It has become a week for big hitter as home runs seem to be flying out at will. South Bend welcomed Kevin Encarnacion back as he hit a towering blast. Tennessee got an unexpected power surge from Wes Darvill. And the Iowa Cubs are simply feasting as Christian Villanueva, Matt Szczur, Arismendy Alcantara, and Javier Baez all went deep.
The downside was the Myrtle Beach went into a losing streak. But don’t worry as it is only two games while Jeimer Candelario remains red hot.
Along with coverage from the Dominican and Venezuelan Summer Leagues, here is today’s Down on the Farm Report.
Low Class-A – South Bend Cubs (23-28)
Resuming a suspended game from Sunday, South Bend did an about-face and pulled out a 5-4 win over Lake County in the first part of a doubleheader on Monday. Before the rains came on Sunday, starter Jeremy Null was charged with three unearned runs after an error. Null pitched only three innings with a strikeout. When play resumed, Tommy Thorpe was on the hill. The defense gave up another unearned run and Thorpe had a strikeout in 2.1 innings. James Farris collected his sixth save with 1.2 scoreless innings.
The first run for the SB Cubs came in the fifth inning after Gioskar Amaya (2-for-3 with an RBI) singled with two out and scored on a double from David Bote (1-for-3 with a double and an RBI). Charcer Burks (0-for-3 with a walk) and Gleyber Torres (0-for-3 with a walk) drew walks with one out in the sixth, and Burks came home on a single by Andrew Ely (1-for-3 with an RBI). A sacrifice fly plated Torres, and Ely scored on a triple from Kevin Encarnacion (1-for-3 with a triple and an RBI). A single by Amaya allowed Encarnacion to trot home.
Game two saw a gem from the pitching staff as South Bend defeated Lake County 4-0. Erick Leal was in control as he gave up only two hits and two walks whiles striking out a batter in five innings. Both Brad Markey and Jordan Minch tossed a scoreless inning. The SB Cubs used the long ball as Andrew Ely (2-for-3 with a double, a home run, and two RBI) blasted a solo home run with two outs in the first inning.
Rashad Crawford (2-for-3 with a stolen base) led off the third inning with a single and stole second base. Charcer Burks (1-for-4) followed suit with a base hit and stolen base. A one out double by Ely brought in Crawford and Burks. Kevin Encarnacion (1-for-3 with a home run) capped the scored with a two out solo home run in the fourth inning.
South Bend had Tuesday off.
High Class–A – Myrtle Beach Pelicans (31-18)
Myrtle Beach had their game suspended on Monday due to rain. When it resumed on Tuesday, the Pelicans lost to Potomac 4-3 in 11 innings. Every time Myrtle Beach took a lead, the Nationals would storm back in the bottom of the inning. Mark Zagunis (2-for-5) opened the sixth inning with a walk and was sacrificed to second base. A single from Chesny Young (2-for-4 with a stolen base) and a walk to Jeimer Candelario (1-for-4) loaded the bases. A double by Victor Caratini (1-for-4 with a double and two RBI) drove in Zagunis and Young. In the 10th inning, Pin-Chieh Chen (2-for-4) singled but was thrown out at third on a base hit from Young. A throwing error allowed Young to score.
Jen-Ho Tseng had one of this best starts of 2015, allowing two earned runs on ten hits and a walk while striking out a batter in 5.1 innings. Juan Paniagua brought his good stuff, and he fanned four in 3.2 scoreless innings. Jasvir Rakkar had an appearance he would like to forget. Rakkar gave up two earned runs in 1.2 innings.
Don’t look now, but Myrtle Beach has their first losing streak of the season, as they dropped their second in a row on Tuesday to Potomac, losing 4-3 to the Nationals. The Pelicans wasted a fine effort by Jonathan Martinez, who struck out six and allowed an earned run on five hits in five innings. Josh Conway had two strikeouts but gave up an earned run in 1.2 innings. Working around a hit and a walk, Michael Heesch struck out a batter to end the seventh inning. Despite an error leading to two unearned runs, Zach Cates wasn’t fooling anyone as pitched the eighth inning.
