It was thrilling end of the week for the Cubs affiliates as Andrew Ely of South Bend experienced the pure adrenalin of an inside-the-park home run. Both Kyle Schwarber of Tennessee and Matt Szczur of Iowa had the exhilaration of a walk-off win. And Myrtle Beach had a doubleheader sweep thanks to the pitching of Jonathan Martinez and Daury Torrez.
So now that you are all excited, take a look at Down on the Farm Report for more thrills.
Low Class-A – South Bend Cubs (20-28)
South Bend is in a three game slump as they lost to Dayton 4-3 on Wednesday. Nothing went right for Trevor Clifton as he had two errors and gave up four runs (three earned) while striking out four in 4.2 innings. Jordan Minch got himself into trouble with two walks and a single, but was able to wiggle out of it as he had two strikeouts in 1.1 innings. Ryan McNeil finished out with two strikeouts in two perfect innings.
The SB Cubs actually took the lead in the fourth inning after Andrew Ely (2-for-5 with a double) started things with a single. A two out base hit from Yasiel Balaguert (3-for-4 with a home run and two RBI) put South Bend on the board, and singles by Gioskar Amaya (1-for-4) and Jason Vosler (2-for-4 with an RBI) drove in Balaguert. South Bend came within a run of tying the score as Balaguert lined a solo home run in the eighth inning.
A topsy-turvy game on Thursday had South Bend on the short end, losing 5-4 to Dayton. Ace Ryan Williams had his worst outing of the season. Williams gave up an uncharacteristic four earned runs on seven hits with two strikeouts in eight innings. James Farris could not hold back the Dragons, as he allowed an earned run on two hits and a walk while recording only one out in the ninth.
South Bend scored their first run in the sixth inning when Yasiel Balaguert (4-for-5 with a double and a home run) smacked a solo homer out to left. The Cubs tied the score in the eighth after Balaguert doubled and crossed the plate on a two base error. Trailing 4-2 in the ninth, Charcer Burks (2-for-5) led off with a single and scored when Andrew Ely (3-for-5 with two doubles, a home run, and two RBI) hit an inside-the-park home run.
High Class–A – Myrtle Beach Pelicans (29-15)
After a rainout Wednesday, Myrtle Beach played a doubleheader on Thursday and the Pelicans took the opener 5-3 over Carolina. Jonathan Martinez continued his steady rise as he struck out three and allowed three earned runs on five hits and a walk in five innings. Relief came from Juan Paniagua, who tossed a scoreless inning. Jasvir Rakkar came on in the seventh to strike out a batter and record his seventh save.
Two big innings were all Myrtle Beach needed. Mark Zagunis (1-for-3) led off the game with a single and scored on a two out double from Jeimer Candelario (1-for-4 with a double and an RBI). A double by Ben Carhart (1-for-4 with a double and an RBI) scored Candelario. Victor Caratini (3-for-3 with a double) doubled to start the fourth inning. Carlos Penalver (1-for-3) followed with a walk. Zagunis was intentionally walked with one out to loads the bases, and a single by Pin-Chieh Chen (1-for-3 with two RBI and a stolen base) plated Caratini and Penalver. After a walk to Chesny Young (0-for-2 with two walks), a passed ball brought in Zagunis.
Myrtle Beach completed a sweep of Carolina in game two with a 6-3 victory. Starter Daury Torrez seemed in command, but lost some steam in his final inning of work. Torrez allowed three earned runs, all in the fifth inning, and struck out six in five innings. Zach Cates pitched the final two innings and had three strikeouts for his second save.
The Pelicans scored in twos as Danny Lockhart (1-for-2) was hit by a pitch and Mark Zagunis (0-for-3 with an RBI) walked to start the third inning. Following a sacrifice bunt, a single from Chesny Young (1-for-3 with two RBI) scored Lockhart and Zagunis. One out singles by Kevin Brown (2-for-3 with a double), Carlos Penalver (2-for-4 with an RBI), and Lockhart loaded the bases in the fourth inning. A ground out brought in Brown, and a base hit from Pin-Chieh Chen (1-for-3 with an RBI) drove in Penalver. Jeimer Candelario (1-for-4) singled to begin the fifth inning, and Jacob Rogers (0-for-3 with a walk) walked. A base hit from Ben Carhart (1-for-3 with an RBI) plated Candelario, and a single from Penalver scored Rogers.
Double-A – Tennessee Smokies (25-22)
It was a dramatic win for Tennessee on Wednesday as they beat Mobile 3-2 in a 13 inning marathon. The Smokies had the early lead after Albert Almora Jr. (2-for-5 with a home run) walked with one out in the first and scred on a double from Willson Contreras (1-for-5 with a double and an RBI). Almora did things by himself in the fifth inning, as he cranked a solo home run with two outs. Elliot Soto (1-for-6) singled with one out in the 13th inning, and went to third on an errant pick-off attempt. Almora then reached on an error, setting up Kyle Schwarber (2-for-6 with an RBI). A base hit by Schwarber plated Soto for the walk-off victory.
