The final month of the minor league season started out on a good note for couple of the Cubs’ affiliates and many of the prospects in the system.
C.J. Edwards returned to the Smokies rotation while the newest additions to the system, Victor Caratini and Jonathan Martinez had good debuts with the Cougars and helped their new team win a game.
Pierce Johnson took a no-hitter into the sixth inning Sunday before it was broken up by the Reds top pitching prospect, Robert Stephenson. And speaking of pitching, Justin Steele and Carson Sands continue to put together impressive outings in Arizona.
And Kris Bryant, Javier Baez, Jorge Soler, Josh Vitters and Addison Russell hit home run after home run over the weekend.
While the D-Cubs struggled with scoring runs and collecting hits, the Kane County Cougars recorded win No. 70 on the season Sunday afternoon.
Editor’s Note: Monday’s report will cover games from Thursday to Sunday. Thursday’s report covers games Monday through Wednesday. Late Games by the Boise Hawks and the AZL Cubs will be carried on the following report.
Short Season-A – Boise Hawks (28–23)
Boise called on some “Memorial Stadium Magic” Wednesday to cap an eight run comeback to defeat Vancouver 8-7. Starter Trevor Graham had a rough outing as he allowed four runs (two earned) and struck out four in four innings. Brad Markey did not fare much better as he gave up three earned runs with a strikeout in three innings. Trey Lang continued his impressive season by striking out five in two perfect innings for his first victory.
The Hawks were behind 7-0 in the bottom of the sixth when Mark Zagunis (1-for-4), David Bote (1-for-4) and Jesse Hodges (3-for-5 with a double) singled. Zagunis scored on a sacrifice fly. Boise had a big seventh inning after Bryant Flete (2-for-2 with a double and an RBI) doubled and scored on a double from Charcer Burks (1-for-5 with a double and an RBI). A single by Danny Lockhart (1-for-5 with an RBI) plated Burks and Zagunis walked. A two out base hit from Danny Canela (2-for-2 with two RBI) scored Lockhart and Zagunis. Rashad Crawford (1-for-3) singled and Alex Tomasovich (0-for-3) was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Flete collected his second hit of the inning to drive in Canela and Crawford. That set up a crazy bottom of the ninth. Hodges singled, went to second on a wild pitch, and scored the winning run on a base hit from Canela and a fielding error.
A night of firsts ended on a down note as Boise lost 2-1 to Vancouver on Thursday. Seventh round draft pick James Norwood made his first professional start and allowed two earned runs while striking out two in three innings. Ryan Williams relieved and had two strikeouts in four scoreless innings. Daniel Lewis, a free agent added after completing his service in the United States Air Force, saw his first professional action and struck out a batter in an inning of work. Also seeing his first action professional ball, ninth round pick James Farris tossed a scoreless inning with a strikeout. The Hawks started out well but could not capitalize. Charcer Burks (0-for-2) walked and Rashad Crawford (1-for-3) singled to begin the first inning. A two out double from David Bote (2-for-5 with a double and an RBI) scored Burks, but that would be all for the Hawks.
In one of the most remarkable games of the season Boise came from seven runs behind to beat Vancouver 11-10 in 11 innings Friday. It was a rough night for starter Dillon Maples as he allowed five runs (four earned) with two strikeouts in three innings. Yomar Morel had it equally rough as he gave up four earned runs with a strikeout in three innings. Sam Wilson restored some order as he was nicked for an unearned runs two innings of work. Manager Gary Van Tol then turned to outfielder Charlie White, who tossed three innings of scoreless baseball while striking out three batters.
