Outstanding performances highlighted the beginning of the week for the Cubs’ affiliates as Erick Leal had a very special nine innings for the South Bend Cubs.
There’s only one way to describe Tennessee’s Jeimer Candelario, and that is “on fire.” Meanwhile, Jonathan Martinez backed up his Pitcher of the Week honor with another outstanding effort for Myrtle Beach.
And oh, that Javier Baez guy, he’s pretty good also, with three extra base hits (including a home run) and five RBI.
Also featuring a red-hot Carlos Sepulveda in Arizona, today’s Down on the Farm Report is almost too hot to handle.
Short Season Class-A – Eugene Emeralds (21-24)
The Eugene Emeralds are on All-Star break.
Low Class-A – South Bend Cubs (47-58)
Words cannot describe the disappointment South Bend must feel after no-hitting Kane County for nine and two-thirds innings, only to lose 1-0 in 12 innings. Erick Leal faced one over the minimum for nine innings, walking a batter and striking out four on 87 pitches. Corbin Hoffner allowed the first hit, but tossed two scoreless innings. Jordan Minch allowed the winning run without giving up a hit after he walked a batter and uncorked a wild pitch. Jeffrey Baez was 3-for-6 with two doubles, but was called out on a controversial strikeout when he appeared to be hit by a pitch with the bases loaded in the bottom of the 10th inning. Gioskar Amaya and David Bote were each 1-for-4 while Ian Happ went 1-for-5.
High Class–A – Myrtle Beach Pelicans (62-45)
When you have your best on the mound, you get 6-1 wins as Myrtle Beach topped Wilmington on Tuesday. Coming off being named the Carolina League Pitcher of the Week, Jonathan Martinez did not let the honor go to his head as he struck out six and allowed an earned run in six innings. Michael Heesch pumped two scoreless innings with a strikeout. David Berg worked around a hit to strike out the side in the ninth.
Jason Vosler (2-for-3) began the second inning with a single and Cael Brockmeyer (2-for-2 with an RBI) walked. A two-out base hit from Carlos Penalver (1-for-4) drove in both Vosler and Brockmeyer. It was Vosler again in the sixth inning as he singled with one out and advanced to second on a wild pitch. A base hit from Brockmeyer brought in Vosler. Victor Caratini (0-for-3 with a walk) followed with a walk. Another wild pitch moved the runners up a base and a double from Trey Martin (1-for-4 with a double and two RBI) plated Brockmeyer and Caratini. Danny Lockhart (1-for-3 with two RBI) walked and single from Chesny Young (2-for-5 with a double and an RBI) scored Martin.
Double-A – Tennessee Smokies (56-50)
A shaky effort from the pen and a lack of offense spoiled a good start as Tennessee fell to Birmingham 4-2 on Monday. Pierce Johnson continues to look sharp as he allowed only a solo home run while striking out three in six innings. Juan Paniagua relieved and gave up three earned runs in an inning. Felix Pena mopped up with four strikeouts in two perfect innings.
The Smokies tied the game at one in the first inning after Tommy La Stella (2-for-2 with a double) doubled with two out and came around on a single from Willson Contreras (2-for-4 with an RBI). With two outs in the fourth inning, Jeimer Candelario (2-for-4 with a double) doubled and Jacob Rogers (0-for-3 with a walk) was intentionally walked. Ryan Dent (1-for-4 with a double and an RBI) foiled the strategy with a double to drive in Candelario.
Tennessee had a few big performances to help them to a 6-5 win over Birmingham on Tuesday. The Smokies came out swinging in the bottom of the first. Jacob Hannemann (2-for-4), Albert Almora Jr. (1-for-4), Bijan Rademacher (1-for-3), and Willson Contreras (3-for-4 with an RBI) had consecutive singles to bring in Hannemann. Jeimer Candelario (2-for-4, with a double, a home run, and five RBI) had a one out double to drive in Almora and Rademacher. In the sixth inning, Contreras singled with one out and Billy McKinney (0-for-3 with a walk) walked. Candelario delivered a three-run home run to give him five RBI on the evening.
Rob Zastryzny had a typical effort, allowing four runs (three earned) on seven hits and two walks while striking out four in 6.1 innings. Corey Black also was unimpressive, giving up an earned run in 1.1 innings. P.J. Francescon was the only effective pitcher, striking out two in 1.1 perfect innings for his 17th save.
