Heroes came from unlikely sources as Myrtle Beach was spurred to victory by home runs from Trey Martin and Carlos Penalver, meanwhile Adbert Alzolay came out of the pen for Eugene to deliver a no-hit performance.
All the highlights in today’s Down on the Farm Report.
Short Season Class-A – Eugene Emeralds (20-22)
It was back to the drawing board Tuesday as Eugene lost 5-1 to Boise. Jose Paulino had a rough first inning, giving up two earned runs, before settling down to strike out seven in six innings. Mark Malave returned to the Northwest League, this time as a pitcher, and struck out two in two perfect innings. Tyler Peitzmeier was greeted rudely in the ninth, allowing three earned runs. The only offense for the Emeralds was a solo home run from Alex Bautista (1-for-2 with a home run) in the bottom of the ninth.
The Emeralds were able to gradually build their runs until they were able to finish on top, beating Spokane 4-3. Blake Headley (1-for-4) singled with one out, advanced to second on a ground out and scored on a base hit from Ricardo Marcano (3-for-3 with two RBI and a stolen base). Eugene manufactured another run in the fifth after Kevonte Mitchell (1-for-3 with a triple and a stolen base) tripled with one out and scored on a sacrifice fly. It was nearly the same circumstance in the sixth inning, with Frandy Delarosa (1-for-5 with a double) leading off with a double, Andrew Ely (2-for-4) reaching on an error, and a sacrifice fly bringing Delarosa home. It was another unearned run in the seventh inning after Marcano and Donnie Dewees (1-for-5) singled, and Marcano scored on a fielding error.
It was one of those bullpen games after Preston Morrison started and struck out two in two scoreless innings. Kyle Twomey followed and fanned three as he also blanked the Indians for two innings. Scott Frazier tossed an inning and gave up an earned run, while Craig Brooks allowed two earned runs as he pitched a frame. Greyfer Eregua picked up his first save as he struck out five and shut out Spokane for three innings.
Win No. 20 arrived in come-from-behind fashion as Eugene took a second game from Spokane 6-4. The big story of the game was Adbert Alzolay, who came in for starter Ryan Kellogg and allowed only one base runner on a walk while striking out three in six scoreless innings. Kellogg allowed three earned runs and had a strikeout in two innings of work. Trey Masek came in to close things out and surrendered an earned run as he struck out a batter to collect his first save of the season.
The Emeralds answered two first-inning runs by the Indians with two of their own in the third inning. Kevonte Mitchell (1-for-4 with a double and an RBI) doubled with one out and came around on a two-run homer from Donnie Dewees (2-for-5 with a double, a home run, and three RBI). Eugene exploded in the seventh inning after Blake Headley (1-for-4) and Ho-young Son (1-for-4) singled. A sacrifice and a ground out scored Headley, and a double from Dewees brought in Son. Frandy Delarosa (1-for-5 with an RBI and a stolen base) singled in Dewees, and Delarosa stole second base. A base hit from Andrew Ely (2-for-4 with a double and an RBI) plated Delarosa.
Low Class-A – South Bend Cubs (45-56)
The offense remained stuck in neutral as South Bend was shutout 5-0 by Great Lakes on Wednesday. Trevor Clifton came off the disabled list and struck out seven but allowed three earned runs on four hits and four walks in five innings. Michael Wagner went the rest of the way, giving up two earned runs and striking out three in three innings. The SB Cubs managed only four hits … Yasiel Balaguert (1-for-4 with a double), Jeffrey Baez (1-for-4), Gleyber Torres (1-for-3) and Rashad Crawford (1-for-3).
It looked as if South Bend would pull off a late inning comeback Thursday, but it was not meant to be as they lost 3-2 to Great Lakes. Tommy Thorpe had a fine effort, allowing an earned run while striking out three in six innings. Another lefty, Jordan Minch, kept the Loons at bay as he struck out three in two scoreless innings. Alex Santana came on for the save but gave up two earned runs in 0.2 innings.
Jesse Hodges (1-for-3 with a home run) put the Cubs on the board in the second inning with a solo home run. David Bote (1-for-3 with a double) walked to start the ninth inning and came around to score on a sacrifice bunt that ended up as a throwing error.
High Class–A – Myrtle Beach Pelicans (61-43)
Myrtle Beach tallied their 60th win of the season on Wednesday as they hung on to beat Potomac 8-5. The pitching staff was a little wobbly for the second night in a row. Daury Torrez had a fine start, allowing two earned runs while striking out four in six innings. The usually reliable James Pugliese had a bad outing as he gave up three earned runs in 1.2 innings while striking out three in the process. James Farris got Pugliese out of the eighth inning and Jasvir Rakkar set down the side in order in the ninth for his 12th save.
