nathan Dorris relieved Zastryzny and found himself in trouble after walking two of the first three batters he faced in the seventh inning. Dorris would retire the next two hitters on a fly out and strike out to end the threat. Overall, the lefty went two hitless innings while striking out four.
Stephen Perakslis earned the save working an eventful ninth.
The first batter, Julio Concepcion, reached second on a throwing error from Hernandez. He moved to third on a fly ball to put the tying run at third. With the infield in, Matt Scioscia bounced a ball to third baseman Giuseppe Papaccio. Concepcion took off for the plate and was caught in a run down before being retired on a 5-2-6-1-5 fielder’s choice.
With Scioscia at second after the rundown, Perakslis struck out Chevy Clarke to end the game and earn his sixth save in six chances.
The Cougars close a three-game series with a rubber match at 6:30 p.m. tonight against the Burlington Bees at Community Field. Right-hander Felix Pena (4-4) will start for the Cougars against lefty Ryan Crowley (9-6).