It was an up and down end of the week for the Cubs’ affiliates as Wednesday was a make-up day for Myrtle Beach and Tennessee.
Charcer Burks and Gleyber Torres stayed hot for South Bend while no other prospect in the system may be as locked in as Billy McKinney right now. McKinney walked off Salem Thursday for his only hit of the game to go along with four walks.
Double-A Tennessee swept a doubleheader Wednesday before losing a tough one in walk-off fashion on Thursday.
And Iowa finally has a new home run leader in Arismendy Alcantara. Alcantara passed Kris Bryant for the team lead in longballs in the I-Cubs victory over the Sounds.
Low Class-A – South Bend Cubs (15-13)
It was a familiar story for South Bend on Wednesday as the bullpen failed to hold off Great Lakes in a 4-3 loss. Erick Leal pitched well enough to win as he allowed two earned runs on five hits and a walk while striking out four in 5.2 innings. David Garner gave up his first earned run of the season on a solo home run, as he struck out two in 1.1 innings. The troubles continued for Tommy Thorpe as he yielded an earn run and had two strikeouts in two innings.
The SB Cubs took the lead in the fifth inning after Jesse Hodges (2-for-4 with a double) had a one out double and scored on a triple from David Bote (1-for-4 with a triple and an RBI). A single by Gioskar Amaya (1-for-3 with an RBI) drove in Bote. South Bend tied the game in the eighth after Charcer Burks (3-for-4 with two stolen bases) led off the inning with a single, stole second and third, and scored on an error.
South Bend held off a late push by Bowling Green and topped the Hot Rods on Thursday 3-2. Zach Hedges picked up the win after tossing five innings of three-hit, shutout ball. Hedges walked two and struck out four. Ryan McNeil surrendered a run in his two innings of work on two hits. Jordan Minch gave up a leadoff single in the eighth. After a force out left Jace Conrad at first base, Minch saw Conrad steal both second and third base. Minch walked Grant Kay and a sac fly allowed Conrad to score. Minch went out for the ninth but was removed after he hit a batter with two down and put the tying run on first base. James Farris recorded the last out and earned his third save of the season.
South Bend jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the second inning after Gioskar Amaya (1-for-4 with a runs scored) led off with a single and stole second base. Jeffrey Baez (1-for-3 with a run scored and a walk) walked. Rashad Crawford (1-for-3 with an RBI) loaded the bases with a bunt single. Charcer Burks (1-for-3 with two RBI and two walks) singled to center to drive in Amaya. With the bases loaded, Gleyber Torres (1-for-4 with a walk) walked to force in a run.
Jesse Hodges (1-for-3 with a run scored and a walk) led off the sixth with a double and moved to third on an infield single to short. Hodges tagged and scored from third when Crawford flied out to left in foul ground.
High Class–A – Myrtle Beach Pelicans (17-10)
A doubleheader on Wednesday saw Myrtle Beach regretting some pitching decisions in a 5-4 loss to Salem in game one. Daury Torrez got the starting nod and gave up four runs (three earned) through six innings while striking out six batters. Trying to save his pitching staff, manager Mark Johnson sent Torrez out for the seventh inning and he got in trouble. Torrez gave up two singles with one out. Johnson summoned James Pugliese, who pitched the previous night. Pugliese looked a little gassed as he allowed a ground rule double that gave the Red Sox the lead.
The Pelicans manufactured runs in the bottom of the first after Mark Zagunis (0-for-2 with two walks) and Wes Darvill (0-for-1 with two walks) drew walks and moved into scoring position on a wild pitch. A ground out plated Zagunis, and Darvill scored on a balk. Myrtle Beach scored somewhat more conventionally in the third inning after Jacob Rogers (0-for-4) reached on an error and Jeimer Candelario (2-for-3 with a double) singled. A double from Victor Caratini (2-for-3 with a double and two RBI) scored both Rogers and Candelario.
The Pelicans regrouped in game two and cashed in early as Myrtle Beach beat Salem 4-2. Wes Darvill (2-for-4 with a home run and an RBI) started things off with a bang for the Pelicans with a one out solo home run. Billy McKinney (2-for-2 with a double and an RBI) followed with a single and scored on a double from Jacob Rogers (1-for-3 with a double and an RBI). It was some of the same culprits in the third inning as Mark Zagunis (2-for-4 with an RBI) and Darvill had base hits, and Zagunis scored on a double from McKinney. The Birds added an insurance run in the sixth after Kevin Brown (0-for-2 with a walk) walked with one out, move to second on a wild pitch, took third on an error, and scored on a single by Zagunis.
Tayler Scott received the spot start and looked good until he served up a solo home run to lead off the fourth inning. Scott allowed two runs (one earned) and struck out five in three innings. Zach Cates, who just arrived from Tennessee, looked very shaky in his first inning while wiggling out of a bases loaded jam. Cates settled down a little and ended up striking out a batter in two scoreless innings. Jasvir Rakkar tossed two perfect innings with a strikeout as he collected his fourth save.
It took 10 innings and a Billy McKinney walk-off homer for the Pelicans to top the Red Sox 2-1 on Thursday night. Duane Underwood Jr. tossed seven innings and allowed one run, on a homer, and three total hits. Underwood walked one and struck out four. Juan Carlos Paniagua pitched two scoreless innings and Michael Heesch picked up the win with a scoreless 10th inning that included a strikeout.
The Pelicans tied the game at one in the bottom of the sixth after Billy McKinney (1-for-1 with a home run, two runs scored and four walks) worked a one-out walk. McKinney advanced to third on a wild pickoff throw to first and scored on a Jacob Rogers (1-for-4) single to center.