The Pelicans started the game off right. Chesny Young (1-for-5) singled and Mark Zagunis (1-for-5) had a one out base hit. A walk to Cael Brockmeyer (2-for-3) loaded the bases, and Jason Vosler (1-for-5) reached on an error that brought in Young and Zagunis. Brockmeyer scored on a wild pitch. Trey Martin (2-for-3 with a home run, three RBI, and a stolen base) led off the fourth with a single and came around on a triple from Carlos Penalver (1-for-3 with a triple and an RBI). Penalver touched home on a sacrifice fly. In the seventh, Brockmeyer walked and Victor Caratini (2-for-4 with a double) had a one out double. A three-run homer from Martin drove in both Brockmeyer and Caratini.
Drama does not describe it as a walk-off 4-3 win for Myrtle Beach over Potomac had an unlikely hero. It almost looked like it would be a disappointing game for the Pelicans as Jeremy Null had a good first start after coming off the disabled list. Null allowed two earned runs and struck out a batter in five innings. David Garner also gave up an earned run as he had three strikeouts in two innings. Jack-of-all-Trades Michael Heesch threw two scoreless innings for his eighth win of the season.
Myrtle Beach struck first after Carlos Penalver (2-for-4 with a home run, two RBI, and a stolen base) singled, stole second with one out in the third and came home on a triple from Chesny Young (2-for-4 with a triple and an RBI). The Pelicans pulled themselves to within one run in the eighth inning after Young singled and Victor Caratini (1-for-3 with a double) walked with two outs. Jason Vosler (0-for-3) was hit by a pitch and a base hit from Cael Brockmeyer (2-for-4 with a double and an RBI) drove in Young. Down one run in the bottom of the ninth, Danny Lockhart (0-for-3 with a walk) walked and Penalver tattooed a ball to left field for his first home run of the season.
Double-A – Tennessee Smokies (53-48)
The Smokies received another excellent pitching performance Wednesday as Tennessee beat Montgomery 5-2. Pierce Johnson continues to be a man among boys in the Southern League. Johnson struck out seven and allowed an earned run on four hits and two walks in seven innings. Starling Peralta gave up an earned run in 0.2 innings. P.J. Francescon chalked up save No. 15 as he tossed 1.1 scoreless innings.
Tennessee scored early and often after Willson Contreras (1-for-4) led off the second with a single. Rehabbing Major Leaguer Tommy La Stella (1-for-2) reached on catcher’s interference and a base hit from Billy McKinney (2-for-5 with a double and an RBI) drove in Contreras. Jeimer Candelario (1-for-3) walked and a fielder’s choice by Jacob Rogers (0-for-3 with two RBI) scored La Stella. Ryan Dent (1-for-4 with an RBI) singled to bring in McKinney, and Rogers came home on a wild pitch. La Stella began the third inning with a single and moved to third on a double from McKinney. A sacrifice fly brought La Stella home.
It was a second excellent start for a Tennessee pitcher, but the results were not the same as the Smokies lost 4-3 to Montgomery on Thursday. Rob Zastryzny had a performance many thought would be the norm for him this season. Zastryzny had four strikeouts and allowed two earned runs in 5.1 innings. Coming out of the bullpen, Felix Pena had a strikeout and gave up an earned run in 1.2 innings. Gerardo Concepcion surrendered the go-ahead run in the eighth inning.
Tennessee tied the game at one in the fourth inning after Willson Contreras (1-for-3 with a double) doubled, moved to third on a fly ball, and scored on a sacrifice fly. The Smokies took the lead in the sixth inning after Billy McKinney (1-for-4) singled with two out, Jacob Rogers (0-for-2 with two walks) walked, and Jeimer Candelario (1-for-3 with an RBI) had a base hit to load the sacks. Ryan Dent (0-for-4) reached on a fielding error that allowed McKinney and Rogers to score.
Triple-A – Iowa Cubs (55-50)
A complete bullpen meltdown ruined a fine pitching effort by the I-Cubs on Wednesday as they lost to Nashville 6-4. Felipe Paulino had his best game of the season, striking out 12 while allowing two earned runs in six innings. In his first appearance for Iowa, lefty Ryan Buchter had two strikeouts in an inning of work. Rehabbing Zac Rosscup was charged with two runs (one earned) and struck out two in 0.2 innings. Brian Schlitter gave up two hits but was charged with two unearned run as he got the final out of the eighth.
