The final days of the minor league season are upon us, and Tennessee, behind a power surge from Javier Baez, has locked up a playoff spot in the Southern League. Daytona moved into the post-season in style after a combined No-Hitter on Tuesday locked up a division title. Boise moved into a first place tie with four games left to play, while the AZL Cubs are a game out of a playoff spot with one game left in the season.
Along with a recap from your Dominican Summer League division champions, take a look at what’s inside this version of the Down on the Farm Report.
Note: Monday’s report covers games from Wednesday to Saturday. Thursday’s report covers games Sunday through Tuesday.
Short-Season A – Boise Hawks (18-13) (39-30)
(L) Boise fell a game out of first place on Sunday after a bad inning led to a 6-5 loss to Hillsboro in ten innings. Starter Dillon Maples suffered four unearned runs in the second inning as he went five and struck out two batters. Corbin Hoffner continued his brilliant season by striking out three and allowing an earned run in three innings. Tyler Bremer went 1.2 innings and gave up the winning run. The Hawks took the lead in the second after Justin Marra walked and David Bote (2-for-5) singled. Marra scored on a double play. Boise tied the game in the fourth when Lance Rymel (2-for-3 with a RBI) drew a two-out walk. Jordan Hankins (2-for-3) singled, and walks to Shawon Dunston Jr. and Carlos Penalver (1-for-5 with a RBI) forced in Rymel. A double by Kevin Encarnacion (1-for-5 with two RBI) drove in both Hankins and Dunston. The Hawks moved ahead in the seventh when Bote doubled and scored on a single from Rymel.
(W) A seventh inning rally helped Boise secure a 4-3 victory over Hillsboro on Monday, and into a tie for first place. The Hawks waited out an hour and eight minute delay after the third inning to score their first run. Kevin Encarnacion (1-for-4 with a home run) led off the fourth with a solo home run. David Bote drew a one out walk to start the seventh and advanced to second on a passed ball. Lance Rymel was hit by a pitch and Carlos Penalver (2-for-2) walked to load the bases. A single by Shawon Dunston Jr. (1-for-5 with a RBI) drove in Bote, while Rymel and Penalver scored on a force attempt and throwing error.
Jose Rosario started and allowed three earned runs while striking out two in three innings before the delay. Jasvir Rakkar took over when play resumed and struck out six in three scoreless innings. Loiger Padron held the Hops without a run for two innings and fanned two. Eddie Orozco picked up his third save by working around a hit and striking out the side in the ninth.
Low Class-A – Kane County Cougars (22-40) (52–76)
(L) Kane County failed to provide offense for some decent pitching and lost 3-1 to Wisconsin on Sunday. Starling Peralta went 5.2 innings and allowed three runs (two earned) while striking out four batters. Al Yevoli went the rest of the way and recorded three strikeouts in 2.2 scoreless innings. The Cougars’ only run scored in the sixth inning. Gioskar Amaya (1-for-3) was hit by a pitch to start the frame. A wild pitch advanced him to second and Amaya scored on a double by Willson Contreras (2-for-4 with a RBI).
(L) The Cougars were not able to keep pace with Wisconsin on Monday, and Kane County lost 4-2. The Cougars took the lead in the second when Willson Contreras (3-for-4) and Marco Hernandez (2-for-4) singled. Oliver Zapata (2-for-4 with a RBI) singled in Contreras and Hernandez scored on a force out. James Pugliese did not pitch badly. Pugliese allowed three runs and struck out four batters in six innings. Andrew McKirahan tossed a scoreless inning, while Brian Smith gave up an earned run in the eighth.