Double-A – Tennessee Smokies (15-12)
Tennessee lived on the edge in game one of a doubleheader on Wednesday and came away a 2-1 winner over Pensacola. Frank Batista remains one of the most effective pitchers in the Cubs’ system as he was charged with an unearned run and struck out four in six innings. P.J. Francescon nailed down his third save of the season as he allowed a baserunner but had a strikeout to end the threat.
The Smokies led for most of the game after Jacob Hannemann (0-for-2 with two walks and a stolen base) walked and stole second to lead off the game. Walks by Kyle Schwarber (0-for-1 with two walks), Dan Vogelbach (0-for-2 with a walk), and Bijan Rademacher (0-for-2 with a walk and an RBI) forced in Hannemann.
With the game tied at one in the seventh, Elliot Soto (0-for-2 with a walk) walked and was bunted to second. After a wild pitch moved Soto to third, a base hit from pinch-hitter Pin-Chieh Chen (1-for-1 with an RBI) allowed Soto to score.
In the nightcap, Tennessee saved the best for last as they pulled out a 4-1 victory over Pensacola. The Smokies scored all of their runs in the seventh inning after Ryan Dent led off with a double and moved to third on a wild pitch. Elliot Soto and Pin-Chieh Chen drew walks, leaving things up to Bijan Rademacher. Rademacher’s two out free pass forced in Dent and tied the game at one. Dan Vogelbach delivered a bases clearing double that scored Soto, Chen and Rademacher.
Andres Santiago was given the spot start and did his job. Santiago allowed an earned run and struck out three in 4.1 innings. Gerardo Concepcion made his Double-A debut by working 0.2 scoreless innings. Carl Edwards Jr. struck out the side in his inning of work, while Michael Jensen had two strikeouts and worked around two hits to close things out.
Tennessee was on the wrong end of a walk-off Thursday night in a 5-4 loss to Pensacola. One of the Reds’ top prospects, Jesse Winker singled off Stephen Perakslis in the bottom of the ninth and plated Juan Perez with the game winner.
The Smokies jumped out to a four-run lead in the first inning after Pin-Chieh Chen (0-for-3 with a walk and a run scored) walked and moved to second on a single by Albert Almora (1-for-4 with a run scored). Kyle Schwarber (1-for-4 with a run scored) loaded the bases with a single to right. After Dan Vogelbach (0-for-4) struck out swinging, Bijan Rademacher (1-for-4 with a double, a run scored and three RBI) hit a bases clearing double. Elliot Soto (2-for-3 with an RBI) delivered a two-out single that allowed Rademacher to score.
Tennessee could not manage another run the rest of the game while the Reds’ Double-A squad chipped into the four-run lead with two in the first inning. Single runs in the fifth and sixth innings tied the game and set it up for Winker to deliver the game winner.
Corey Black gave up three runs on four hits with four walks and seven strikeouts in five innings. And Fernando Cruz allowed the Blue Wahoos to tie it up in the seventh. Cruz gave up one unearned run on one hit with four strikeouts in three innings.
Triple-A – Iowa Cubs (13-14)
It was a somewhat embarrassing display by Iowa on Wednesday as they lost to Nashville 6-0. The I-Cubs made their only serious threat in the fourth inning, but otherwise collected only five hits: Chris Valaika (2-for-4), Javier Baez (1-for-4), Taylor Teagarden (1-for-3) and Rubi Silva (1-for-3).
Dallas Beeler had all kinds of trouble as he gave up five earned runs on nine hits and two walks in four innings. Michael Wagner got the early call from the pen and allowed an earned run while striking out a batter in three innings. Joe Ortiz pitched a perfect eighth inning.
Iowa rode another very good start from Tsuyoshi Wada and a four-run seventh inning highlighted by an Arismendy Alcantara homer to beat the Sounds on Thursday night by a final of 4-1.
Tsuyoshi Wada is making his case to take a spot in the big league team’s rotation. Wada gave up a solo homer in the first inning and that was all over 5 2/3 innings. Wada allowed four hits with two walks and six strikeouts. Gonzalez Germen, Blake Cooper and Brian Schlitter combined on 3.1 innings of shutout ball to give the I-Cubs’ offense a chance to put runs on board.
Mike Baxter (2-for-4 with a run scored) singled to left with one out in the seventh and scored on a single by Jonathan Mota (2-for-4 with a run scored) that tied the game. Mota ended up at third thanks to a fielding error by the Sounds’ right fielder. Taylor Davis (1-for-3) singled in Mota with the go ahead run. With pinch-runner Rubi Silva at third and two outs, Arismendy Alcantara (1-for-4 with a home run, two RBI and a walk) cranked his fourth Triple-A homer of the season out to right.
News and Notes
The Chicago Cubs recalled OF Matt Szczur; optioned OF Junior Lake to the Iowa Cubs; assigned LHP Gerardo Concepcion to the Tennessee Smokies from the Myrtle Beach Pelicans; assigned RHP Zach Cates to the Myrtle Beach Pelicans from the Tennessee Smokies; assigned C Erick Castillo to the Eugene Emeralds from the Tennessee Smokies.
The Tennessee Smokies activated OF Albert Almora Jr. from the 7-day disabled list. The Myrtle Beach Pelicans placed C Alberto Mineo on the 7-day disabled list; activated RHP Juan Paniagua from the 7-day disabled list.
The South Bend Cubs activated RHP James Norwood from the disabled list.
The Iowa Cubs activated LHP Drake Britton from the 7-day disabled list. C Alberto Mineo was transferred from High-A Myrtle Beach to extended Spring Training. Myrtle Beach received C Jordan Hankins from extended Spring Training and placed him on the 7-day DL.