The Hawks answered two runs by the Canadians in the second inning after David Bote (2-for-4) drew a one out walk and Mark Malave (2-for-4) singled. With two outs, Alex Tomasovich (3-for-5 with a double and three RBI) doubled in Bote and Malave. It was on to the sixth inning when consecutive singles by Danny Canela (1-for-4), Bote, and Malave loaded the bases. A base hit by Bryant Flete (2-for-5 with two RBI) drove in Canela and Bote. Tomasovich singled in Malave, and Flete scored on a groundout. Boise tied the game in the ninth after Tomasovich led off with a single and scored on a double from Charlie White (1-for-5 with a double and two RBI). A single from Rashad Crawford (1-for-6 with an RBI) plated White. A base hit by Danny Lockhart (2-for-6 with a stolen base) and a one out intentional walk to Canela loaded the bases. Pinch-hitter Justin Marra (1-for-4 with two RBI) delivered a two out single that scored Canela and Lockhart and tied the game. Lockhart began the 11th with a single and stole second base. Charcer Burks (1-for-4) singled with one out but was thrown out at second trying to advance on a wild pitch. Lockhart would then sprint home on another wild pitch to end the ballgame.
Boise dropped Saturday’s game to Vancouver 5-4 in 10 innings. Boise’s staff gave up 14 hits but issued only one walk and that helped limit Vancouver to five runs. Starter Erick Leal served up a couple of longballs and allowed three runs on nine hits with three strikeouts in five innings. Jeremy Null gave up a run on two hits in one inning but Alberto Diaz was hung with the loss after he allowed a run in the tenth, the only run he gave up in 3.1 innings on three hits with four strikeouts. Trey Lang recorded the last two outs.
Mark Zagunis (1-for-3 with a double, a RBI and a run scored) stayed hot at the plate and Danny Canela (2-for-4 with a run scored) collected two more hits. Jason Vosler (2-for-4) and Bryant Flete (2-for-4) went a combined 4-for-8 hitting at the bottom of Boise’s lineup. But it was another longball by a Cubs’ prospect, Justin Marra that tied the game.
The Hawks tied the game at four with a three-run seventh inning. Mark Zagunis doubled in Charcer Burks with Boise’s first run in the fourth inning and cut the deficit to 3-1. After Vancouver tacked on with a single run in the sixth, the Hawks went to work in the seventh and it all started with a leadoff walk by Mark Zagunis. Danny Canela singled Zagunis to second and both were on board when Justin Marra (1-for-4 with a home run and three RBI) cranked a three-run homer.
The Hawks made it five straight series wins at home with a 3-2 victory over Vancouver Sunday afternoon. Boise is now 18-9 in their home park. Trevor Clifton put together an excellent outing. Clifton tossed five innings of shutout ball while allowing one hit with two walks and six strikeouts. Tommy Thorpe gave up two runs on two hits with three walks and a strikeout in two innings before Brad Markey picked up his second save with two scoreless frames that included four strikeouts.
The Hawks scored all three of their runs in the first three innings Sunday. Rashad Crawford (2-for-4 with two runs scored) reached on an infield single with one out in the first. After Mark Zagunis (1-for-3 with a walk) walked, David Bote (2-for-4 with a home run and two RBI) delivered a two-out single to center that plated Crawford. Rashad Crawford led off the third with a single to left and stole second with Zagunis at the plate. A Zagunis single advanced Crawford to third. Danny Canela (1-for-3 with a SF RBI) hit a sac fly to right that plated Crawford. Zagunis was picked off before David Bote hit a solo homer to left, his second of the season.
Low Class-A – Kane County Cougars (70–42)
The Cougars losing streak reached six games Thursday as the bullpen failed and Kane County lost 7-3 to Wisconsin. Ben Wells had a pedestrian effort as he allowed three runs (two earned) while striking out five in 5.1 innings. Zak Hermans blew a nice comeback by the offense by giving up four runs (three earned) in the eighth inning. Herman struck out five batters in 2.2 innings. The Cougars grabbed the lead in the first inning after Chesny Young (1-for-5) singled and moved to third as Carlos Penalver (1-for-5) reached on an error. Young scored on a sacrifice fly. Kane County added a run in the fourth after Jeffrey Baez (2-for-4 with two doubles) doubled with one out, moved to third on a fielding error and scored on a groundout. The Cougars tied the game in the eighth inning after Jeimer Candelario (1-for-4) had a one out single and scored on a double by Cael Brockmeyer (1-for-4 with a double and an RBI).