Iowa pecked away after Rubi Silva (2-for-4 with a double, a home run, and an RBI) doubled to lead off the fifth inning and scored on a double from John Andreoli (1-for-4 with a double and an RBI). Javier Baez (0-for-4 with a walk and a stolen base) walked with one out in the sixth and stole second base. A fielding error allowed Baez to come home. In the seventh, Arismendy Alcantara (1-for-3) singled and Chris Valaika (0-for-3) was hit by a pitch. A sacrifice moved up the runners and Adron Chambers (0-for-4 with a walk) was intentionally walked to load the bases. Baez drew a walk to force in Alcantara. Silva capped the scoring by drilling a solo home run to start the eighth inning.
It took 12 innings on Thursday, but Iowa finally outlasted Nashville 5-4 as both teams combined for 24 hits. The I-Cubs found themselves behind 3-0 going into seventh inning when Javier Baez (1-for-5 with a double and a stolen base) doubled and scored on consecutive ground outs. Adron Chambers (1-for-4 with a double) doubled with one out in the eighth and came in on a single from Matt Szczur (1-for-5). An error and a fly out allowed Szczur to advance to third, where another error brought him home. The game would remain 3-3 until the 12th inning when Baez was hit by a pitch, stole second, and advanced to third on a wild pitch. A single from Christian Villanueva (2-for-4 with an RBI) drove in Baez, and a two out single by John Andreoli (2-for-6 with a double, an RBI, and a stolen base) plated Villanueva.
Carlos Pimentel had an average effort, as he allowed three earned runs and had six strikeouts in five innings. Joe Ortiz struck out two as he tossed two scoreless innings. Frank Batista did some heavy lifting, as he had four shutout innings while striking out three batters. Blake Cooper had a shaky 12th inning, giving up an earned run but striking out the final batter for his fourth save.
Arizona Rookie League – AZL Cubs (17-15)
In game two of a rare doubleheader on Tuesday, the AZL Cubs doubled up the AZL Diamondbacks 8-4. First baseman Jose Paniagua joined the Tuesday Home Run Parade as he was 1-for-4 with three RBI. Robert Garcia went 1-for-3 with a double and two RBI. Carlos Rodriguez came on in relief and had four strikeouts in two scoreless innings for the win.
On Wednesday, the AZL Cubs ran out of luck against the AZL Diamondbacks as they lost 5-1. Eric Jokisch had a rehab appearance and had a strikeout while allowing three earned runs in 2.1 innings. Another rehabbing pitcher, Matt Brazis, had two strikeouts in 1.2 scoreless innings. Varonex Cuevas was 1-for-4 with a double in the loss.
The AZL Cubs busted up a 1-1 tie on Thursday to prevail 4-2 over the AZL Angels. Lefty Manuel Rondon pitched well, striking out four and allowing an earned run in five innings. Varonex Cuevas had a big night, going 3-for-3 with a run scored while catcher Tyler Payne was 1-for-3 with an RBI.
Dominican Summer League – DSL Cubs (30-22)
The DSL Cubs thumped the DSL Pirates 10-3 on Wednesday. Chris Pieters continues to be a revelation as a position player, going 3-for-4 with two RBI while Edgar Rondon went 3-for-5 with a double and two RBI. Andri Rondon had a great start, fanned eight and allowing an earned run in four innings.
On Thursday, the D-Cubs used one big inning to beat the DSL Pirates 4-3. The Cubs scored all of their runs in the seventh as Rafael Mejia was 2-for-4 with a double, while pinch-hitter Chris Pieters went 1-for-1 with an RBI. Starter Eury Ramos had a strikeout in four scoreless innings.
Venezuelan Summer League – VSL Cubs (25-39)
On Thursday, the V-Cubs were able to pay the VSL Phillies back by beating the Phils 4-2. Freddy Tineo had four strikeouts in four scoreless innings. Juan Rengifo gathered his 10th save as he allowed an earned run in two innings. Outfielder Luis Hidalgo was 1-for-4 with a double and three RBI.
News and Notes
The Chicago Cubs sent INF Tommy La Stella to the Tennessee Smokies on a rehab assignment; sent LHP Eric Jokisch to the AZL Cubs on a rehab assignment; optioned RHP Dallas Beeler to the Iowa Cubs; recalled RHP Ben Rowen and RHP Yoervis Medina from the Iowa Cubs;
The Myrtle Beach Pelicans activated RHP Jeremy Null from the 7-day disabled list; placed RHP James Pugliese on the 7-day disabled list. The South Bend Cubs activated RHP Trevor Clifton and OF Kevin Encarnacion from the 7-day disabled list; placed OF Charcer Burks and LHP Sam Wilson on the 7-day disabled list. The Eugene Emeralds released C Justin Marra.