(L) Tuesday not only was a matinee, but a bullpen day as Kane County lost 8-7 to Wisconsin. Nathan Dorris received his first start of the season and was lit up for six runs (two earned) in three innings. Justin Amlung pitched the next three innings and held the Timber Rattlers scoreless while striking out two batters. Matt Iannazzo was the victim of further Cougar errors, as he gave up an unearned run in an inning of work. Michael Hamann might have been stretched out too long. Hamann allowed the winning run after going 1.2 innings with a pair of strikeouts. Giuseppe Papaccio (2-for-5 with a RBI) started things off for the Cougars by reaching on a fielding error, moved to third on a double by Jeimer Candelario (2-for-5 with a home run), and scored on a single from Rock Shoulders. In the second, Reggie Golden (2-for-3 with a home run and two RBI) and Brad Zapenas (1-for-3 with a RBI) singled and Golden scored on an error. Zapenas scored on a single by Papaccio. Carlos Escobar (1-for-5) began the third with a single and scored after a double by Marco Hernandez (2-for-5) and a base hit from Jose Dore (2-for-4 with a RBI). As the game moved to the fifth inning, Dore doubled and trotted home when Reggie Golden went deep. The Cougars tied the game in the ninth when Candelario walloped his tenth home run.
High Class–A – Daytona Cubs (35-19-1) (70-50-1)
(W) Daytona moved their magic number to five as they crushed Tampa 11-2 on Sunday. It was all D-Cubs after one out walks to Pin-Chieh Chen and Dan Vogelbach (1-for-3 with a RBI) and Kris Bryant (2-for-4 with two RBI) was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Wes Darvill (2-for-5 with two RBI) singled in Chen. Ben Carhart (2-for-5 with two RBI) started the second inning with a single and advanced to second on a wild pitch. A groundout and a sacrifice fly plated Carhart. Daytona then put the game away in the third, when singles by Bryant, Anthony Giansanti (2-for-5 with a RBI), and Darvill started the inning. Bryant scored on the single by Giansanti and a double by Carhart plated both Giansanti and Darvill. A single from Yaniel Cabezas (2-for-5) put runners at the corners and a sacrifice fly scored Carhart. Zeke DeVoss walked. Dan Vogelbach singled in Cabezas. Kris Bryant delivered a two-run double that plated both DeVoss and Vogelbach. Daytona added two more runs in the fifth for good measure. Elliot Soto (1-for-3 with two RBI) singled and moved to second on a wild pitch. DeVoss was hit by a pitch, and Chen reached on a fielder’s choice that put runners on the corners. A walk to Vogelbach loaded the bases and Soto scored on a wild pitch. Giansanti drove in Chen to cap the scoring.
Ivan Pineyro was in top form. Pineyro struck out six batters while allowing an earned run in six innings. Yao-Lin Wang got the long save, his fourth of the year, as he also struck out six and gave up an earned run in three innings.
(W) Monday’s game was suspended due to rain and was picked up again on Tuesday … and the D-Cubs beat Dunedin 6-4. Pierce Johnson started and went three scoreless innings while striking out three batters. Lendy Castillo got into trouble and allowed an earned run in 0.2 innings. He was bailed out by Ben Wells, who picked up two strikeouts in 2.1 innings. Austin Reed then tossed two scoreless innings, but Jeffrey Lorick made things interesting by giving up three runs (two earned) in 0.1 innings. Frank Del Valle struck out the final two batters for his ninth save.
Daytona took the early lead after Wes Darvill (1-for-4) led off the third with a single and Chadd Krist (2-for-3 with a home run) walked. A groundout by Elliot Soto (2-for-4) put runners on first and third. Zeke DeVoss walked to load the bases. Pin-Chieh Chen (3-for-4 with two RBI) drove in both Krist and Soto. Dustin Geiger (2-for-4 with a home run and two RBI) blasted his 15th home run of the season in the sixth inning. Krist led off the seventh with a double, but was thrown out at home after Soto singled. Chen then drove in Soto with a base hit, and DeVoss scored on a single by Geiger. Chadd Krist added the punctuation mark in the eighth inning as he belted a solo home run.
