It’s getting down to the nitty-gritty as Boise is still fighting for a playoff spot while welcoming its newest addition, shortstop Gleyber Torres. Daytona’s magic number is down to one as the red-hot Bijan Rademacher has carried the D-Cubs of late. Tennessee remains in the hunt with a crucial weekend series on the horizon. The Smokies will be looking for Addison Russell to come back from injury to lead them to the post-season. Meanwhile, Kane County tied a franchise record for wins behind the pitching of Paul Blackburn and Duane Underwood.
With promotions taking their toll, Iowa is getting inspired play from Jae-Hoon Ha and Andrew Ely. The AZL Cubs are now playing out the string, but are still getting a good effort from infielder Varonex Cuevas.
So hold on to your hats as we enter the final weekend of the minor league season, and take a look inside today’s Down on the Farm Report for all of the latest information.
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 (36–32)
Needing to keep winning in order to remain in the playoff hunt, Boise did what they had to Monday and beat Everett 3-0. Trevor Clifton was outstanding. Clifton scattered six hits and struck out three in seven scoreless innings. Ryan McNeil struggled a bit and gave up a hit and a walk but struck out two in 0.2 innings. Corbin Hoffner went the rest of the way. Hoffner collected his second save with two strikeouts in 1.1 innings. The Hawks started fast after Rashad Crawford (1-for-4 with a double) began the game with a double and was sacrificed to third. Crawford scored on a groundout. In the fourth inning, back-to-back doubles by Danny Canela (1-for-3 with a double) and Jesse Hodges (2-for-4 with a double and an RBI) scored Canela, and Hodges scored on a fielding error.
It was a disappointment for Boise Tuesday as the bullpen fell apart in a 4-2 loss to Everett. It looked as if the Hawks were going to take the low scoring affair after Kevin Brown (2-for-4 with a triple and a stolen base) singled with two out in the first, stole second, and scored on a base hit from Jesse Hodges (1-for-2). It was Brown again in the eighth as he had a one out triple. Hodges was intentionally walked and pinch-hitter Justin Marra singled in Brown. Josh Conway was brilliant again in his short outing and struck out two in three perfect innings. James Farris had four strikeouts and allowed an earned run in three innings. Sam Wilson was charged with three earned runs as he struck out four in two innings, but left the game with no runs and the bases loaded. Daniel Lewis allowed all of the runners to score on a walk and a base hit in the ninth.
Low Class-A – Kane County Cougars (88-47)
Kane County shrugged off a loss from the day before and beat Burlington on Monday 8-3. Paul Blackburn was solid in the start as he allowed two earned runs and struck out two in five innings. James Pugliese was nicked for an unearned run in his inning of work, and Jasvir Rakkar struck out two in two scoreless innings. Francisco Carrillo pitched a perfect ninth inning.
The Cougars grabbed the lead in the second inning and held on to it after Jacob Rogers (2-for-4 with a double and two RBI) and Yasiel Balaguert (2-for-4 with a double, a home run, and two RBI) had back-to-back doubles. Jeffrey Baez (1-for-4 with a home run and an RBI) reached on an error, and Balaguert scored on a sacrifice fly. Carlos Penalver (1-for-1 with an RBI and a stolen base) was hit by a pitch with one out in the fifth, stole second and scored on a two out single from Mark Zagunis (1-for-5 with an RBI). Balaguert and Baez began the seventh with back-to-back solo home runs. Chesny Young (1-for-4 with a triple) walked to lead off the eighth, with a single by Jeimer Candelario (3-for-5) and Cael Brockmeyer (0-for-4) being hit by a pitch loading the bases. A single by Rogers drove in Young and Candelario, and a walk to Penalver re-loaded the bases. Brockmeyer scored on a wild pitch.
The Cougars tied a franchise record with the 88th win of the season Tuesday as Kane County defeated Burlington 6-1. Duane Underwood had another excellent game. Underwood struck out four and allowed an earned run in 5.1 innings. Michael Heesch fanned five and gave up only a hit in 2.2 scoreless innings. Michael Wagner had a strikeout in a perfect inning.
