The end of the week saw Myrtle Beach edge closer to a playoff berth as relievers Juan Paniagua and James Pugliese gave the Pelicans a chance to come back. Tennessee holds a slim playoff chance as Pierce Johnson began to heat up. Iowa remains in the hunt as John Andreoli provided a spark.
The Eugene Emeralds kicked off its season with a sloppy loss behind LHP Carson Sands.
Along with scores for the Dominican Republic and Venezuela, here is the Down on the Farm Report.
Low Class-A – South Bend Cubs 27 – 37
The extracurricular activities were more of the focus Wednesday than the score, as South Bend lost 3-1 to Dayton. A bench clearing brawl led to the ejection of six players, including Trevor Clifton, Gioskar Amaya (0-for-1), and Cael Brockmeyer (0-for-1) of South Bend. With South Bend losing both of their catchers, Jesse Hodges (0-for-2) had to catch for the first time in his professional career. Clifton was not fooling the Dragons as he allowed three earned runs on five hits and three walks while striking out three in 3.2 innings. New in town, Michael Wagner was rushed into the game and kept the Cubs in it. Wagner struck out six in 3.2 innings. Also returning to the club was Brad Markey, who had three strikeouts in two scoreless innings.
Despite 12 hits, South Bend could only score one run as they lost 2-1 to Dayton in 10 innings on Thursday. With an outing that most expected on a regular basis this season, Jake Stinnett was charged with an unearned run and struck out four in six innings. David Garner kept the Cubs in the game by striking out three in two scoreless innings. Closer James Farris had an easy time in the ninth, but gave up what would be the winning run in the 10th as he had four strikeouts in two innings. South Bend tied the game in the seventh inning after David Bote (1-for-4 with a double) led off with a double and a two out double from Charcer Burks (2-for-5 with two doubles and an RBI) drove Bote in.
High Class–A – Myrtle Beach Pelicans (38-27)
The magic number was down to two after Myrtle Beach rallied past Winston-Salem to win 5-2 on Wednesday. Things were looking a little grim when starter Fernando Cruz gave up two earned runs and struck out three in 4.1 innings. However, Juan Paniagua kept the Dash right there while striking out a batter in 2.2 perfect innings. James Pugliese earned his fifth save with a strikeout in two perfect innings.
The Pelicans finally broke the bats out in the sixth inning. Trey Martin (2-for-3 with an RBI) had a one out single and scored on a triple from Mark Zagunis (3-for-4 with a triple and an RBI). A two out base hit by Chesny Young (1-for-4 with an RBI) drove in Zagunis, and a single from Jeimer Candelario (2-for-5 with an RBI) put runners on the corners. Young came home on a single by Jacob Rogers (2-for-4 with an RBI). With one out in the eighth, Pin-Chieh Chen (1-for-4 with a stolen base) had a base hit and a stolen base, with a single by Candelario plating Chen. Myrtle Beach loaded the bases in the ninth with a walk to Danny Lockhart (0-for-3 with a walk), a single by Zagunis, and a walk to Chen. Lockhart scored on a fielding error.
Myrtle Beach’s game on Thursday was postponed due to weather.
Double-A – Tennessee Smokies (36-29)
The Smokies still won’t go away as they shut out Mississippi 8-0 on Wednesday to remain in the playoff hunt. Starter Pierce Johnson scattered three hits and struck out four in five innings. On a rehab assignment, Major Leaguer Neil Ramirez went 1-2-3 in the sixth inning, while Gerardo Concepcion did the same in the seventh. Corey Black had a strikeout in two innings.
Tennessee broke a scoreless tie in the fifth inning after Bijan Rademacher (2-for-4 with an RBI) reached on a fielder’s choice. A single by Stephen Bruno (2-for-3 with an RBI) and a throwing error that allowed Wes Darvill (0-for-3) to reach scored Rademacher. Bruno crossed the plate on a sacrifice bunt. One out singles by Rademacher and Bruno started the seventh, with both coming in on a double from Bryant Flete (1-for-3 with a double and three RBI). Anthony Giansanti (0-for-2) reached on an error to start the eighth, and Albert Almora Jr. (0-for-3) was hit by a pitch one out later. A single from Dan Vogelbach (1-for-4) loaded the bases. Giansanti and Almora scored on a double from Taylor Davis (1-for-4 with a double and two RBI). A base hit by Rademacher drove in Vogelbach, and a sacrifice fly brought in Davis.
Tennessee’s game on Thursday was suspended in the top of the fourth inning due to rain. The Smokies are leading 1-0.
Triple-A – Iowa Cubs (35-31)
Iowa watched a four run lead disintegrate as they lost to Omaha 7-4 in a Wednesday afternoon game. Felipe Paulino was cruising until the sixth inning when he served up a three-run homer. Paulino’s final line was three earned runs on seven hits and three walks with five strikeouts in 5.2 innings. Gonzalez Germen didn’t fare much better, surrendering three earned runs in 1.1 innings. Even Armando Rivero could not escape, as he was charged with an unearned run in the eighth.
