Once again, pitching was in the spotlight for the Cubs’ minor league teams with excellent performances from Adbert Alzolay in South Bend to Ryan Williams for Iowa. Erick Leal and Tommy Thorpe had good outings for Myrtle Beach and Corey Black seems back in the groove for Tennessee.
Come inside today’s Down on the Farm Report for all of the high and tight coverage.
Low Class-A – South Bend Cubs (17-11)
It was dominance by South Bend on Friday as they beat Beloit 6-1. Adbert Alzolay continues to shine for the SB Cubs, hurling five scoreless innings and striking out two batters. Kyle Miller relieved and fanned four as he allowed an earned run in 2.1 innings. James Norwood finished things off with four strikeouts in the final 1.2 innings.
Jesse Hodges (2-for-3) led off the third inning with a single followed by a double from Bryant Flete (2-for-3 with a double and an RBI). A sacrifice fly and a base hit by P.J. Higgins (2-for-4 with a double and three RBI) scored the runners. It was the same combination in the seventh as Flete drove in Matt Rose (0-for-3) with a single and double by Higgins brought in Hodges and Andrew Ely (0-for-2 with an RBI).
South Bend matched three runs by Beloit in the sixth inning with three of their own as the Cubs prevailed 6-3 on Saturday. One out singles by Donnie Dewees (2-for-4 with an RBI), Eloy Jimenez (2-for-4), and Eddy Julio Martinez (1-for-3 with an RBI) brought in Dewees, and a two out base hit from Tyler Alamo (3-for-4 with four RBI) scored Jimenez and Martinez. South Bend loaded the bases in the eighth on walks to Martinez and Jesse Hodges (0-for-3), and a single by Ian Rice (1-for-3). Alamo once again stepped forward and delivered a two-run base knock.
Starter Preston Morrison had some trouble, but not all of it was his doing as he was charged with three runs (one earned) and struck out two in 5.1 innings. Greyfer Eregua was used in a new role and got on track. Eregua had four strikeouts in 1.2 innings. Scott Effross and three strikeouts and Craig Brooks two along with the save as they each pitched an inning.
High Class–A – Myrtle Beach Pelicans (15-14)
A rainout on Friday meant a doubleheader on Saturday as Myrtle Beach shut out Wilmington 4-0 in game one. The Pelicans got singles from Shawon Dunston Jr. (1-for-4), Danny Lockhart (3-for-3 with a double, a triple and a stolen base), and Charcer Burks (1-for-2 with an RBI) in the fourth inning. Dunston and Lockhart scored. A base hit by Cael Brockmeyer (1-for-2 with an RBI) drove in Lockhart in the sixth, and Rashad Crawford (0-for-3) came home on a sacrifice fly in the seventh.
Erick Leal was uncharacteristic as he had more fly outs than ground outs and struck out four in 5.1 innings. David Berg had three strikeouts in 1.2 innings for his fourth save.
In game two, the Pelicans’ bats went silent as they lost to Wilmington 2-0. Myrtle Beach managed only three hits as Ian Happ went 1-for-3 while Jason Vosler and Gioskar Amaya were each 1-for-2. Lefty Tommy Thorpe pitched well as he struck out seven and allowed two earned runs in five innings. Daury Torrez pitched a scoreless inning.
Some ninth inning heroics tied the game for Myrtle Beach on Sunday, but they could not seal the deal as they lost to Wilmington 6-5 in 11 innings. Charcer Burks (0-for-5) drew a one out walk in the ninth and a home run from Gleyber Torres (3-for-5 with a home run and two RBI) tied the game at five. Torres started the scoring in the sixth when he led off with a base hit and came in on a sacrifice fly. Torres also walked and scored on a single by Yasiel Balaguert (1-for-6 with an RBI) in the eighth, with Ian Happ (3-for-5 with a double and a stolen base) also crossing home on a ground out.
After a good outing, Jake Stinnett reverted back to previous form as he allowed four earned runs in five innings. Ryan McNeil had two strikeouts in a scoreless inning, but Jose Rosario gave up an earned run in two innings. James Farris struck out three in two innings, but Jordan Minch could not overcome a throwing error by Torres that led to the game winning run.
Double-A – Tennessee Smokies (15-15)
The losing streak extended to three games on Friday as Tennessee booted away a 6-3 loss to Mississippi. Paul Blackburn was touched for three runs, but all were unearned as he struck out four in seven innings. David Garner gave up an earned run and had two strikeouts, while Josh Conway allowed two earned runs in an inning.