The Cougars used a big inning Friday to snap their losing streak as Kane County defeated Wisconsin 6-2. Kane County scored all of their runs in the second inning after Jeimer Candelario (1-for-4) reached on a throwing error and Cael Brockmeyer (0-for-2) walked. A single by Jeffrey Baez (2-for-4) loaded the bases and a throwing error allowed Carlos Penalver (0-for-3 with an RBI) to reach, while Candelario and Brockmeyer scored. Trey Martin (2-for-4 with two RBI) drove in Baez and Penalver, and a single by Shawon Dunston Jr. (1-for-4) put runners on the corners. A groundout plated Martin, and a base hit by Jacob Rogers (1-for-4 with an RBI) drove in Dunston.
Tyler Ihrig received his first start for the Cougars and allowed two earned runs while striking out six in 5.1 innings. Michael Heesch bounced back from a poor outing to strike out two in 1.2 scoreless innings. Jose Arias had a strikeout in two perfect innings.
The Cougars jumped out to an early lead Saturday and kept tacking on. Kane County scored runs in five different innings and Jonathan Martinez was awarded with a win in his first game with the organization as the Cougars topped Quad Cities 8-2.
All eyes were on Jonathan Martinez and Victor Caratini as both players were making their first appearances in the Cubs system. Martinez did not disappoint and allowed a run on three hits with no walks and two strikeouts in five innings. Michael Wagner and Jasvir Rakkar pitched the final four innings and combined to strikeout six batters.
Victor Caratini was 2-for-4 with three RBI in his first start and was behind the plate to catch Martinez.
Once again Shawon Dunston Jr. (2-for-4 with a double, a RBI and a run scored) set the tone for the night with a double in the first inning. After Ben Carhart worked a one-out walk, Dunston swiped third and scored on a throwing error by catcher Brian Holberton. Jeimer Candelario (2-for-4 with a double and a RBI) doubled in Carhart and Victor Caratini singled in Candelario. The Cougars added on in the third after Jacob Rogers worked a two-out walk, went to third on a single by Candelario and scored on Caratini’s second hit of the game. Trey Martin reached on a single to start the fourth and he stole second with Dunston at the plate. A wild pitch advanced Martin to third and he scored on a sac fly off the bat of Shawon Dunston Jr. In the fifth, Carhart and Rogers started the inning with back-to-back singles. After Candelario struck out, Caratini plated Carhart with a grounder to short. And the Cougars put the game away in the sixth after Carlos Penalver (1-for-4 with a run scored) led off with a single to center. Martin grounded out to short, Penalver advanced to second and he scored on a two-out single by Danny Lockhart. Jacob Rogers singled in Lockhart.
Kane County used a three-run second inning and a four-run sixth inning to beat Quad Cities Sunday 9-5 … for the Cougars 70th win of the season.
Daury Torrez notched another quality start Sunday after he gave up three runs on five hits with a walk and six strikeouts in six innings. David Garner struck out three in two innings while surrendering a run on two hits. Francisco Carrillo allowed a run in the ninth on two hits.
Cael Brockmeyer (3-for-5 with a home run, two RBI and two runs scored), Chesny Young (3-for-4 with a double and two runs scored), Danny Lockhart (3-for-4 with a double, a walk and two runs scored) and Victor Caratini (2-for-5 with a RBI) led the way Sunday for the Cougars’ offense.
Jeimer Candelario led off the second inning with a triple and scored on a single from Brockmeyer. Young followed with a double that moved Brockmeyer to third with no outs. Jeffrey Baez grounded into a fielder’s choice to plate Brockmeyer. And Young scored when Trey Martin rolled into a 1-4-3 doubleplay. Danny Lockhart led off the third with a double. After Ben Carhart walked, a wild pitch allowed Lockhart to move to third. Victor Caratini singled in Lockhart. In the fourth, Jeffrey Baez doubled to left with one out and scored on a Trey Martin single to center.
The Cougars put the game out of reach in the sixth. Brockmeyer led off the inning with a solo homer to left. Chesny Young singled and scored on a triple from Jeffrey Baez. Shawon Dunston Jr. hit a sac fly with one out that plated Baez. Lockhart followed with a single to left, stole second and scored when Ben Carhart singled to right.