Kane County broke open a scoreless game in the third after Trey Martin (1-for-4 with a double and an RBI) doubled and took third as the Bees had to throw out Shawon Dunston Jr. (1-for-5 with a double and two RBI) at first with a dropped third strike. Martin scored on a sacrifice fly. Jeimer Candelario (1-for-4 with a double) followed with a double and came home on a single from Cael Brockmeyer (1-for-5 with an RBI). In the sixth, Jacob Rogers (1-for-2 with a double) drew a one out walk, Yasiel Balaguert (1-for-5) singled, and Danny Lockhart (1-for-3 with a stolen base) walked to load the bases. Carlos Penalver (1-for-4) reached on an error that allowed Rogers to score. A groundout plated Balaguert, and a double by Dunston drove in Lockhart and Penalver.
As hard as they try, you can’t win them all as Kane County lost 3-2 in 11 innings to Cedar Rapids on Wednesday. With their pitching staff, the Cougars were looking good after Shawon Dunston Jr. (1-for-4) began the game with a single and moved to second on a throwing error. A one out double by Jeimer Candelario (1-for-4 with a double and an RBI) scored Dunston. Kane County regained the lead in the sixth inning after Mark Zagunis (1-for-5 with a double) doubled, moved to third on a wild pitch, and scored on an errant pick-off attempt. Jen-Ho Tseng had another outstanding start. Tseng struck out two and allowed an earned run in six innings. David Garner had a rough outing and gave up an earned run while recording a strikeout in only 0.1 innings. James Pugliese got out of a bases loaded jam and struck out two in 1.2 innings. Francisco Carrillo tossed two scoreless innings, but Michael Wagner surrendered the winning run in the 11th.
High Class–A – Daytona Cubs (65-68)
Daytona could not overcome a big deficit Monday despite a huge comeback, as they lost 8-7 to Dunedin. Yao-Lin Wang was given a surprise start and showed some rust as he allowed five earned runs and struck out three in four innings. Austin Kirk relieved and gave up three earned runs with a strikeout in two innings. Starling Peralta tossed two scoreless innings and struck out two batters. Gioskar Amaya (2-for-3 with a triple, a home run, and two RBI) cut a two run lead in half in the fourth inning with a solo home run. In the sixth, Marco Hernandez (0-for-2 with an RBI) walked and scored on a two-out triple from Amaya. Willson Contreras (1-for-4 with an RBI) walked to begin the seventh and scored after singles from Billy McKinney (1-for-4) and Bijan Rademacher (2-for-4 with a home run and two RBI). McKinney scored on a sacrifice fly, with Rademacher being thrown out at second. The D-Cubs manufactured one on the eighth after Amaya was hit by a pitch and Kyle Schwarber (1-for-4 with an RBI) singled. A force played erased Schwarber at second and allowed Dan Vogelbach (0-for-3) to reach. A base hit by Contreras brought in Amaya. Rademacher led off the ninth with a solo home run. Ben Carhart (1-for-3) followed with a walk. Carhart was forced at second as Hernandez reached. Walks to Jacob Hannemann (0-for-3) and Amaya loaded the bases, and Hernandez scored on a sacrifice fly.
Needing a win in order to remain on top of the second half standings, Daytona came from behind Tuesday to beat Dunedin 6-5. Once again, starter Rob Zastryzny showed flashes of brilliance along with maddening frustration as he struck out nine but allowed four earned runs in five innings. Stephen Perakslis had three strikeouts in 2.1 innings, but left a bases-loaded jam for Zack Godley. Godley fanned two to get out of the inning, before he gave up an earned run in the ninth. Godley had four strikeouts in 1.2 innings and collected his seventh save.
