Cubs Down on the Farm Report – 05/01/14

The inclement weather that is effecting the entire country took its toll on the Cubs minor league teams this week, as Iowa lost two games due to the weather while Kane County had one of theirs postponed.

PrintIn the games that were played, both Iowa and Kane County maintained their first place leads due to the hot hitting of Jacob Hannemann and Lars Anderson. Daytona struggled to find consistency in three losses, while Tennessee beat a Cy Young winner thanks to Dustin Geiger and John Andreoli.

For all the highlights, have a look at today’s Down on the Farm.

Editor’s Note: Monday’s report covers games from Thursday to Sunday. Thursday’s report covers games Monday through Wednesday.

Low Class-A – Kane County Cougars (18-7)

Inclement weather deprived Kane County of one of their patented comebacks on Monday as the Cougars lost 1-0 to Cedar Rapids in six innings. Paul Blackburn pitched well enough to win. Blackburn struck out four batters while allowing an earned run in five innings. Justin Amlung had a strikeout and held the Kernels scoreless for an inning. Yasiel Balaguert (1-for-3), Jordan Hankins (1-for-2) and Trey Martin (1-for-2) were the only Cougars that collected hits.

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It was another tight game on Tuesday but this time Kane County came out on top as the Cougars beat Cedar Rapids 2-1. Tyler Skulina put together one of his best outings of the year. Skulina allowed an earned run and struck out two batters in five innings. Nathan Dorris continued to be a rock in middle relief. Dorris picked up his third victory as he struck out two in two scoreless innings. Manager Mark Johnson reached for Zack Godley early and the closer responded by recording five strikeouts in the last two innings to earn his fifth save.

Despite getting 11 hits, the Cougars did not score until the sixth inning. Jacob Hannemann (3-for-4 with a double, a triple and a RBI) led off with a triple and scored on a ground out. Kane County edged ahead in the seventh after Danny Lockhart (0-for-3) led off with a walk. A ground out and a single by Trey Martin (1-for-3 with a stolen base) moved Lockhart to third. Hannemann singled in Lockhart with the Cougars’ second run.

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High Class–A – Daytona Cubs (9-17)

It was swing-from-the-heels night on Monday in Lakeland but Daytona came out on the short end of an 11-10 game. The D-Cubs took the lead in the first inning after Albert Almora (2-for-5) reached with a two out single and was doubled home by Bijan Rademacher (3-for-5 with a double and a RBI). Down 5-1 in the third, Almora and Rademacher started the rally again with one out singles. Dan Vogelbach (1-for-4) loaded the bases with hit of his own. One out later, Jeimer Candelario (2-for-4 with a double, a home run and six RBI) delivered a Grand Slam to draw Daytona even. The D-Cubs would take the lead after Rock Shoulders (1-for-3 with a double) doubled and scored on a single by Marco Hernandez (2-for-5 with two RBI). But that lead was short-lived as Daytona found themselves behind 11-6 in the sixth inning when Shoulders led off with a walk. A force-out put Hernandez on at first, and a groundout advanced him to second. Gioskar Amaya (1-for-5 with a RBI) singled in Hernandez. In the seventh, Rademacher laid down a bunt single and walks to Vogelbach and Chadd Krist (0-for-3) loaded the bases. Candelario doubled in Rademacher and Vogelbach. Krist scored on a groundout. It wasn’t a red-letter day for starter Rob Zastryzny as he allowed eight earned runs and struck out four in four innings. Steve Perakslis fanned the flames by giving up three earned runs while striking out three batters. Arodys Vizcaino and Andrew McKirahan each tossed a scoreless inning.

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It was a miserable night for the offense on Tuesday as Daytona was two-hit by Lakeland and lost 7-0. Only Dan Vogelbach (1-for-3) and Marco Hernandez (1-for-3) were able to solve the Flying Tigers’ pitching staff. Nobody on the D-Cubs’ pitching staff fared well as starter Ben Wells lasted only two innings and allowed three earned runs while striking out three batters. Starling Peralta tossed the middle three innings and recorded two strikeouts while giving up three runs. Zach Cates went the rest of the way as he struck out three and let in an earned run in three innings.