(W) For the second time this season Daytona no-hit Dunedin and the D-Cubs posted a 1-0 victory in a game that was suspended on August 21. Ben Wells started the game and had a strikeout in an inning. Kyler Burke took the mound when the game resumed on Tuesday and held the Blue Jays hitless for five innings with four strikeouts. Zach Cates picked up his first save after striking out two in an inning of work. The lone run came in the third after Elliot Soto (1-for-3) doubled and scored on a single from Dustin Geiger (1-for-3, RBI). Soto also helped preserve the no-hitter by making a great play on a ground ball with one out in the seventh.
Double-A – Tennessee Smokies (38-26) (72-61)
(L) Tennessee’s magic number remained at two after they were shut out 2-0 by Mobile on Sunday. Nick Struck pitched good enough to post a win. Struck allowed two earned runs and struck out two in six innings. Yeiper Castillo tossed three scoreless innings. The Smokies were held to two hits. Javier Baez was 1-for-4 while Christian Villanueva went 1-for-3.
(W) A shut out is just what Tennessee needed to shake themselves out of their doldrums and secure a second half title. The Smokies beat Mobile 8-0 on Monday. Matt Loosen put together best effort for the Smokies as he struck out six in seven innings. Armando Rivero and Frank Batista each recorded a strikeout as they closed out the game.
Tennessee struck early after Matt Szczur (2-for-4), John Andreoli (1-for-2), and Javier Baez (2-for-3 with a home run and four RBI) all singled in the first inning. Szczur scored on Baez’s base knock and Andreoli scampered home on a sacrifice fly. The Smokes were able to grind out a run in the third after Szczur reached on an error, Andreoli walked and a wild pitch advanced both runners ninety feet. Szczur scored on a sacrifice fly. Back-to back doubles from Christian Villanueva (1-for-3 with a RBI) and Jonathan Mota (1-for-4 with a RBI) drove in a run in the sixth. Andreoli walked in the seventh, stole second, and scored on Javier Baez’s 18th home run of the season.
(W) A day after qualifying for the playoffs, Tennessee had to sweat things out a little but the Smokies held on and beat Mobile 4-2 on Tuesday. The Smokies ran up a 4-0 lead after Justin Bour (1-for-4) and Jonathan Mota (2-for-3) singled to start the second inning. Walks to John Andreoli and Rafael Lopez (1-for-2 with a RBI) scored Bour. Eric Jokisch then drew a walk to force in Mota. Andreoli scored on a groundout. Arismendy Alcantara (1-for-4 with a home run) clubbed his 15th home run.
Eric Jokisch put together his best outing since his no-hitter. Jokisch struck out two in six scoreless innings. A.J. Morris held the BayBears without a run for an inning, as did Hunter Cervenka. However, Tony Zych had trouble putting the game away in the ninth. Zych allowed two runs (one earned) in 0.1 innings. Frank Batista recorded the final two outs and collected his 18th save.
Triple-A – Iowa Cubs (63-75)
(L) It was pretty much over before the fans took their seats on Sunday as Iowa lost 11-5 to Memphis. Brooks Raley was manhandled for seven earned runs in two innings, while Jeffry Antigua gave up an earned run in four innings. Alberto Cabrera tossed a scoreless frame, and Marcos Mateo surrendered two runs (one earned) in one inning. Eduardo Sanchez also allowed an earned run in the ninth. Iowa tried to scratch their way back into the game in the fifth after Greg Rohan (2-for-4) reached on a one out single and scored after walks to Antigua, Julio Borbon, and Dave Sappelt (2-for-4 with a home run and three RBI). After another out, a walk to Edgar Gonzalez (1-for-4) forced in Antigua. In the seventh, Borbon walked and scored on a home run by Sappelt. The I-Cubs added a run in the eighth when Mike Olt (1-for-4) reached on an error and Tim Torres singled. A base hit by Rohan loaded the bases and Olt scored on a sacrifice fly.