Triple-A – Iowa Cubs (60- 50)
Iowa used 10 runs in the eighth and ninth innings to get past Colorado Springs 12-10 on Monday. The I-Cubs started modestly, tying the score at one in the fourth inning when Rubi Silva (3-for-5 with two doubles) doubled and scored on a throwing error. Iowa cut their deficit to 4-2 in the fifth inning after Javier Baez (3-for-6 with a double, a triple, and three RBI) had a one out triple and came home on a two out double from Silva. It was Silva who once again began things as his single started the eighth inning. Mike Olt (1-for-4) followed with a base hit and Arismendy Alcantara (2-for-4 with a double) walked to load the bases. Luke Carlin (0-for-3 with two walks) reached on an error that scored Silva. Pinch-hitter Mike Baxter (0-for-0 with a walk and an RBI) walked to force in Olt and a triple from John Andreoli (1-for-5 with a triple and three RBI and a stolen base) cleared the bases, scoring Alcantara, Carlin, and Baxter. Andreoli came home on a single from Adron Chambers (1-for-4 with an RBI). Alcantara singled with one out in the ninth. Carlin worked a walk. A base hit by pinch-hitter Chris Valaika (1-for-1 with an RBI) drove in Alcantara. Chambers coaxed a two out walk to load the bases, and Javier Baez cleared them with double that scored Carlin, Valaika, and Chambers.
Starter Felipe Paulino was unimpressive after having a good start in his previous outing. Paulino allowed four runs (three earned) with four strikeouts in six innings. Rehabbing Zac Rosscup was lit up, yielding three earned runs in only 0.2 innings. Frank Batista got the final out of the seventh inning and turned things over to Joe Ortiz. Ortiz was blitzed for three earned runs in an inning. Carl Edwards Jr. had a strikeout and worked around a walk in the ninth to collect second save.
The I-Cubs moved to 10 games above .500 in holding on for a 6-5 win over Colorado Springs on Tuesday. Iowa broke a scoreless tie in the fifth inning after Mike Baxter (1-for-2) singled with two out and came around on a double from Chris Valaika (2-for-4 with two doubles and three RBI). It all started with two outs again in the seventh when Taylor Davis (1-for-4) had a base hit and Baxter walked. A double from Valaika drove in Davis and Baxter. Carlos Pimentel (1-for-3 with a double and an RBI) batted in Valaika with a double. Arismendy Alcantara (1-for-5) led off the eighth inning with a walk and came in on a home run from Javier Baez (1-for-5 with a home run and two RBI).
Carlos Pimentel remains Iowa’s best pitcher as he allowed two earned runs and struck out four in 6.1 innings. Ryan Buchter finished up the seventh inning and Blake Cooper set down the side in order in the eighth inning. Armando Rivero needed just three outs in the ninth, but instead gave up three earned runs as he struck out two in 0.2 innings. Brian Schlitter got the final out for his 16th save.
Arizona Rookie League – AZL Cubs (19-15)
AZL Cubs stepped on the gas on Sunday and blew past the AZL Giants 7-3. Rehabbing Ben Carhart was 2-for-3 with a double and an RBI. P.J. Higgins rocked, going 3-for-5 with two RBI and a stolen base, while Carlos Sepulveda went 2-for-5 with two RBI and a stolen base. Austyn Willis raised his record to 3-1 as he allowed an earned run in five innings.
The A-Cubs were able to scatter 10 hits by the AZL Giants on Monday to win 5-1. Rehabbing Eric Jokisch looked okay as he gave up six hits and an earned run while striking out a batter in four innings. Carlos Sepulveda remains on a roll, going 3-for-4 with an RBI. Michael Foster went 1-for-4 with a triple and an RBI.
Dominican Summer League – DSL Cubs (34-22)
The DSL Cubs were in control Monday as they handled Mets-2 for a 4-1 win. Junior Marte was electric as he fanned eight and gave up only one hit in five scoreless innings. Catcher Raymond Pena was 2-for-4 with an RBI, while outfielder Samir Lara was 1-for-5 with a double and an RBI.
The D-Cubs were able to narrowly escape with a 3-2 victory over Mets-2 on Tuesday. Andri Rondon pitched well, striking out three and allowing three hits in five scoreless innings. Outfielder Yovanny Cuevas was 1-for-4 with two RBI.
Venezuelan Summer League – VSL Cubs (28-40)
The VSL Cubs began their last week of the season with a 9-5 loss to the VSL Phillies. Eugenio Palma had 1.2 strong innings in relief, striking out three and allowing no hits. Gustavo Polanco was 4-for-5 with a double and an RBI, and Fidel Matos went 2-for-4 with two RBI.
On Tuesday, the V-Cubs used a five-run seventh to beat the VSL Phillies 7-2. First baseman Fidel Matos went 2-for-3 with a triple, an RBI, and stolen base. Henrry Pedra was also 1-for-2 with and RBI and a stolen base. Reliever Yapson Gomez struck out three in three scoreless innings.