There was some tough luck as the Myrtle Beach offense has suddenly gone cold and squandered excellent pitching efforts from Michael Heesch and Jen-Ho Tseng. South Bend is also in a scoring drought and wasted a good performance by Erick Leal.
What an end to the week! The Down on the Farm Report has all the details, so come inside!
Short Season Class-A – Eugene Emeralds (13-8)
In a game late Tuesday, Eugene overcame some sloppy play with a big first inning and held on for a 6-4 win over Vancouver. Justin Steele was charged with four runs but only one was earned as the Emeralds’ defense kicked the ball around a little. Steele also had six strikeouts in five innings to improve his record to 3-0. Greyfer Eregua had his best outing of the season as he fanned seven in three scoreless innings. Jared Cheek notched his second save with two strikeouts in the ninth.
Behind 2-0 in the first inning, Eugene made some noise of their own in the bottom half as Frandy Delarosa (2-for-3 with a double and an RBI) and Ian Happ (0-for-3 with two walks and an RBI) drew one out walks. Matt Rose (1-for-4 with a double and two RBI) just missed a home run as he doubled in Delarosa and Happ. Tyler Alamo (1-for-4) singled and a double from Ian Rice (2-for-4 with a double and an RBI) scored Rose. Alamo came home on a sacrifice fly. The Emeralds answered a run by the Canadians in the second inning with one of their own when Donnie Dewees (1-for-4) walked, took third on a double by Delarosa, and scored on a ground out. Eugene added a run in the eighth after Kevonte Mitchell (1-for-4 with a triple) tripled and was brought in by a sacrifice fly.
Make it four straight as Eugene used a big inning to ease their way past Vancouver 8-4 on Wednesday. The game was not as close as it may appear as starter Oscar De La Cruz had everything under control. De La Cruz struck out six and allowed an earned run in six innings. Rehabbing Trey Masek showed that he still has a way to go as he gave up three earned runs but had two strikeouts in 1.2 innings. Heath Dwyer has settled in as he struck out two in 1.1 scoreless innings.
The only runs for the Emeralds came in the sixth inning after Donnie Dewees (2-for-4 with two doubles and an RBI) led off with a single and advanced to second on an error. A double from Frandy Delarosa (2-for-4 with two doubles and three RBI) drove in Dewees and a balk moved Delarosa to third. Ian Happ (1-for-4 with an RBI and a stolen base) singled to bring Delarosa home. Happ stole second and advanced to third on an error. A one out intentional walk to Matt Rose (0-for-2 with two walks) put runners at the corners, and a single by Blake Headley (1-for-3 with an RBI) scored Happ. Ian Rice (0-for-4) reached on an error. A walk to Ricardo Marcano (1-for-2 with a walk and a RBI) forced in Rose. A sacrifice fly brought in Headley, and a double by Dewees plated Rice. Delarosa doubled in Marcano and Dewees.
Low Class-A – South Bend Cubs (36-46)
South Bend just could not put things together on Wednesday as they lost 3-1 to Fort Wayne. Erick Leal had a good effort as he allowed three earned runs in seven innings. Ryan McNeil struck out a batter in a scoreless inning of work. The only run for the Cubs came in the sixth inning on an inside-the-park home run by Jason Vosler (1-for-4 with a home run).
The SB Cubs limped out of Fort Wayne after losing three out of four, bowing to the Tin Caps 6-2 on Thursday. Jake Stinnett continues to stumble through his disappointing season as he allowed four runs (three earned) with six strikeouts in four innings. Also inconsistent, Jordan Minch gave up two earned runs and struck out a batter in 1.1 innings. An emerging talent is Daniel Lewis, who had two strikeouts in 2.2 perfect innings.
The Cubs were only able to get their offense going in the fifth inning after Yasiel Balaguert (1-for-5) singled with two out and came home after Kevin Encarnacion (2-for-4 with a triple and an RBI) tripled. David Bote (1-for-1 with a triple and three walks) followed with a walk and a base hit from Erick Castillo (2-for-4 with an RBI) drove in Encarnacion.