Jeimer Candelario (2-for-3 with a double) scored the first run of the game as he led off the second inning with a double and crossed the plate after singles by Victor Caratini (2-for-4) and Jacob Rogers (2-for-3 with an RBI). Caratini scored on a double play. Carlos Penalver (2-for-3 with a double) started the eighth inning with a double and scored on a single by Mark Zagunis (1-for-4 with an RBI).
Double-A – Tennessee Smokies (29-23)
Tennessee took on division leading Chattanooga on Monday and thrashed the Lookouts 13-3. It was a somewhat humble beginning to this blowout after Elliot Soto (1-for-2 with an RBI) led off the game with a walk and Albert Almora (1-for-5) singled. A one out base hit from Willson Contreras (3-for-6 with an RBI) drove in Soto, and a sacrifice fly plated Almora. The Smokies regained the lead in the fourth inning after Ryan Dent (1-for-3 with an RBI) walked. A base hit by Stephen Bruno (2-for-3 with a double and three RBI) and a one out single by Anthony Giansanti (2-for-5 with two RBI) scored Dent. After a sacrifice bunt, walks to Almora and Kyle Schwarber (1-for-5 with an RBI) drove in Bruno.
Tennessee unleashed their offense in the seventh inning. Contreras reached on an error and Billy McKinney (1-for-2 with a double and an RBI) doubled. Dent was hit by a pitch and a walk to Bruno brought Contreras home. A sacrifice fly scored McKinney, and Dent came in on a fielding error. Following a walk to Soto, Bruno crossed home on a wild pitch. In the eighth, the bases were quickly loaded on singles from Schwarber and Contreras, and a walk to McKinney. Dent drove in Schwarber with a single, and Contreras and McKinney scored on a double from Bruno. A single by Giansanti plated Dent, and Bruno scored on a force play.
Lefty Jeffry Antigua struck out seven and allowed three earned runs on four hits in 5.1 innings. Stephen Perakslis and Starling Peralta each pitched 1.1 innings, as Perakslis had two strikeouts and Peralta struck out a batter. Michael Wagner went 1-2-3 in the ninth.
First place is insight as Tennessee moved to a game behind Chattanooga with a 9-3 win over the Lookouts 9-3. Frank Batista remained the best pitcher in the Southern League, as he struck out two and allowed two earned runs on six hits and three walks in 5.2 innings. Tayler Scott went the rest of the way, striking out three and giving up an earned run in 3.1 innings for his first save.
After a scoreless first inning, Stephen Bruno (1-for-3 with an RBI) singled with one out in the second. A triple by Bijan Rademacher (1-for-4 with a triple and an RBI) brought in Bruno, and following a walk to Ryan Dent (1-for-3), Rademacher scored on a ground out. A double by Elliot Soto (1-for-2 with a double and an RBI) brought in Dent. Singles by Albert Almora (3-for-5 with a double), Willson Contreras (3-for-5 with an RBI), and Billy McKinney (1-for-5) loaded the bases in third inning. Almora scored on a sacrifice fly. Dent led off the fourth with a single and came around on a two-run homer from Wes Darvill (3-for-3 with a double, a home run, and four RBI). Almora reached on a force play and scored on a base hit from Contreras. Two out walks to Bruno, Rademacher, and Dent brought up Darvill, whose ground rule double drove in Bruno and Rademacher.
Triple-A – Iowa Cubs (27-24)
The I-Cubs moved their record to two games above .500 on Monday with a 14-4 a shellacking of El Paso. Starter Carlos Pimentel had the game under control, striking out five and scattering six hits in seven scoreless innings. Fresh off the DL, Daniel Schlereth did not get any help from some sloppy play, as he allowed four runs (one earned) and struck out two in 1.2 innings. Blake Cooper recorded the final out.
