It was a down start to the week for the Cubs’ affiliates as South Bend lost two despite starting two of their better pitchers, Jeremy Null and Erick Leal. Myrtle Beach also ended a five-game winning streak as Jen-Ho Tseng has had a tough time in the Carolina League.
With reports from the Venezuelan Summer League, have gander at today’s Down on the Farm Report.
Low Class-A – South Bend Cubs (18- 21)
A rally fell short and South Bend could not overcome a rare poor pitching performance as they lost to Lansing 7-5 on Monday. Jeremy Null had been dominant through the first six weeks of the season. But on Monday night, Null looked ordinary as he allowed five earned runs on 12 hits and a walk while striking out five in five innings. Tommy Thorpe could not hold the Lugnuts and gave up two earned runs with two strikeouts in three innings.
South Bend tied the score at two in the third inning after Jeffrey Baez (1-for-4) and Charcer Burks (2-for-5 with a stolen base) had one out singles. A base hit by Gioskar Amaya (2-for-4 with three RBI) drove in both Baez and Burks. In the fifth inning, Gleyber Torres (1-for-4) lined a one out single and came home after base hits from Yasiel Balaguert (2-for-3) and Cael Brockmeyer (3-for-3 with two RBI). The SB Cubs added two more runs in the eighth after Burks singled and stole second. A one out base hit from Amaya brought in Burks, and singles by Balaguert and Brockmeyer scored Amaya.
The slide continued for South Bend as they lost a Tuesday afternoon contest to Lansing 7-3. Starter Erick Leal was treated rudely, giving up six earned runs on nine hits and two walks while striking out four in 6.2 innings. Jordan Minch went the rest of the way, allowing an earned run and striking out a batter in 1.1 innings.
The SB Cubs were down 4-0 in the fifth inning when Justin Marra (1-for-4 with an RBI) walked with two out. A triple by Jesse Hodges (3-for-4 with a triple and an RBI) drove in Marra. Cael Brockmeyer (0-for-3 with a walk) led off the seventh with a walk, and singles by Jason Vosler (2-for-4) and Hodges loaded the bases. A base hit from Charcer Burks (2-for-4 with two RBI and a stolen base) scored Brockmeyer and Vosler, but Hodges was thrown out at third.
High Class–A – Myrtle Beach Pelicans (23-13)
Myrtle Beach was off on Monday.
The Pelicans saw a five game winning streak end on Tuesday as they lost to the Frederick Keys 6-2. Jen-Ho Tseng appears more like a lost 20-year old than the dominant pitcher he was last season. Tseng gave up three earned runs on five hits and a walk as he struck out five in 4.2 innings. Juan Paniagua relieved and had two strikeouts in 2.1 scoreless innings. Zach Cates could not find the plate. Cates walked three and gave up two runs (one earned) while working an inning. Also having his troubles was Josh Conway, who yielded two hits and an earned run while striking out two in the final inning.
Myrtle Beach tied the game at one in the third inning after they loaded the bases on a walk to Carlos Penalver (1-for-2 with an RBI) and singles by Mark Zagunis (1-for-2) and Chesny Young (2-for-5 with a stolen base). Penalver scored on a wild pitch. In the fourth, Victor Caratini (2-for-3) and Pin-Chieh Chen (1-for-4 with a stolen base) had base hits to put runners on the corners. Caratini scored on a sacrifice fly.
Double-A – Tennessee Smokies (22-17)
Tennessee was flat out whipped in a Monday matinee, losing 11-0 to Jackson. It was the Double-A debut of left-hander Tyler Ihrig, who seems to be this year’s designated fill-in pitcher. Ihrig has already been on the rosters of the South Bend Cubs, Eugene Emeralds, and Iowa Cubs so far this season. Ihrig did not pitch poorly, allowing three earned runs on eight hits and a walk while striking out three in 4.1 innings. The game really got away from the Smokies when Fernando Cruz entered. Cruz served up five earned runs in 2.2 innings. Gerardo Concepcion poured gas on the fire, giving up three runs (two earned) in an inning of work. P.J. Francescon restored some order with a scoreless ninth.