High Class–A – Myrtle Beach Pelicans (46-38)
It was a tight ballgame Wednesday until Myrtle Beach fell apart in the ninth and lost to Winston-Salem 5-0. Receiving his first start of the season, Michael Heesch performed commendably, striking out three while scattering four hits over five scoreless innings. Juan Paniagua also shutout the Dash and had three strikeouts in three innings. The usually reliable James Pugliese came on in the ninth and gave up five earned runs in only 0.2 innings. James Farris struck out the final batter. The Pelicans had only two hits as Trey Martin was 1-for-3 while Jacob Rogers went 1-for-3 with a double.
The Pelicans outhit Winston-Salem and had one of their best pitching performances of the season, yet still lost 1-0 on Thursday. Jen-Ho Tseng took a perfect game into the seventh inning and ended up yielding only one earned run as he struck out five in eight innings. Josh Conway had two strikeouts in the ninth. Myrtle Beach had five hits as Chesny Young, Victor Caratini and Carlos Penalver were each 1-for-4, while Jeimer Candelario and Kevin Brown both went 1-for-4 with a double.
Double-A – Tennessee Smokies (45-36)
A late inning rally could not help the Smokies Wednesday as they lost 4-3 to Birmingham. Starter Rob Zastryzny put Tennessee into a hole they could not crawl out of as he allowed four runs (three earned) with five strikeouts in 5.2 innings. Michael Jensen did his usual fine job, striking out a batter in 1.1 scoreless innings. Major Leaguer Rafael Soriano looks one step closer to the big leagues as he worked around a walk in the eighth inning.
All the runs for the Smokies came in the eighth inning after Sutton Whiting (2-for-3 with a triple) led off with a triple and a two out single from Bijan Rademacher (3-for-4 with an RBI) drove him in. A triple by Willson Contreras (1-for-4 with a triple and an RBI) and a double from Billy McKinney (2-for-4 with a double and an RBI) scored Rademacher and Contreras.
Once again, Tennessee dug a hole too deep and they could not come back as the Smokies lost 8-5 to Biloxi on Thursday. This time, it was the work of two pitchers as Felix Pena was not effective. Pena gave up four earned runs on six hits and four walks while striking out four in 3.1 innings. Tayler Scott relieved and it was not one of his best efforts. Scott allowed four earned runs and struck out four in 2.2 innings. Zach Cates was a change-of-pace, fanning two in two scoreless innings. Gerardo Concepcion finished up with a scoreless ninth.
Tennessee tied the score at two in the third inning after Jacob Hannemann (3-for-5 with a double and two RBI) led off with a double and Elliot Soto (2-for-4) singled. A base hit by Bijan Rademacher (2-for-3 with a double and an RBI) brought in Hannemann and Willson Contreras (0-for-3 with two walks) followed with a walk. A force play allowed Billy McKinney (1-for-4 with a double) to reach, but Soto was out at home. Rademacher scored on a ground out. The Smokies chipped away some more in the sixth after McKinney doubled and scored. Tyler Pearson (0-for-3 with two walks) walked and pinch-hitter Varonex Cuevas singled. A base hit by Hannemann drove in Pearson. Tennessee added a run in the eighth after pinch-hitter Sutton Whiting singled with one out and advanced to second on an error. Hannemann collected his third base hit of the night to bring in Whiting.
Triple-A – Iowa Cubs (45-42)
The I-Cubs could not keep up with Omaha Wednesday as they lost 7-2. Iowa got on the board in grand style in the first inning as Kyle Schwarber (1-for-4 with a home run) rapped a solo home run with two outs. It hurt with two out again in the second inning when Jonathan Mota (1-for-3) singled and scored on a double from Anthony Giansanti (1-for-3 with a double and an RBI).