The D-Cubs pecked away at a 3-0 deficit after Bijan Rademacher (3-for-5 with two doubles and a home run) doubled with one out in the second and scored on a two out single from Wes Darvill (2-for-4 with an RBI). It was Rademacher again in the fourth as he swatted a solo home run. Daytona tied the score in the fifth after Darvill singled, moved to second on a base hit from Marco Hernandez (2-for-4 with two RBI), and scored on a single from Jacob Hannemann (1-for-5 with an RBI). Behind 4-3 in the eighth, Dan Vogelbach (1-for-3) started the rally with a walk and Billy McKinney (1-for-4) singled with one out. Darvill reached on an error to load the bases, and a passed ball scoring pinch-runner Willson Contreras (1-for-1). A two out base hit from Hernandez drove in McKinney and Darvill.
Daytona seems to be hitting on all cylinders at just the right time as they beat Dunedin 8-2 on Wednesday. Juan Carlos Paniagua had his best outing for the D-Cubs. Paniagua struck out two and allowed an earned run in five innings. Nathan Dorris and Justin Amlung each tossed a scoreless inning, while Jose Rosario gave up an earned run in an inning of work. Michael Jensen finished the game by striking out a batter in a scoreless inning.
The D-Cubs offense got into gear in the first inning after Gioskar Amaya (0-for-4) drew a one out walk, and singles by Kyle Schwarber (2-for-5) and Dan Vogelbach (3-for-5 with a double and an RBI) drove Amaya in. A fielding error allowed Billy McKinney (2-for-4 with an RBI) to reach and Schwarber to score. In the third inning, Ben Carhart (2-for-5 with a double and an RBI) and McKinney had one out singles and scored on a home run from Willson Contreras (2-for-5 with a home run and three RBI). Daytona put the game away in the fifth inning after back-to-back doubles from Vogelbach and Carhart allowed Vogelbach to score. Contreras walked and McKinney reached on an error to load the bases. A single by Bijan Rademacher (2-for-5 with an RBI) plated Carhart, with McKinney scoring on a force play.
Double-A – Tennessee Smokies (65-69)
Tennessee’s pitching held up for the first time in the series Monday, but the Smokies still lost to Jacksonville 2-1. C.J. Edwards ended the string of Smokies starters getting pummeled by striking out eight and allowing an earned run in five innings. Andrew McKirahan gave up an earned run as he struck out two in two innings. Hunter Cervenka tossed a scoreless inning, while Blake Cooper struck out the side in the ninth. The only run for Tennessee came in the third inning after Rubi Silva (1-for-3) led off with a single and moved to third on a base hit from Dustin Geiger (1-for-3). Geiger was advanced on a bunt, and Silva scored on a ground out.
First place seemed to be slipping from the grasp of Tennessee as the Smokies closed out the series with Jacksonville Tuesday with a 6-5 loss. The Smokies offense put them in good position after Lars Anderson (1-for-4 with a double) began the fourth inning with a double and scored on a one out double from Charles Cutler (2-for-4 with a double and an RBI). Anthony Giansanti (2-for-3 with a double and an RBI) led off the fifth with a single and scored on a two out triple by Albert Almora (2-for-5 with a double, a triple, and an RBI). The sixth started with a walk to Christian Villanueva (1-for-3 with an RBI) and a single by Cutler. A force play allowed Villanueva to go to third and Rubi Silva (1-for-4 with a double) to reach. Dustin Geiger (1-for-4 with an RBI) drove in Villanueva with a single, and Silva scored on a sacrifice fly. Tennessee added a run in the seventh inning after Almora doubled and scored on a two out single from Villanueva. Pierce Johnson had a rather ordinary effort. Johnson allowed three earned runs and struck out three in five innings. Blake Cooper continues to be a revelation as he struck out four in 1.2 scoreless innings. Hunter Cervenka got out the only batter he faced, but the wheels fell off for Frank Batista, who gave up three runs (two earned) in the ninth.