High Class–A – Daytona Cubs (51-58)
There is no other way to put it the Daytona Cubs were smoked 8-0 by Bradenton on Thursday. The D-Cubs managed only four hits: Dan Vogelbach (1-for-4), Rock Shoulders (1-for-4), Billy McKinney (1-for-3) and Jordan Hankins (1-for-3). Tayler Scott may have seen his last start with promotions on the way as he gave up six runs (one earned) with four strikeouts in five innings. Austin Kirk allowed an earned in three innings, while Starling Peralta allowed a run with two strikeouts in an inning of work.
The scoring drought for Daytona continued Friday as they were shutout 7-0 by Charlotte. The lone offensive bright spot was Chadd Krist, who was 2-for-3 with two doubles. Marco Hernandez, Kyle Schwarber, Dan Vogelbach and Wes Darvill were each 1-for-4 while Bijan Rademacher went 1-for-3. Jose Rosario gave what can be considered a typical performance, as he allowed four earned runs and struck out three in five innings. Tyler Bremer gave up three earned runs with two strikeouts in three innings.
Daytona’s streak of not scoring any runs continued Saturday, but went one step further in a rain-shortened game in Charlotte. The D-Cubs were no hit by Blake Snell, the first time Daytona had been no hit since Evan Anundsen of the Manatees on April 28, 2009.
Daytona was thumped 10-0 in a game that lasted 5.1 innings.
Tyler Skulina gave up three runs on one hit with three walks and a strikeout in one inning. Skulina hit his pitch-count limit and turned the game over to Nathan Dorris, who was rocked. Dorris gave up seven runs, five earned, on seven hits with no walks and four strikeouts in four innings.
The D-Cubs played for seven minutes Sunday with Jacob Hannemann, Wes Darvill and Kyle Schwarber going down in order to start the game. Heavy rains hit the field in Charlotte and before the grounds crew could cover it, the first base line had flooded. The game was suspended in the bottom of the first and will be resumed Monday. The D-Cubs will play the resumption of the suspended game, a full nine innings, and the regularly scheduled game was reduced to a seven-inning contest.
Double-A – Tennessee Smokies (55-58)
It was too little, too late for Tennessee Thursday as they lost 6-4 to Pensacola. Felix Pena made his Double-A debut and allowed five earned runs while striking out four in four innings. Matt Loosen provided relief and struck out two in two scoreless innings. Andrew McKirahan gave up an earned run with a strikeout in two innings. P.J. Francescon finished the game with a perfect inning. All the runs for the Smokies came in the eighth after Christian Villanueva (1-for-4) broke up a no-hitter with a one out single. Jonathan Mota (1-for-3) had a base hit, and Villanueva scored on a single from Luis Flores. A double from Dustin Geiger (1-for-3 with a double and two RBI) drove in Mota and Flores, but Geiger was thrown out at home trying to score on a single from pinch-hitter Charles Cutler. A base hit by Jae-Hoon Ha (1-for-4 with an RBI) plated Cutler.
A tense affair Friday saw Tennessee win on a walk-off single in the tenth as the Smokies beat Pensacola 2-1 in 10 innings. Addison Russell (1-for-5 with a home run) put the Smokies in the lead in the first inning with a solo home run, his seventh since joining the organization. Corey Black started and had another quality outing. Black allowed an earned run while fanning seven in six innings. Lendy Castillo chipped in with two strikeouts and a scoreless inning, and Hunter Cervenka preserved the tie by striking out three in two innings. To paraphrase the famous quote ‘all he does is win ballgames’, Frank Batista tossed a scoreless inning and struck out two for the victory. The winning run scored after Albert Almora (2-for-5) led off the tenth with a single. Base hits by Lars Anderson (3-for-5 with a double) and Christian Villanueva (1-for-5 with an RBI) brought in Almora with the game-winner.
C.J. Edwards returned to the hill for the Smokies, but Tennessee could not hold off Pensacola late and lost 2-1 Saturday.
