It was an abbreviated schedule to start the week due to the Midsummer Classic. Pitching once again was the big news as youngster Junior Marte tossed five innings of no-hit ball for the DSL Cubs. Zach Hedges dominated with seven strikeouts for South Bend, and Paul Blackburn returned from the disabled list with three shutout innings. Meanwhile in Arizona, rehabbing pitchers Trey McNutt and Erling Moreno made some progress.
With news from both Eugene and Tennessee, today’s Down on the Farm Report has something for everyone.
Short Season Class-A – Eugene Emeralds (14-12)
Well, what else can say about the 15-2 shellacking Tri-City put on Eugene Sunday night except for it was a team loss. Starter Carson Sands suffered some errors behind him, but gave up six unearned runs on four hits and two walks in 2.2 innings. Tanner Griggs was simply overpowered, allowing seven runs (six earned) as he lasted only 0.2 innings. Heath Dwyer was a little more respectable as he gave up an earned run and struck out two in 1.2 innings. Trey Masek had a hard time finding the plate but only surrendered an earned run in 1.1 innings. Preston Morrison made his professional debut and had a strikeout in 1.2 scoreless innings.
The Emeralds scored two consolation runs in the ninth after Ian Happ (2-for-4 with a triple) led off with a triple and came home on a double from Ian Rice (2-for-4 with a double and an RBI). A one out single from Joe Martarano (2-for-4 with an RBI) scored Rice.
After tying the game in the seventh inning, the Emeralds could not hold on Monday and lost 5-4 to Tri-City. Defense was once again the undoing of Eugene as starter Justin Steele was charged with three unearned runs while striking out two in three innings. Jae-Hoon Ha was also a victim as he was nicked for an unearned run with three strikeouts in 2.2 innings. John Williamson was the only Emeralds’ pitcher to give up an earned run. Pedro Araujo pitched 1.2 perfect innings striking out three batters.
Spotting the Dust Devils three runs in the first inning, Eugene chipped away after Donnie Dewees (1-for-5 with a stolen base) singled with two out in the third and stole second. Two wild pitches brought Dewees home. In the fourth, Eloy Jimenez (2-for-4) led off with a single and scored on a one out double from Matt Rose (1-for-4 with a double and an RBI). Tyler Alamo (0-for-2 with a walk) and Ho-young Son (0-for-3 with a walk) drew one out walks in the seventh inning, and a two out single from Frandy Delarosa (2-for-4) loaded the bases. A throwing error allowed Alamo and Son to score.
Low Class-A – South Bend Cubs (39-47)
South Bend used some excellent pitching and an offensive outburst to take their series with Lake County with an 8-1 win on Monday. Zach Hedges continues to step up his game as he had seven strikeouts and allowed an earned run in seven innings. Ryan McNeil continued on the comeback trail as he tossed two scoreless innings.
The game was tied at 0-0 until the fourth inning when Charcer Burks (2-for-5 with a triple) tripled and Gioskar Amaya (2-for-3) drew a one out walk. A single by Yasiel Balaguert (1-for-4 with an RBI) drove in Burks. Consecutive singles by David Bote (2-for-4), Erick Castillo (1-for-3 with an RBI), and Jeffrey Baez (3-for-4 with a double, a home run, three RBI, and a stolen base) started the fifth inning and plated Bote. Baez stole second base, and a single by Burks plated Baez. Singles by Gleyber Torres (1-for-3 with an RBI) and Amaya scored Burks and Torres. Bote had a base hit with one out in the sixth and came around on Baez’s two-run homer. South Bend added a run in the eight after Kevin Encarnacion (1-for-4 with a double) doubled and came home on a one out sacrifice fly.
High Class–A – Myrtle Beach Pelicans (49-39)
Myrtle Beach looked in their first half form as they shut out Carolina 5-0 on Monday. Paul Blackburn returned from the disabled list and he struck out two in three scoreless innings. Brad Markey picked up some of the slack as he had four strikeouts in 4.2 innings. Juan Paniagua retired the only batter he faced, and James Pugliese fanned two in the ninth.
Mark Zagunis (1-for-3 with a stolen base) and Chesny Young (2-for-4) began the game with singles, and a one out base hit from Jacob Rogers (1-for-3 with an RBI) brought in Zagunis. A sacrifice fly scored Young. In the third inning, Jeimer Candelario (1-for-4 with a double) doubled and came around on a single from Rogers. Young had a base hit with one out in the fifth inning and came across on a double by Rogers. Pin-Chieh Chen (1-for-4 with a double) got into the act with a one out double in the seventh and scored on a single from Danny Lockhart (1-for-4 with an RBI).
Double-A – Tennessee Smokies (47-39)
Tennessee was not match for Biloxi on Monday as they lost 9-2. Starter Rob Zastryzny continued his struggles and he allowed four earned runs on six hits and five walks while striking out two in 4.1 innings. Michael Jensen had a rare bad outing, giving up four earned runs and striking out two in 1.1 innings. Starling Peralta righted things a little as he struck out a batter in 1.1 scoreless innings. Rafael Soriano also tossed a scoreless inning, while Corey Black surrendered an earned run in the ninth.
The Smokies cut the lead in half in the third inning after Elliot Soto (1-for-3 with a double) doubled and came home on a single from Bijan Rademacher (1-for-4 with an RBI). Tennessee got on the board again in the sixth inning after Willson Contreras (1-for-3) singled and scored on a two out double by Wes Darvill (1-for-4 with a double and an RBI).
Triple-A – Iowa Cubs (46-43)
The Iowa Cubs are on All-Star break until Thursday. Iowa opens the second half with an eight-game homestand (four with Memphis and four against Round Rock).
Arizona Rookie League – AZL Cubs (11-7)
It was an economical win for the AZL Cubs late Sunday as they used four hits to defeat the AZL White Sox 1-0. Shawon Dunston Jr. drove in the only run as he was 1-for-4 with a stolen base while fellow outfielder Darryl Wilson went 1-for-4 with a double. Austyn Willis looked ready for bigger things as he struck out four and scattered three hits in five innings.
The story in Monday’s AZL Cubs game was not the 6-1 loss to the AZL Royals, but the next step on the comeback trail for two pitchers. Trey McNutt went 1-2-3 in his inning of relief, while Erling Moreno worked around a walk and a hit with a strikeout in 0.2 innings. First baseman Juan Paniagua was 2-for-4 with a double in the loss.
Dominican Summer League – DSL Cubs (20-18)
The AZL Cubs gave up only two hits on Monday but had to hang on for a 4-3 victory over Mets-2. Starter Junior Marte no-hit the Mets as he tossed five innings and struck out seven batters in the process. First baseman Chris Pieters went 3-for-4 with a triple, home run, two RBI, and a stolen base. Shortstop Yeiler Peguero was 2-for-5 with a double and two RBI.
Venezuelan Summer League – VSL Cubs (22-28)
The VSL Cubs lost their third straight on Monday as the bowed to the VSL Phillies 3-1. Jesus Arias had four strikeouts and allowed two earned runs in five innings. Jhonny Bethencourt moved to the outfield and went 1-for-4 with an RBI.
The V-Cubs were not able to hold a lead on Tuesday as they lost to the VSL Phillies 3-2. Starter Riger Fernandez was unable to keep the Phils at bay as he gave two earned runs in three innings. First baseman Jose Rojas was 1-for-4 with a double and an RBI.