Triple-A – Iowa Cubs (69–70)
It took 14 innings Sunday, but Iowa’s bullpen was not able to hold Tacoma as they lost 5-4. The I-Cubs jumped out ahead after Junior Lake (1-for-7) singled to lead off the game and scored on a Kris Bryant (1-for-6 with a home run and two RBI) home run, his 21st with the team. Jorge Soler (3-for-5 with a home run and two RBI) added a solo home run in the fourth inning. Iowa was looking good in the top of the 14th after Ryan Kalish (2-for-7 with a double) led off with a double and Bryant walked. A single by Soler drove in Kalish. Dallas Beeler pitched one heck of a ballgame. Beeler scattered five hits and struck out six in six scoreless innings. However, Marcus Hatley served up two home runs and allowed three earned runs in an inning. Yoanner Negrin and Carlos Pimentel held their own, with Negrin striking out two in two innings and Pimentel fanning three in three innings. Jeffry Antigua tossed a scoreless inning, but a jet-lagged Blake Parker gave up two earned runs in the final 0.2 innings.
Iowa finally shook out of their slump Monday in a big fashion, as the I-Cubs shut out Tacoma 8-0. Eric Jokisch started and worked 2.1 innings before leaving with a blister. Alberto Cabrera ate up some innings, and recorded two strikeouts in 4.2 innings. Arodys Vizcaino and Armando Rivero each tossed a scoreless inning.
The I-Cubs broke a scoreless tie in the third inning after Elliot Soto (1-for-7) doubled with one out and scored on a single from Junior Lake (3-for-5 with a double and two RBI). Kris Bryant (0-for-4) drew a two out walk and Jorge Soler (1-for-2 with a home run and three RBI) bashed a three-run home run, his final act for Iowa before getting promoted to the parent club. It was Soto and Lake again in the sixth. Soto singled and scored on a double from Lake. Jonathan Mota (2-for-3 with a home run and an RBI) led off the seventh inning with a solo home run, followed by a single from Rafael Lopez (2-for-4). A double by Jae-Hoon Ha (1-for-5 with a double) advanced Lopez to third, and he scored on a single from Andrew Ely (1-for-5 with an RBI). A sacrifice fly plated Ha.
Wirth another roster shake-up looming, the depleted Iowa Cubs could not keep pace Tuesday as they lost 5-3 to Tacoma. After several good outings, Dan Straily reverted back to the form he displayed shortly after he was acquired. Straily allowed five runs (four earned) and struck out six in five innings. Brian Schlitter had a strikeout in an inning of work. Jeffry Antigua struck out two in two scoreless innings. The I-Cubs actually struck first after Junior Lake (2-for-3 with a double, a home run and a stolen base) walked to lead off the game, stole second and scored on a one out single from Kris Bryant (1-for-4 with an RBI). Iowa drew closer in the eighth after Andrew Ely (0-for-2) walked and scored on a home run from Junior Lake.
Iowa led Wednesday’s game in Tacoma 3-2 going into the top of the ninth when the report published to the site. Kris Bryant tripled and both Jae-Hoon Ha and David Bote homered.
Arizona Rookie League – AZL Cubs (21–31)
The AZL Cubs could only muster two hits and one run Sunday as they lost to Angels 5-1. Varonex Cuevas was 1-for-3 with a triple while Tyler Alamo was 1-for-3 with an RBI. Jordan Brink tossed an inning, and Adbert Alzolay struck out three while allowing an earned run in two innings.
The future was on display for the A-Cubs on Tuesday. Unfortunately, things did not turn out well as they lost 8-3 to the Dodgers. Teenage lefties Carson Sands and Justin Steele were on the hill. Sands allowed three runs and struck out four in three innings while Steele also fanned four and gave up two earned runs in 2.1 innings. Playing second base, Varonex Cuevas was 2-for-4 with a triple and an RBI while outfielder Ricardo Marcano went 1-for-4 with an RBI.
News and Notes
The Chicago Cubs recalled OF Jorge Soler and INF/OF Logan Watkins from the Iowa Cubs; assigned OF Jae-Hoon Ha to the Iowa Cubs from the Tennessee Smokies; assigned INF/OF David Bote to the Iowa Cubs from the Boise Hawks; assigned SS Gleyber Torres to the Boise Hawks from the AZL Cubs. The Tennessee Smokies placed RHP P.J. Francescon on the 7-day disabled list; activated OF Rubi Silva and C Luis Flores from the 7-day disabled list.