C.J. Edwards was solid in his first start with the Smokies since April 20 and was charged with one run on two hits with two walks and five strikeouts in 3.1 innings. The lone run that was hung on Edwards crossed the plate after he left the game. Tony Zych took the loss after allowing one run on one hit with a walk in 1.1 innings.
The Smokies scored in the first inning after Jae-Hoon Ha was hit by a pitch, moved to third on a double by Albert Almora (1-for-4 with a double) and Lars Anderson (0-for-3 with a walk) walked to load the bases. Christian Villanueva (1-for-3 with a double, a walk and a RBI) walked to force in Ha, but Stephen Bruno grounded into a double play to end the inning.
Pierce Johnson took a no-hitter into the sixth inning in the Smokies 4-1 win over Pensacola on Sunday afternoon. Johnson allowed a two-out single to Robert Stephenson in the sixth and turned the game over to the bullpen in the seventh inning after giving up two hits with a walk and six strikeouts over six-plus shutout innings. Andrew McKirahan continued the shutout with two innings of his own and Frank Batista surrendered a run in the ninth on three hits.
Addison Russell (1-for-3 with a home run, a walk, two runs scored and two RBI) hit a two-run shot in the first inning with Albert Almora (0-for-3 with two runs scored and a HBP) along for the ride. The Smokies scored two more runs in the sixth after Almora was hit by a pitch, Russell walked and Lars Anderson (1-for-3 with a double and two RBI) doubled.
And with the win, the Smokies moved to within a half game of the first place Barons.
Triple-A – Iowa Cubs (60–56)
Getting a glimpse at the near future, Iowa defeated New Orleans 4-0 on Thursday. Starter Dan Straily had his best outing since being acquired from the Athletics. Straily struck out five batters in six scoreless innings. Arodys Vizcaino shut the Zephyrs down for two innings with a pair of strikeouts. Marcus Hatley wrapped up the win with a strikeout in a perfect inning.
The game was scoreless until the fifth inning when Logan Watkins (1-for-4) singled and scored on a home run from Javier Baez (3-for-5 with a home run and two RBI). The I-Cubs increased their lead in the seventh after Kris Bryant (1-for-4 with a home run and an RBI) and Mike Olt (2-for-5 with a home run and an RBI) jacked solo home runs.
It was “Bombs Away’ for Iowa Friday as four ‘Big Fly’s’ propelled them to a 9-2 win over New Orleans. It all started in the top of the second after Kris Bryant (1-for-4 with a home run and two RBI) was hit by a pitch and was on board when Josh Vitters (1-for-4 with a home run and two RBI) launched the first home run of the night. In the third, Javier Baez (1-for-4) and Bryant had one out singles in front of Jorge Soler (1-for-5 with a home run and three RBI), who went way deep over the left field picnic area. The I-Cubs scored more conventionally in the fifth inning afer Soler reached on a force and scored on a double from Mike Olt (1-for-4 with a double and an RBI). Eli Whiteside (2-for-4 with a double, home run, and an RBI) led off the sixth inning with his fifth homer of the season. Matt Szczur (2-for-5 with a double and a stolen base) began the ninth with a double and was there two outs later when Bryant capped the scoring with his 14th home run for Iowa.
Carlos Pimentel is receiving another look in the rotation after some promotions. Pimentel stated his case to stay put as he allowed an earned run with four strikeout in six innings. Kyuji Fujikawa posted another perfect inning in his rehab assignment. Alberto Cabrera had three strikeouts but gave up an earned run in two innings.
Josh Vitters stayed hot Saturday, but the I-Cubs season-long struggles with Omaha continued Saturday as Iowa lost 6-2. Josh Vitters (1-for-4 with a home run and a walk) hit a solo home, his 11th of the season, in the sixth and the I-Cubs other run scored in the eighth. Kris Bryant (1-for-2 with two walks and a run score) walked with one out, went to third on a double by Mike Olt (1-for-4 with a double) and scored on a sac fly off the bat of Rafael Lopez.