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The nightmare that is the current road trip for Daytona continued on Wednesday morning as they were pummeled by Lakeland 11-2. Yao-Lin Wang was on the hill for the D-Cubs, who didn’t seem prepared. Daytona committed three errors that led to three unearned runs. Wang tossed five innings and allowed nine runs (six earned) while striking out three batters. Andrew McKirahan followed and recorded a strikeout, but gave up an earned run in two innings. Austin Reed pitched the last inning and surrendered an earned run with two strikeouts. Daytona scored two consolation runs in the top of the ninth after Pin-Chieh Chen (1-for-2) singled, took second on defensive indifference, and scored on a double by Dan Vogelbach (3-for-4 with a double and a RBI). Jeimer Candelario (1-for-3) followed with a single and a base hit from Rock Shoulders (1-for-4 with a RBI) plated Vogelbach.

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Double-A – Tennessee Smokies (13-13)

There was a strong feeling of déjà vu when Tennessee trailed 1-0 after five innings. But the Smokies rallied and the pitching held as Tennessee defeated Huntsville 4-1 on Monday. All the runs for Tennessee scored in the sixth inning after Charles Cutler (1-for-5) was hit by a pitch to lead things off. John Andreoli (2-for-3) followed with a single, and both Cutler and Andreoli scored on a base hit by Zeke DeVoss (1-for-4) and an error. A double from Kris Bryant (1-for-4 with a double and a RBI) plated DeVoss, but Bryant would be wiped out on a fielder’s choice that allowed Dustin Geiger (1-for-4) to reach. Rafael Lopez (2-for-3 with a double and a RBI) doubled in Geiger.

Southern League Pitcher-of-the-Week Corey Black had another sterling effort as he struck out five and allowed an earned run in six innings. Beleaguered pitchers Jeffrey Lorick and Tony Zych held the Stars the rest of the way. Lorick pitched two perfect innings and Zych earned his first save with a scoreless ninth.

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For the second time this season the Smokies came out on the right end of a game in which they faced a Major Leaguer on a rehab assignment as Tennessee beat Chattanooga 4-3 on Wednesday. Tennessee faced two-time Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw, and the Smokies were able to plate a couple of runs off the Dodgers’ lefty. John Andreoli (2-for-4 with a double, a triple and two stolen bases) led off the game with a walk. Andreoli stole both second and third base. Two outs later, Dustin Geiger (2-for-2 with a double and two RBI) doubled in Andreoli. It was the top of the order again in the fifth inning as Andreoli doubled and Jae-Hoon Ha (2-for-4 with a double and a RBI) singled. Geiger ripped a base hit that plated Andreoli and tied the game. The Smokies pulled ahead in the seventh after Andreoli tripled and scored on a sacrifice fly. Rafael Lopez (1-for-4 with a home run) added a solo home run to provide the winning margin.

Ivan Pineyro was able to match Kershaw fairly well. Pineyro allowed three earned runs and struck out six in 5.2 innings. Ryan Searle was able to hold the Lookouts for 1.1 innings to pick up the victory. Hunter Cervenka had a strikeout in a perfect inning while Armando Rivero worked around a hit to collect his fifth save.

Dustin Geiger went 2-for-2 with a double, a walk and two RBI against Kershaw. Clayton Kershaw allowed two runs, one earned, on six hits with two walks. Kershaw threw 86 pitches, 57 strikes, over five innings.

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Triple-A – Iowa Cubs (14-9)

After taking the lead in the bottom of the first on Monday, Iowa never looked back as they defeated Omaha 6-3. Singles by Chris Coghlan (2-for-3 with a stolen base) and Arismendy Alcantara (1-for-4 with a stolen base) set the table for Javier Baez (1-for-3 with a home run and three RBI), who belted his third home run of the season. The I-Cubs added single runs in the fourth, fifth, and seventh innings. Lars Anderson (2-for-3 with a double, a home run, two RBI) added to the total in the fourth with a solo home run. It was Anderson again in the fifth as he doubled in Christian Villanueva (1-for-4). Logan Watkins (0-for-4 with a stolen base) reached on an error, stole second base, moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on a single by Luis Flores (2-for-4 with a double and a RBI).

Eric Jokisch posted his fourth quality start of the season. Jokisch allowed two earned runs and struck out eight batters in 6.1 innings. Alberto Cabrera gave up an earned run in 1.2 innings, while Blake Parker struck out the side in the ninth for his third save.

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News and Notes

The Iowa Cubs activated INF Edgar Gonzalez from the 7-day disabled list.

The Tennessee Smokies placed RHP C.J. Edwards on the 7-day disabled list retroactive to April 25. LHP Austin Kirk was activated from the 7-day DL.

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Quote of the Day

"Don’t ever permit the pressure to exceed the pleasure." - Joe Maddon