The Smokies grabbed the early lead after Jeimer Candelario (1-for-4 with a double) and Mark Zagunis (2-for-4 with a double and an RBI) had back-to-back two out doubles, with a Victor Caratini (2-for-3 with an RBI) RBI single in the first. A base hit by Jacob Hannemann (2-for-3 with an RBI and a stolen base) drove in Bijan Rademacher (0-for-2) in the second inning.
A four-run sixth inning propelled the Smokies to a 5-3 victory on Saturday, ending their losing streak. Jeimer Candelario (1-for-4 with a double) led off the sixth with a double and Mark Zagunis (0-for-3) was hit by a pitch, with a one out double from David Freitas (1-for-3 with a double and two RBI) driving in both runners. A home run from Kelly Dugan (1-for-3 with a home run and two RBI) accounted for the other two runs.
Tyler Skulina was the beneficiary of the outburst as he allowed three runs (two earned) and struck out four in 5.1 innings. Starling Peralta got out the only two batters he faced, and Michael Jensen pitched two scoreless innings. Corey Black had a strikeout in a perfect ninth for his third save.
The Smokies’ pitching staff was able to hold Mississippi in check as they shut out the Braves 2-0 on Sunday. Brad Markey scattered six hits and struck out three in five innings. Juan Paniagua also had three strikeouts in two innings, while Gerardo Concepcion fanned two in an inning. Corey Black picked up his fourth save with another perfect ninth inning.
Tennessee made two runs stand after Mark Zagunis (1-for-4) singled and scored on a sacrifice fly in the first inning. Jeimer Candelario (2-for-4 with a double) led off the sixth with a double and came home on a base hit from Anthony Giansanti (2-for-3 with an RBI).
Triple-A – Iowa Cubs (14-14)
Iowa pounded out 19 hits and welcomed veteran Shane Victorino on Friday in a 13-7 win over Omaha. The game was highlighted by a seven-run sixth inning which Arismendy Alcantara (3-for-5 with a triple and a stolen base) led off with a triple and scored on a single by Kris Negron (3-for-4 with a home run and three RBI). A double by Victorino (1-for-4 with an RBI) and a base hit from Albert Almora Jr. (1-for-6 with an RBI) drove in runs, and a home run by Willson Contreras (2-for-5 with a home run and two RBI) brought in two more. Singles from Taylor Davis (2-for-4), Alcantara, and Negron tallied the final run of the inning.
Starter Drew Rucinski owed his offense a dinner as he allowed six earned runs in 5.1 innings. Miguel Mejia gave up another earned run in 1.1 innings. Carl Edwards Jr. and C.J. Riefenhauser each had two strikeouts as they finished up the Storm Chasers.
Another bullpen day on Saturday almost paid off as a late rally by Iowa fell short in a 5-4 loss to Omaha. Michael Wagner got the starting call and struck out four while allowing two earned runs in three innings. Jean Machi equaled Wagner’s four strikeouts as he tossed three scoreless innings. Giovanni Soto gave up two earned runs, and Brandon Gomes one as each pitched an inning.
A Juan Perez (3-for-3 with a double and an RBI) single scored Arismendy Alcantara (0-for-3 with a stolen base) in the fifth, with Perez doubling home Logan Watkins (3-for-4) in the ninth. Both Watkins and Perez came around on a double by Munenori Kawasaki (1-for-3 with a double, three RBI, and a stolen base) in the seventh inning.
On Sunday, Iowa evened their record for the first time but not without some concerns as they beat Omaha 6-5. Ryan Williams pitched another gem, allowing two earned runs and striking out five in eight innings. However, Felix Pena made things interesting as he gave up three earned runs in the ninth inning.
Dan Vogelbach (1-for-4) and Taylor Davis (1-for-3) singled to lead off the second, with a two out double from Munenori Kawasaki (1-for-3 with a double and an RBI) scoring Vogelbach and a singled by Kris Negron (2-for-3 with three RBI) bringing in Davis and Kawasaki. Arismendy Alcantara (1-for-4 with a home run) hit a solo shot in the fourth and Willson Contreras (2-for-3 with a double and an RBI) drove in Albert Almora Jr. (2-for-5) in the fifth with a double. Juan Perez (1-for-4 with a stolen base) singled and scored on a sacrifice fly in the sixth inning.
News and Notes
The Chicago Cubs optioned RHP Spencer Patton to the Iowa Cubs; assigned OF Shane Victorino and RHP Michael Wagner to the Iowa Cubs; assigned C Erick Castillo to the Myrtle Beach Pelicans from the South Bend Cubs.
The Iowa Cubs placed C/INF Ben Carhart on the 7-day disabled list. The South Bend Cubs activated C Ian Rice from 7-day disabled list.