Christian Villanueva (3-for-5 with a double, a triple, a home run, and three RBI) was the first to strike for Iowa as he laced a solo home run in the second inning. The third inning started with a triple from Rubi Silva (2-for-5 with a triple and two RBI). Silva scored on a double by Carlos Pimentel (1-for-4 with a double and an RBI). Arismendy Alcantara (2-for-5 with a triple and a stolen base) reached on a throwing error, and Adron Chambers (2-for-4 with two RBI) drove in Pimentel with a single. Matt Szczur (1-for-5 with a home run and three RBI) cleared the bases with a three-run homer, bringing in Alcantara and Chambers.
In the sixth, Villanueva doubled and scored on a single from Rafael Lopez (2-for-4 with an RBI). Chris Valaika (1-for-4) waked and a base hit by Silva drove in Lopez. A two out single by Chambers plated Valaika. Javier Baez (1-for-4 with an RBI) was hit by a pitch to start the seventh inning, with one out singles by Lopez and Valaika loading the bases. A force play brought in Baez. Alcantara tripled to lead off the eighth inning. Chambers was hit by a pitch. A single by Baez plated Alcantara, and a triple from Villanueva drove in Chambers and Baez. Villanueva scored on a ground out.
Make it four in a row for the I-Cubs as they moved on to Albuquerque and came away a 9-3 winner. Donn Roach remained one of the top pitchers in the Pacific Coast League, as he struck out two and allowed an earned run in six innings. Armando Rivero relieved and had a strikeout in a scoreless inning. But Joe Ortiz ran into all sorts of trouble, giving up two earned runs in only 0.1 innings. Brian Schlitter was hurried in and struck out two in 1.2 scoreless innings.
It was bombs away for Iowa as they used four home runs to subdue the Isotopes. Singles by Arismendy Alcantara (3-for-4 with a home run, an RBI, and a stolen base), Adron Chambers (4-for-5 with a double and an RBI), and Javier Baez (4-for-5 with two home runs and four RBI) started the game and Alcantara scored on a double play. Alcantara blasted a solo home run to lead off the third inning. The fifth inning began with a single by Chambers, who came around on a home run from Christian Villanueva (2-for-5 with a home run and two RBI). Iowa kept the pressure on in the seventh inning as Alcantara singled and scored on a double from Chambers. Chambers scored on a home run from Baez. After Albuquerque mounted a small comeback in the eighth, the I-Cubs snuffed out all hope in the ninth. It was Baez again, as he unloaded a two run home run with Alcantara on board.
Dominican Summer League – DSL Cubs (2-1)
The DSL Cubs evened their record on Monday with a late surge for a 5-4 victory over Mets-2. Shortstop Yeiler Peguero played a key role as he was 1-for-2 with a triple and two RBI. Outfielder Wander Feliz had two doubles as he went 2-for-5. Starter Pedro Silverio was nicked for two unearned runs as he struck out four in five innings.
The D-Cubs were pretty much in control of things on Tuesday as they defeated Red Sox-2 6-3. Second baseman Franklin Tineo came up big as he was 2-for-3 with a home run and two RBI; while his double play partner Yeiler Peguero went 3-for-4 with a double, RBI, and a stolen base. Jose Morel picked up the victory despite giving up two runs (one earned) while striking out three in four innings.
Venezuelan Summer League – VSL Cubs (6-7)
It took 12 innings on Monday, but the VSL Cubs outpaced the VSL Phillies 5-4. Ivan Medina pitched well, striking out a batter in five scoreless innings. Juan Rengifo tossed the final three innings and slammed the door for the victory while striking out two batters. Outfielder Jose Rojas remains the run producer as he went 3-for-5 with two RBI while shortstop Rafael Narea was 1-for-4 with two RBI.
Tuesday’s game was a tighter affair as the V-Cubs edged past the VSL Phillies 2-1. Catcher Gustavo Polanco was the offensive leader, going 1-for-3 with an RBI and a stolen base. Gabriel Lima got his first victory as he struck out five and allowed an earned run in 5.1 innings.
News and Notes
The Iowa Cubs activated LHP Daniel Schlereth from the 7-day disabled list.