Mid-Season wins were hard to come by, as Tennessee and Peoria are on All-Star break. Boise has struggled to get their feet under themselves, while Iowa continues to sputter. Meanwhile, Daytona gears up for their second half. Plus, reports from the Dominican Summer League and the Arizona Rookie League … and Angel Guzman is moving on up the Cubs’ system.
All of this, and more in Thursday’s Down on the Farm Report. Short Season-A – Boise Hawks (2-3)
The Eugene Emeralds gave a little payback for a drubbing they received a day earlier, beating Boise on Sunday in a laugher, 8-1. Eugene pitching no-hit the Hawks for five innings … and did not allow a run until the sixth on single by Pin-Chieh Chen. Boise flashed their speed, as Wes Darvill forced a throwing error, stole second, and then scored on Chen’s single. Korean right-hander Jin-Yeong Kim was knocked around for three earned runs in four innings. Austin Reed and Dustin Fitzgerald didn’t fare much better, giving up five earned runs between them.
Wilengton Cruz had a great debut for Boise on Monday, striking out seven in four scoreless innings, but didn’t receive much help as the Hawks lost to Eugene 9-4. After Cruz’s performance, Santo Rodriguez and Hector Mayora allowed nine runs in 2.2 innings. Brad Zapenas was the hitting star, going 2-for-5 with two doubles. Reggie Golden was 2-for-4 with a triple and RBI, while Pin-Chieh Chen and Chad Noble joined Zapenas and Golden with multi-hit games.
The Hawks brought out their bats on Tuesday, as they closed out their series with Eugene with an 11-6 victory. Pin-Chieh Chen was the igniter, as the leadoff man was 4-for-5 with a triple, stolen base, and three RBI. Paul Hoilman started the scoring with a two-run home run, and was 2-for-3 with four RBI. Brad Zapenas and Wilson Contreras also enjoyed multi-hit nights.
Starter Luis Liria was dominant through three innings, and then came apart, allowing four earned runs in the fourth inning. Kyler Burke made his pitching debut and allowed two earned runs in his 1.2 innings, but got credit for the win. Fellow converted position player Charles Thomas struck out two in 1.2 scoreless innings, while Yilver Sanchez earned a save with 1.1 scoreless innings.
Low Class-A – Peoria Chiefs (33-37)
The Peoria Chiefs limped into the All-Star break with a seven game losing streak as they dropped a 9-1 game to Quad Cities on Sunday. The offense continued to struggle, with four hits for the third straight game. Matt Szczur collected two of the hits, and stole his 16th base. Starter Graham Hicks lasted only 2.1 innings, allowing five earned runs. Yohan Gonzalez was charged with two earned runs, while Larry Suarez gave up two unearned runs.
The West Division All-Stars, including six Peoria Chiefs, defeated the East Division 8-3 in the Midwest League All-Star Game Tuesday night. Elliot Soto was 1-for-2 with two RBI, while Micah Gibbs was also 1-for-1 with a run scored. Austin Kirk pitched a scoreless 0.2 innings.
High Class-A Daytona Cubs (47-23)
Daytona started the second half of the season with a 4-3 loss to Lakeland on Tuesday. The D-Cubs were leading 3-2 to start the ninth with All-Star Frank Batista on the mound. However, Batista allowed two earned runs to let the Flying Tigers squeak past Daytona. Spoiled was a six-inning, two-strikeout effort by Dae-Eun Rhee. Rhee allowed only an unearned run. Michael Burgess was 2-for-4 with a double, while Logan Watkins was 1-for-3 with an RBI.
The D-Cubs got back on the winning track with a 6-3 win over Lakeland on Wednesday. Building on his All-Star success, Justin Bour had a big night. Bour was 2-for-3 with a double and three RBI. Jae-Hoon Ha drove in two with his eighth homer, while Michael Burgess accounted for the other run with a triple.
Starter Jeffery Lorick allowed all three earned runs, but punched-out eight Flying Tigers in his six innings. Eduardo Figueroa and Jeffry Antigua held Lakeland scoreless the rest of the way, with Figueroa earning a hold.