Dallas Beeler had a rough third inning. Beeler gave up four runs in the third and five total in six innings on six hits. Beeler issued only one walk with four strikeouts and it was a two-run homer by Carlos Peguero in the third that was the big blast. Zac Rosscup threw strikes, for the most part, and kept the StormChasers off the board but Marcos Mateo gave up an unearned run on two hits in his inning of work.
Iowa could not dig out of an early hole and not only lost 7-5 to Omaha Sunday but the I-Cubs also slipped out of first place. Dae-Eun Rhee got the start and gave up seven runs on 10 hits with a walk and four strikeouts in five innings. Rhee served up three homers and by the time the offense kicked into gear, the I-Cubs were down 7-1 in the sixth inning with the only run scoring on a Javier Baez (2-for-3 with two home runs and two walks) solo homer in the first inning.
Iowa fell two runs short after scoring four runs in the sixth and seventh innings. Kris Bryant (1-for-5 with a double and a run scored) followed Javier Baez’s second homer of the day in the sixth inning with a double. Josh Vitters (3-for-4 with a double) singled with two outs. Rafael Lopez (1-for-3 with a RBI and a walk) singled in Bryant.
Logan Watkins (1-for-5 with a run scored) reached on a bunt single to start the seventh. After Baez walked and Bryant popped out to second, Jorge Soler (1-for-5 with a double and two RBI) doubled to left and plated both Watkins and Baez.
Arizona Rookie League – AZL Cubs (15–17)
The AZL Cubs could not overcome a couple of bad innings for their pitchers as they lost to the Angles 5-4 on Wednesday. Ivan Pineyro made another rehab start and allowed three runs (one earned) with three strikeouts in three innings. Jeremy Null gave up two earned runs with a strikeout in an inning of work. Alberto Mineo continued to impress as he went 2-for-4 with a triple and two RBI.
It was a rain shortened game Friday, but they also could have called the “slaughter rule” as the A-Cubs shut out the Athletics 9-0 in five innings. Starter Justin Steele and reliever Carson Sands one-hit the A’s. Steele had three strikeouts in three innings while Sands struck out two in two innings. First baseman Roney Alcala hit his first home run, as he was 1-for-2 with three RBI. Gleyber Torres was 2-for-4 with a double and two RBI.
The AZL Cubs lost 7-3 to the Giants in the Arizona Rookie League Saturday night. Alex Santana surrendered two runs on four hits with three walks in four innings and Tanner Griggs allowed three runs on six hits with two strikeouts in two innings. Jordan Minch, in his first appearance, was touched up for two runs on three hits with a strikeout in 0.2 innings.
Kevonte Mitchell (2-for-4 with a RBI, a walk and a run scored), Gleyber Torres (1-for-4 with a run) and Eloy Jimenez (1-for-3 with a double and two RBI) had a good game at the plate.
News and Notes
The Chicago Cubs recalled RHP Blake Parker from the Iowa Cubs; selected the contract of INF Chris Valaika from the Iowa Cubs; assigned INF Elliot Soto to the Iowa Cubs from the Tennessee Smokies. Cubs released INF Giuseppe Papaccio. Kane County activated INF Danny Lockhart from the DL, placed James Pugliese on the DL and sent him to Mesa. Kane County added RHP Jonathan Martinez and C Victor Caratini to the roster. RHP Zak Hermans was sent from Kane County to Boise. Tyler Bremer was sent from Daytona to Kane County. The Kane County Cougars placed C Will Remillard on the 7-day disabled list.
Top Prospect Watch
Albert Almora (OF) – Tennessee Smokies
Corey Black (RHP) – Tennessee Smokies
Paul Blackburn (RHP) – Kane County Cougars
Jacob Hannemann (OF) – Daytona Cubs
Eloy Jimenez (OF) – AZL Cubs
Pierce Johnson (RHP) – Tennessee Smokies
Dillon Maples (RHP) – Boise Hawks
Jorge Soler (OF) – Iowa Cubs
Dan Vogelbach (1B) – Daytona Cubs
Rob Zastryzny (LHP) – Daytona Cubs