(W) It is a rarity in baseball these days, especially in the minor leagues as Iowa received a complete game from their starter and beat Omaha 2-1 on Monday. Yoanner Negrin went the distance and struck out six while allowing only one run on one hit and a walk. Singles by Ty Wright (3-for-4 with a RBI), Dave Sappelt (1-for-4) and Edgar Gonzalez (1-for-4 with a RBI) scored a run in the third inning. Jae-Hoon Ha (2-for-4) singled and scored on a double from Wright in the fourth.
(W) Iowa held on tight and posted their second win in a row on Tuesday with a 7-6 victory over Omaha. Justin Grimm recorded two strikeouts and allowed two runs (one earned) in five innings. Chang-Yong Lim and Marcus Hatley each tossed a scoreless inning. Zac Rosscup was the victim of four unearned runs in 0.2 innings. Brian Schlitter put a halt to things as he struck out two over 1.1 innings and earned his 19th save.
The I-Cubs jumped out to a big lead after Ty Wright (1-for-4) singled to lead off the game and Dave Sappelt (2-for-4, RBI) walked. A one out single by Mike Olt (1-for-3 with a RBI) drove in Wright and Sappelt scored on a sacrifice fly. In the second inning, Julio Borbon (1-for-2) singled with one out, stole second and scored on a single by Dave Sappelt. Luis Flores (1-for-4 with a home run) smashed a solo home run in the third inning. Borbon started a three-run sixth with a one-out walk. Singles by Sappelt and Edgar Gonzalez (2-for-4 with a RBI) plated Borbon. After Gonzalez stole second, Edwin Maysonet (1-for-3 with three RBI) drove in both runners.
Rookie League – AZL Cubs (13-13) (26-28)
(L) The Cubs could not generate any offense on Sunday, and they lost 5-1 to the Reds. The Cubs were held to just four hits. Kevin Brown went 2-for-4 with a double and a home run. David Garner struck out four in three scoreless innings, while Tyler Ihrig went two scoreless frames to end the game. Josh Davis gave up five runs (four earned) in three innings.
(W) Rehabbing players gave the Cubs a lift in an 8-3 victory over the Mariners on Tuesday. Ryan Sweeney went 2-for-5 with a double while Luis Valbuena went 2-for-3 with a double and an RBI. Mark Malave (2-for-3) joined the two big leaguers by driving in two runs with two doubles. Kelvin Freeman (2-for-4) also drove in two runs. Eight pitchers saw action on Tuesday. Rafael Dolis started the game and tossed a perfect inning. Johermyn Chavez went two innings and picked up the win.
Dominican Summer League
The DSL Cubs qualified for the playoffs for the second consecutive season after they ended the season with a 50-21 record, good enough for first place in the Boca Chica South Division. Second baseman Dalfis Otiz lost the league batting crown by five percentage points with a .343 average that included one home run, 26 RBI, and 14 stolen bases. Outfielder Shamil Ubiera took the league RBI crown by driving in 56 runs to go along with a .301 average that included four home runs and 13 stolen bases. Third baseman Adonis Paula finished second in the league with 55 RBI, and hit .281 with three home runs. Outfielder Jenner Emeterio was in third in the DSL with 37 stolen bases and improved his average to .261 with a home run and 23 RBI. The Cubs moved to third in the DSL with a team ERA of 2.49. Jose Paulino improved to seventh in the league with 71 strikeouts, to go along with a 5-3 record, a 2.33 ERA, and a 1.02 WHIP in 58 innings. Jose Zapata failed to qualify for the league lead with a 0.80 WHIP, possibly due to his 56 innings pitched. Zapata posted a 1.93 ERA with a 4-0 record that included 48 strikeouts. The DSL Cubs will begin post-season play on August 29 against an undetermined opponent.
News and Notes
The Chicago Cubs assigned LHP Sheldon McDonald to the Daytona Cubs from the Kane County Cougars; assigned RHP Yao-Lin Wang to the AZL Cubs from the Daytona Cubs.
The Boise Hawks activated C Cael Brockmeyer from the 7-Day disabled list.