Double-A – Tennessee Smokies (43-27)
Tennessee looked like they were in control on Sunday, leading 6-3 in the fifth inning. However, the Smokies got a taste of their own medicine, as Chattanooga scored eight runs off the bullpen as Tennessee skidded into the All-Star break with an 11-6 loss. Rafael Dolis was hung with the loss after giving up five earned runs in 0.2 innings. Ryan Flaherty and Steve Clevenger were each 3-for-5, with Flaherty delivering his 13th home run. Brett Jackson, batting third in the line-up, was 2-for-5 with his seventh homer.
The Northern Division All-Stars, including twelve Tennessee Smokies, defeated the Southern Division 6-3 in the Southern League All-Star Game Tuesday night. Matt Spencer was 1-for-2 with a run scored, while Blake Lalli was also 1-for-2 with a double and an RBI. Rafael Dolis pitched a scoreless 0.2 innings for a hold.
Triple-A – Iowa Cubs (31-42)
Iowa decided to put the disaster that was last week behind them, as they came from being down 5-3 to defeat Albuquerque 8-5 on Sunday. Bryan LaHair continues to be dominant, going 2-for-5 with three RBI and smacking his 19th home run. Bobby Scales had a 1-for-3 evening while cracking his eighth homer. Ty Wright was 2-for-3 with an RBI.
Fives were wild for starter Alberto Cabrera. In 5.2 innings, Cabrera allowed five earned runs while walking five and striking out five batters. Blake Parker came to the rescue, hurling three innings of scoreless baseball. John Gaub got the last two outs for his second save.
The I-Cubs couldn’t muster enough runs, even with nine hits, as they dropped the series finale to Albuquerque 4-3 on Monday. There was a Fernando Perez sighting, as he was 2-for-3 with a stolen base. Tyler Colvin and Marquez Smith joined Perez in having a multi-hit game. Starter Ramon Ortiz went deep into the ballgame again, allowing four runs (three earned) while striking out eight in seven innings.
Casey Coleman pitched Iowa to a 3-3 tie of Memphis on Tuesday, and then turned it over to the bullpen in the seventh inning. Esmailin Caridad was then torched for seven earned runs, and Jeff Stevens served up three more as the I-Cubs went down 13-3. Lost in the process was Scott Moore. Moore was a perfect 4-for-4 with an RBI.
On Wednesday, Iowa dropped the first game of a double-header 3-2 to Memphis in eight innings. Starter Austin Bibens-Dirkx allowed two earned runs while striking out three in 5.1 innings. Blake Parker suffered the loss after giving up an earned run in the eighth inning. Ty Wright led the offense with two hits, while Scott Moore drove in both runs.
Rookie – AZL Cubs (1-1)
The Arizona League began play on Monday, June 20. They defeated the AZL A’s on Tuesday night 8-5. Shortstop Kenny Socorro was 3-for-4 with a double and three RBI. Third Baseman Gioskar Amaya was 2-for-5. Right-hander Ramon Garcia pitched four innings of relief, allowing two earned runs as he was credited for the win. PJ Francescon threw two scoreless innings for the save.
Dominican Summer League
This week in the Dominican Summer League, the Cubs 1 team has a record of 8-10 and the Cubs 2 team is currently 10-9.
Outfielder Mayke Reyes remains the hitting leader for C-1 with a .320 average. Reyes also has four doubles, a home run, eleven RBI, and eleven stolen bases in twelve attempts. Outfielder Jeffrey Baez is hitting .267 with four doubles, a home run, ten RBI and ten stolen bases. Right-handed pitcher Alexander Santana continues to be the pitching leader at 2-0 with a 1.13 ERA, 0.88 WHIP, and ten strikeouts.
On Cubs 2, 3B Jeimer Candelario continues to lead in hitting with a .328 average, along with four doubles, a home run, thirteen RBI and an incredible eighteen walks. Shortstop Carlos Penalver is hitting .311 with four doubles and twelve RBI. Outfielder Delbis Garcia has joined the team leaders, batting .298 with six doubles, a triple, a home run, and twelve RBI. Left-handed pitcher Victor Garcia has been the most consistent on C-2, with a 1-0 record, a 3.18 ERA, and 1.18 WHIP, along with twenty strikeouts.
News and Notes
Right-handed pitcher Angel Guzman was assigned to Daytona from Peoria. Left-hander pitcher Cameron Greathouse and OF Kyung-Min Na were assigned to Boise from Peoria.
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