Jonathan Mota (1-for-4 with a double) led off the third inning with a double and scored after a throwing error on a sacrifice bunt. A solo home run by Junior Lake (1-for-4 with a home run) started the fourth inning. The fifth inning began with a triple by Arismendy Alcantara (1-for-4 with a triple), who came home on a base hit by John Andreoli (1-for-3 with an RBI). A force play wiped out Andreoli and allowed Matt Szczur (0-for-4 with two stolen bases) to reach. Szczur scored after two stolen bases, a walk to Christian Villanueva (0-for-3 with a walk), and throwing error.
The I-Cubs opened a series against Round Rock on Thursday with a 7-2 victory. Carlos Pimentel started and struck out four in 6.1 innings, allowing two runs (one earned) on five hits and four walks. Joe Ortiz had two strikeouts as he pitched 1.1 innings. Blake Cooper also tossed 1.1 scoreless innings.
Iowa batted around in the third inning after Adron Chambers (1-for-4 with an RBI) led off with a double and was sacrificed to third. A single by John Andreoli (2-for-5 with an RBI) drove in Chambers, and a double from Matt Szczur (1-for-4 with a double, an RBI, and a stolen base) scored Andreoli. Christian Villanueva (2-for-4 with a double and two RBI) singled to bring in Szczur. A base hit by Rafael Lopez (3-for-5) and a walk to Junior Lake (1-for-2) loaded the bases, with ground out scoring Villanueva. Szczur was hit by a pitch to start the fifth inning, stole second and advanced to third on a throwing error. A sacrifice fly brought in Szczur. Consecutive singles by Lopez, Lake, and Rubi Silva (1-for-4 with an RBI) loaded the bases. A two out base hit from Chambers plated Lopez and Lake.
Short-Season Class-A – Eugene Emeralds (0-1)
It was not a good Opening Night for the Eugene Emeralds as they dropped the first game of the season 6-1 to Everett on Thursday. Carson Sands got the start and gave up three runs, two earned, on five hits with two strikeouts in 5.0 innings. Pedro Araujo surrendered three runs on three hits and a walk in 1.1 innings. Lefty Sam Wilson went 1.2 innings without allowed a run with a pair of strikeouts.
The Emeralds scored only one run and were charged with more errors (4) on the night than the total number of hits the offense came up with in the opener. Eloy Jimenez (2-for-4 with a RBI) drove in Eugene’s only run in the third inning that tied the game. Ho-young Son (1-for-3 with a double, a walk and a run scored) walked, moved to second on an errant pickoff throw and scored on a single to center by Jimenez.
Dominican Summer League – DSL Cubs (11- 5)
They were swinging from the heels on Wednesday as the DSL Cubs topped the DSL Pirates 13-12. Chris Pieters is making a smooth transition from pitcher to position player, as he was 2-for-4 with two stolen bases. Outfielder Wander Feliz went 2-for-5 with a triple and two RBI. The D-Cubs got good relief work from Julian Aybar and he allowed an earned run and struck out four in three innings for the win.
Venezuelan Summer League – VSL Cubs (15-13)
The VSL Cubs are 2.5 games out of first place as they came out on top in a slugfest with the VSL Phillies 11-10 on Wednesday. First Baseman Roberto Vahlis had a huge day, going 5-for-6 with a double and an RBI, while outfielder Jose Gonzalez was 2-for-5 with three RBI. Juan Rengifo shut down the Phillies in relief, striking out a batter in two scoreless innings.
The V-Cubs did not lose any ground on Thursday as they lost to the VSL Phillies 6-1. Starter Alex Pacheco allowed three earned runs and struck out five in 4.1 innings. Second baseman Jhonny Bethencourt was 2-for-4 with a double in the loss.
News and Notes
The Chicago Cubs recalled RHP Yoervis Medina from the Iowa Cubs; optioned RHP Brian Schlitter to the Iowa Cubs; sent RHP Neil Ramirez to the Tennessee Smokies on a rehab assignment; assigned C Taylor Davis to the Tennessee Smokies from the Iowa Cubs; assigned RHP Michael Wagner to the South Bend Cubs from the Tennessee Smokies; assigned RHP Brad Markey to the South Bend Cubs from the Eugene Emeralds; assigned C Justin Marra to the Eugene Emeralds from the South Bend Cubs; assigned INF Frandy Delarosa to the Eugene Emeralds from the DSL Cubs; assigned OF/1B Chris Pieters and RHP Pedro Silverio to the AZL Cubs form the DSL Cubs; assigned RHP Francisco Carrillo to the AZL Cubs from the South Bend Cubs; assigned RHP Michael Knighton to the AZL Cubs from the South Bend Cubs.