Mostly known for their hitting, Tennessee turned to pitching to defeat Jackson 3-0 on Tuesday. Ivan Pineyro had one of his dominating performances that he turns in every few games. In seven innings, Pineyro scattered four hits, walked three, and struck out six batters. Carl Edwards Jr. seems to be improving with every outing, as he walked three and had three strikeouts in two scoreless innings for his third save.
The Smokies broke a scoreless tie in the third inning when Ryan Dent (1-for-3) led off with a single and scored on a triple from Elliot Soto (3-for-3 with a triple and an RBI). Dent started things off again in the fifth inning when he reached on an error. Soto singled, and walks to Kyle Schwarber (0-for-2 with two walks) and Dan Vogelbach (0-for-3 with a walk and an RBI) forced in Dent. Soto scored on a force play.
Triple-A – Iowa Cubs (19-19)
After falling short the previous two days, the I-Cubs were finally able to best Oklahoma City on Monday, winning 3-2. Iowa’s best starter, Donn Roach, was up to the task as he lowered his ERA to 1.97, fourth in the Pacific Coast League and improved his record to 5-0. Roach allowed two runs (one earned) and struck out two in six innings. Gonzalez Germen fanned three in 1.2 scoreless innings. Drake Britton retired the only batter he faced with a strikeout. Blake Cooper came on in the ninth and worked around a hit and a walk for his second save.
Iowa was daring in order to jump out to a 2-0 lead after Matt Szczur (4-for-4 with a stolen base) and Javier Baez (1-for-4 with a stolen base) had one out singles. They then pulled off a double steal, with Baez taking second and Szczur stealing home. A base hit by Mike Baxter (1-for-4 with an RBI) drove in Baez. Taylor Davis (3-for-4 with two doubles) led off the seventh inning with a double, his fifth in two games. Davis was sacrificed to third and scored on a single from Arismendy Alcantara (1-for-5 with an RBI).
The Iowa Cubs were postponed on Tuesday due to rain.
Venezuelan League – VSL Cubs (1-1)
The V-Cubs opened their season on Monday with a 2-1 win over the VSL Tigers. First baseman Fidel Matos was 1-for-3 with an RBI, while third baseman Francisco Garay drove in the other run and was also 1-for-3. Catcher Gustavo Polanco and left fielder Jose Rojas were each 2-for-4 and Rojas added a stolen base. Gabriel Lima started and had two strikeouts in four scoreless innings. Juan Rengifo gave up an earned run, but fanned three in three innings to earn the save.
On Tuesday, the VSL Cubs lost 11-5 to the VSL Tigers. Centerfielder Jose Gonzalez had a big day, going 2-for-5 with a double and three RBI. Fidel Matos was 3-for-5 with a double. Starter Emilio Ferrebus struck out four in three scoreless innings. Bryan Molina was roughed up for five runs (four earned) in 0.1 innings, while Harrinson Bermudez gave up six runs (three earned) in 2.2 innings.
News and Notes
The Chicago Cubs selected the contract of OF/IB Mike Baxter from the Iowa Cubs; recalled OF Junior Lake from the Iowa Cubs; optioned RHP Dallas Beeler, RHP Yoervis Medina and RHP Brian Schlitter to the Iowa Cubs; assigned LHP Daniel Schlereth to the Iowa Cubs from extended spring training; assigned RHP Michael Wagner to the Tennessee Smokies from the Iowa Cubs; assigned INF Bryant Flete to the Tennessee Smokies from the Eugene Emeralds; Assigned C Erick Castillo to the Eugene Emeralds from the Tennessee Smokies.
The Tennessee Smokies placed RHP Stephen Perakslis on the 7-day disabled list.