Spring weather affected games throughout the minor league system the past two days. Myrtle Beach has not played since Tuesday, while Iowa had game two of a doubleheader postponed and Tennessee had their home opener pushed back.
In the games that did take place, South Bend struggled to find consistency as they got another fine outing form pitcher Jeremy Null. Dan Vogelbach and Willson Contreras continue to swing hot bats for Tennessee, while Iowa came back from a big deficit with a big night by Addison Russell.
And by the way, Kris Bryant ended his stay with Iowa in style.
To find out more, check out today’s Down on the Farm Report.
Low Class-A – South Bend Cubs (3-4)
There was plenty of blame to go around Wednesday as South Bend fell to Fort Wayne 10-7. The SB Cubs allowed two stolen bases, committed three errors, had a passed ball and hit a batter. Starter Jake Stinnett struggled from the onset, walking seven and giving up eight runs (five earned) on three hits in 2.1 innings. Jasvir Rakkar fared a little better but still had his troubles, yielding two runs (one earned) while striking out four in 3.2 innings. Infielder David Bote came in and kept South Bend in the game, as he struck out two in two scoreless innings.
Facing a 9-0 deficit in the fifth inning, the SB Cubs chipped away as Jesse Hodges (1-for-4) singled with one out and was bunted to second base. A base hit by Trey Martin (2-for-5 with a double and an RBI) brought in Hodges. In the sixth inning, Gioskar Amaya (2-for-3 with a double) led off with a double and scored on another two-bagger from Cael Brockmeyer (2-for-4 with a double and an RBI). The seventh also began with a double, this time by Martin. With two outs, Brockmeyer walked and a wild pitch scored Martin. Jeffrey Baez (0-for-5) reached on a throwing error, and a single by Chesny Young (2-for-5 with an RBI) drove in Brockmeyer. Jason Vosler (1-for-3 with an RBI) followed with a base hit to bring in Baez, and another wild pitch allowed Young to touch home. South Bend kept the pressure up in the eighth as Charcer Burks (0-for-3) made it to second on a throwing error and scored on a ground out.
South Bend has yet to play a complete game this season as they blew a lead and lost to Fort Wayne 7-6 in 10 innings. Jeremy Null again was devastating on the hill, as he allowed two earned runs on seven hits and failed to walk a man. Null struck out six batters in six innings. Trevor Clifton, getting some work in after a short previous outing, was more of what was expected of him as he struck out a batter in a scoreless inning. However, James Norwood fell apart as he let the Tin Caps back into the game with three earned runs in an inning. Francisco Carrillo could not close out the game as he gave up both the tying and winning runs in the final two innings.
The SB Cubs got on the board in dramatic fashion in the second inning after Cael Brockmeyer (2-for-4) led off with a single and Jesse Hodges (1-for-4 with a home run and three RBI) smashed a two-run home run with two outs. South Bend maintained a two run margin in the fourth inning as Brockmeyer walked to start things and moved to second on a passed ball. A ground out moved Brockmeyer to third and he scored on a fielding error. In the fifth inning David Bote (1-for-3), Charcer Burks (3-for-4 with an RBI), and Trey Martin (2-for-5) began the frame with singles. A base hit by Chesny Young (1-for-5 with an RBI) drove in Bote, but Burks was thrown out at the plate. Once again, Brockmeyer got things going in the sixth with a single and was bunted to second. A base hit by Jason Vosler (2-for-4 with a double) put runners at the corners and a force out scored Brockmeyer.
High Class–A – Myrtle Beach Pelicans (3-3)
The Myrtle Beach Pelican were postponed on Wednesday and Thursday due to rain.
Double-A – Tennessee Smokies (4-2)
The home opener for Tennessee was rained out on Wednesday, Thursday was the first time the home fans have seen the Smokies in 2015. Tennessee gave the fans their money’s worth as they edged Pensacola 5-4.
One again, the Smokies scored in bunches and then hung on as they cut a 2-0 deficit in half in the second inning when Christian Villanueva (0-for-3) led off with a walk. Singles by Dan Vogelbach (2-for-3) and Willson Contreras (2-for-4 with a double) loaded the bases. Villanueva scored on a double play. Tennessee tied the game in the third when Corey Black (0-for-0) walked and Pin-Chieh Chen (1-for-4 with an RBI) singled. Black scored on a force play that led to a throwing error. The Smokies took the lead in the fourth inning after Vogelbach singled and Contreras doubled. A base hit by Stephen Bruno (2-for-4 with an RBI and a stolen base) brought in Vogelbach, and Elliot Soto (0-for-1) walked to load the bases. A sacrifice fly scored Contreras, while Bruno scored on a ground out.
It was Corey Black, the Opening Day starter that got the call also for the home opener as he allowed two earned runs on three hits and a walk while striking out five in four innings. Michael Jensen remained strong in middle relief as he had two strikeouts in two scoreless innings. C.J. Edwards looked a little rusty as he gave up two earned runs on two hits and two walks as he struck out two in 1.2 innings. P.J. Francescon walked a tightrope for 1.1 innings as he had a strikeout to earn the save.
Triple-A – Iowa Cubs (4-3)
Iowa played an afternoon game on Wednesday and lost to New Orleans 3-2 in 10 innings. Donn Roach was much better in his second start of the season. Roach gave up only one hit and struck out three in six scoreless innings. Blake Cooper allowed an earned run in 1.1 innings, while Blake Parker had trouble finding the strike zone. Parker walked three and yielded an earned run in 1.2 innings. Drake Britton gave up a walk and two hits and let in the winning run.
The I-Cubs scored the first run of the game in the seventh inning after Adron Chambers (1-for-4 with a stolen base) singled with two out and stole second base. Pinch-hitter Kevin Brown (1-for-1 with an RBI) laced a base hit to center field that plated Chambers. Iowa added another run in the eighth when Kris Bryant (0-for-3) was hit by a pitch. A Jonathan Mota (2-for-4 with an RBI) two out single scored Bryant.
Battling the elements as well as the Zephyrs on Thursday, Iowa came from behind in game one of a doubleheader to beat New Orleans 10-7. Iowa had the first lead after Addison Russell (3-for-4 with a double and three RBI) doubled with one out and scored on an error to start the game. Behind 4-1, the I-Cubs crept closer in the fifth inning when Rubi Silva (2-for-4 with a double and an RBI) singled and moved to second on a two out base hit from Jonathan Mota (2-for-3 with an RBI). Adron Chambers (0-for-2) was hit by a pitch and a single by Russell drove in Silva and Mota. Iowa broke the game open in the sixth inning after pinch-hitter Junior Lake (2-for-2 with a double) doubled with one out and came home on a double from Silva. Rafael Lopez (1-for-4) singled, but Silva was thrown out at home. Lopez came home on a double by Kevin Brown (1-for-3 with a double and an RBI), while Mota drove in Brown with a single. A walk to John Andreoli (0-for-0) and a base hit from Russell brought in Mota. Kris Bryant (1-for-4 with a home run and three RBI) then cleared the bases with a three-run home run.
Eric Jokisch got the start for the I-Cubs and ran into some trouble in the fourth inning. Jokisch gave up a total of four earned runs on nine hits and two walks as he pitched 3.2 innings. Gonzalez Germen stamped out the threat by striking out two in 1.1 scoreless innings. Joe Ortiz threw a perfect inning, but Armando Rivero had trouble finding the plate. Rivero yielded three earned runs on three hits in 0.2 innings. James Russell got the final out on a strikeout for his first save.
Game two of the doubleheader was postponed due to rain.
News and Notes
The Tennessee Smokies placed LHP Rob Zastryzny on the 7-day disabled list.