Starting pitcher Felipe Paulino continued his trudge through the Pacific Coast League. Paulino surrendered four runs (three earned) and struck out four in six innings. Joe Ortiz gave up three earned runs with a strikeout in two innings.
It was too little, too late for Iowa on Thursday as they lost to Omaha 7-5. Once again, Frank Batista was hit pretty hard and he allowed five earned runs on six hits and three walks while striking out three in five innings. Carl Edwards Jr. fanned five batters as he tossed two shutout innings. Blake Cooper was the difference, as he gave up two earned runs in the eighth inning.
The I-Cubs came within one run in the fifth inning after Junior Lake (3-for-4 with an RBI) led off with a single and made it to third on an ground out and error. A double by Anthony Giansanti (3-for-4 with an RBI) brought in Lake, and a base hit from Matt Szczur (1-for-5 with an RBI) scored Giansanti. Iowa tied the game in the sixth inning after Kyle Schwarber (0-for-3 with two walks) walked, Taylor Davis (3-for-5 with a triple) singled with one out, and Lake walked to load the bases. A base hit from Rubi Silva (1-for-4 with an RBI) drove in Schwarber. Davis tripled in the eighth and scored on a single from Lake. Giansanti started the ninth with a base hit, with Szczur and Arismendy Alcantara (0-for-5) reaching on errors. Another error allowed Giansanti to score.
Arizona Rookie League – AZL Cubs (8–6)
In a late game Tuesday, the AZL Cubs were all over the AZL Padres, winning 9-2. First baseman Jose Paniagua crushed a Grand Slam in the second inning and was 2-for-4 with a home run and four RBI. After James Norwood completed two innings of a rehab start, striking out two batters, Jesus Carmango took over. Carmango leveled the Padres with seven strikeouts in four scoreless innings.
It was another romp for the AZL Cubs on Wednesday as they beat the AZL Athletics 12-8. Enrique De Los Rio had things under control as he allowed two runs (one earned) with six strikeouts in five innings. Wladimir Galindo continued his assault on rookie league pitching as he went 3-for-4 with an RBI, and outfielder Alex Bautista also was 3-for-4 with a triple and an RBI.
Dominican Summer League – DSL Cubs (18-16)
The D-Cubs’ bullpen was unable to hold on Wednesday as they lost to the DSL Pirates 6-5 in 10 innings. Defense was the undoing as starter Hector Garcia allowed four runs, only one earned, and had four strikeouts in five innings. Outfielder Chris Pieters continues to be on a roll, going 2-for-5 with an RBI.
Venezuelan Summer League – VSL Cubs (22-24)
Everyone saved all their offense for the end on Wednesday but the VSL Cubs came out ahead, beating the VSL Phillies 6-2. Freddy Tineo had a good start, striking out a batter in five scoreless innings. Shortstop Francisco Garay was 2-for-3 with two RBI while outfielder Luis Ayala went 1-for-4 with two RBI and a stolen base.
The VSL Cubs opened up the throttle in the middle innings on Thursday to cruise past the VSL Phillies 7-4. Starter Gabriel Lima kept the Phils at bay by striking out three in five scoreless innings. Juan Rengifo got his league leading ninth save as he struck out two in the final inning. New shortstop Ronaldo Lopez was 2-for-5 as the leadoff hitter while Henrry Pedra went 1-for-4 with two RBI.
News and Notes
The Chicago Cubs optioned RHP Dallas Beeler to the Iowa Cubs; assigned OF Roberto Caro to the Iowa Cubs from the AZL Cubs; assigned RHP Alex Santana to the South Bend Cubs from the Eugene Emeralds; assigned RHP Craig Brooks to the AZL Cubs; assigned INF Ronaldo Lopez to the VSL Cubs.
The Iowa Cubs placed OF John Andreoli and INF Ryan Dent on the 7-day disabled list. The Myrtle Beach Pelicans sent OF Shawon Dunston Jr. to the AZL Cubs on a rehab assignment. The South Bend Cubs placed LHP Tommy Thorpe on the 7-day disabled list.