Jeffry Antigua had a good showing, striking out four and allowing an earned run on six hits and two walks in 5.2 innings. But Starling Peralta could not hold the lead as he gave up an earned run in 1.1 innings. Carl Edwards Jr. kept the BayBears off the board as he struck out two in two perfect innings. P.J. Francescon contributed a strikeout in a scoreless inning, but Gerardo Concepcion had to work around two walks and a base hit as he had two strikeouts in 1.1 innings. Andres Santiago needed great catches by Jacob Hannemann and Almora, but gave the Smokies a chance with 1.2 scoreless innings.
Without their top two hitters in the line-up, the Tennessee offense was punchless Thursday as they lost to Mobile 3-0. Frank Batista suffered his first defeat, but he still pitched well enough to win. Batista struck out three and allowed three earned runs on eight hits and a walk in five innings. The bullpen shut down the BayBears the rest of the way as Stephen Perakslis tossed an inning, Tyler Ihrig struck out a batter in two innings, and Fernando Cruz also pitched an inning.
With Dan Vogelbach on the DL and Kyle Schwarber with the night off, the Smokies managed only three hits. Bijan Rademacher returned for the disabled list and was 1-for-2, while Anthony Giansanti went 1-for-3 and Billy McKinney had a pinch hit.
Triple-A – Iowa Cubs (23-23)
A day off did not help the I-Cubs as they lost game one of an rain induced doubleheader 13-1 to Reno. Felipe Paulino was drubbed by the Aces, allowing six earned runs on nine hits and three walks while striking out five in 3.2 innings. Armando Rivero at least kept Reno off the board, striking out a batter in 1.1 innings. However, Hunter Cervenka was taken to the woodshed as he surrendered a Grand Slam in route to giving up six earned runs in 0.1 innings. Drake Britton finished up with an uninspiring 1.2 innings, yielding an earned run and striking out a batter.
The only run for Iowa came in the first after Arismendy Alcantara (1-for-2 with a double) led off with a double and scored after two ground outs.
Defense failed Iowa in the nightcap as they lost to Reno 3-2 in game two. Carlos Pimentel pitched well enough to win, but three errors helped lead to two unearned runs. Pimentel allowed three runs (one earned) while striking out four in four innings. Yoanner Negrin got on one of his devastating hot streaks as he struck out five in three scoreless innings.
The I-Cubs scored in the first inning after Arismendy Alcantara (0-for-3 with a walk) led off with a walk and Matt Szczur (1-for-4) singled. Two ground outs brought in Alcantara. Chris Valaika (2-for-3 with a double) doubled with one out in the second inning and scored on a single by Jonathan Mota (1-for-3 with an RBI and a stolen base).
It looked like another defeat for the I-Cubs on Thursday, but a late blast produced a 3-2 walk-off victory over Reno. Down 2-0 to start the ninth inning, Arismendy Alcantara (1-for-3 with a stolen base) and Adron Chambers (1-for-4) singled to bring up Matt Szczur (2-for-4 with a home run, three RBI, and a stolen base), who lined a shot to left center to bring home the winner.
Donn Roach came back from some injury concerns to strike out two and allow two earned runs on seven hits and a walk in seven innings. Gonzalez Germen and Brian Schlitter each had a strikeout as both relievers tossed a scoreless inning.
Venezuelan Summer League – VSL Cubs (3-6)
Although they had six hits, the V-Cubs could manage only one run on Wednesday as they lost to the VSL Phillies 2-1. Gustavo Polanco, playing first base, was 2-for-3 while centerfielder Jose Gonzalez went 1-for-3 and had an RBI. Lefty Riger Fernandez allowed two runs (one earned) and struck out a batter in three innings.
It was a much different game between the VSL Cubs and the VSL Phillies on Thursday, as the V-Cubs won 10-7. Seventeen-year old Freddy Tineo was hit for three earned runs, as he struck out two in four innings. Juan Rengifo had two strikeouts in three scoreless innings for his first victory. The Cubs had eight hits, all singles as outfielder Jose Rojas led the way, going 2-for-4 with two RBI.
News and Notes
The Chicago Cubs assigned OF Kevin Encarnacion to the South Bend Cubs from extended spring training.
The Tennessee Smokies placed RHP Michael Jensen and 1B Dan Vogelbach on the 7-day disabled list; activated RHP Stephen Perakslis and OF Bijan Rademacher from the 7-day disabled list. The South Bend Cubs placed C Justin Marra on the 7-day disabled list.