Ian Happ is also making noise for South Bend as the first round draft pick banged out two home runs this weekend. Paul Blackburn and Brad Markey were mowing them down for Myrtle Beach, as was Ryan Williams for Tennessee.
So as the stretch run heats up, keep looking to Down on the Farm Report for all of the details.
Short Season Class-A – Eugene Emeralds (27-29)
The Emeralds were unable to climb out of a hole they created on Friday as Eugene lost 6-3 to Everett. Oscar De La Cruz gave up two home runs as he allowed five earned runs and struck out five in five innings. Pedro Araujo went the rest of the way, striking out seven and giving up an earned run in four innings.
Eugene cut the deficit in half in the third inning as Ricardo Marcano (0-for-3 with a walk) walked and Donnie Dewees (1-for-5 with a double) doubled. A ground out scored Marcano, and a single by Eloy Jimenez (2-for-4 with an RBI) drove in Dewees. In the sixth inning, Tyler Alamo (2-for-3) walked with two outs and came home on a triple from Blake Headley (1-for-4 with a triple and an RBI).
Eugene finally broke through against Everett, although it took 12 innings, as the Emeralds won 4-3 on Saturday. The Emeralds grabbed the lead in the fifth inning after Alex Bautista (1-for-4 with a double) led off with a double and Adonis Paula (1-for-4) singled with one out. A sacrifice fly brought Bautista home and Paula came around on a two-run homer from Donnie Dewees (1-for-5 with a home run and two RBI). The score remained tied at three until the bottom of the 12th. Paula walked and was replaced by pinch-runner Kevonte Mitchell. A sacrifice and a single by Frandy Delarosa (1-for-5) put runners in scoring position, and a sacrifice fly brought Mitchell in with the game-winner.
Adbert Alzolay was given a start and allowed three earned runs while striking out four in six innings. Jae-Hoon Ha provided two innings of shut down relief while striking out a batter. Greyfer Eregua tossed a scoreless inning, and Tyler Peitzmeier struck out three in two shutout innings. Craig Brooks struck out the side in the 12th for his second win.
It was a special night in Eugene on Sunday, as four pitchers combined to no-hit Everett for a 3-0 win. Facing the best offense in the Northwest League, Preston Morrison was perfect through three innings, striking out four batters. The left handed Kyle Twomey replaced Morrison in the fourth and worked around a two out walk in the inning. Twomey went on to pitch three innings and had three strikeouts. Luis Hernandez had a nervous moment as he allow runners to get to second and third in the eighth before quashing the rally. Hernandez fanned four in two innings. Trey Masek was summoned from the bullpen in the ninth and struck out the final batter to secure the no-hitter.
The Emeralds’ offense provided a little breathing room in the third inning after Kevonte Mitchell (2-for-3 with a double, an RBI, and a stolen base) singled, stole second, and scored on a base hit from Donnie Dewees (1-for-4 with an RBI). Eugene added another run in the fifth after Tyler Alamo (1-for-3) singled and came home on a two out double from Mitchell. The Eugene offense rallied again with two outs in the eighth. Eloy Jimenez (1-for-4 with a double) doubled and a single from Ian Rice (1-for-3 with an RBI) drove Jimenez home.
Low Class-A – South Bend Cubs (54-62)
South Bend made it two in a row on Friday as they pounded Wisconsin 12-2. Things got off to a slow start before David Bote (3-for-4 with a double and two RBI) singled in the second inning and scored on a two-out double from Jesse Hodges (3-for-5 with two doubles, a home run, and four RBI). Walks to Kevin Encarnacion (0-for-4 with a walk) and Gleyber Torres (2-for-4 with a double and an RBI) were part of the top of the third and a single by Ian Happ (3-for-5 with a home run and two RBI) drove in Encarnacion. A double from Bote scored Torres and Happ. Happ launched a solo home run in the fifth inning. A two out single by Matt Rose (2-for-4 with an RBI) and a double from Hodges brought in a run in the sixth. Torres and Happ singled to start the seventh inning, and Torres scored on a wild pitch. A one out single from Charcer Burks (1-for-4) plated Happ. In the eighth inning, Jeffrey Baez (0-for-5) reached on an error and came home on a double from Torres. Bote walked to begin the ninth and eventually scored on a single from Rose. A two-run homer from Hodges brought in Rose.
The SB Cubs needed more than one big inning on Saturday night as they lost 4-3 to Wisconsin. South Bend took the lead in the fourth inning after Ian Happ (0-for-4) reached on an error and back-to-back doubles from David Bote (2-for-4 with two doubles) and Charcer Burks (1-for-4 with a double and two RBI) drove in Happ and Bote. Burks stole third base. After a walk to Jesse Hodges, Burks scored on a sacrifice fly.
Pitching again is beginning to assert itself for South Bend as they beat Wisconsin 4-1 on Sunday. Zach Hedges has been a steady performer all season for the Cubs, and Sunday was no exception. Hedges struck out two and allowed an earned run through five innings. Michael Wagner had a strikeout and blanked the Timber Rattlers for two innings. Alex Santana tossed a scoreless inning, and Corbin Hoffner finished Wisconsin off in the ninth for his eighth save.
The Cubs broke the game open in the third inning when Charcer Burks (1-for-5) reached all the way to second on an error and advanced to third on a bunt by Gioskar Amaya (1-for-4 with a stolen base). A triple by Ian Happ (2-for-3 with a triple, a home run, and three RBI) drove in Burks and Amaya. A sacrifice fly scored Happ. The eighth inning began with a solo home run from Happ.
High Class–A – Myrtle Beach Pelicans (71-48)
Defense and relief pitching fell apart for Myrtle Beach on Friday as the Pelicans lost 7-3 to Lynchburg. Jeremy Null had his best start for the Pelicans, striking out two in five scoreless innings. Josh Conway would fall victim to the defense, as he was charged with three unearned runs and had a strikeout in two innings. James Farris was hit hard as he gave up three earned runs in an inning. Even reliable Jasvir Rakkar had some trouble and gave up an earned run in the final inning.
Myrtle Bach had the early lead after Carlos Penalver (0-for-2 with a walk) walked to start the third and advanced to second on a wild pitch, eventually scoring on a passed ball. Cael Brockmeyer (1-for-4 with a home run) hit a solo home run with one out in the fourth inning. The Pelicans added a run in the eighth after Trey Martin (0-for-2) was hit by a pitch and Danny Lockhart (1-for-3) singled. A wild pitch moved up the runners, and a ground out scored Martin.
It was back to great pitching, great defense, and timely hitting for Myrtle Beach on Saturday as the Pelicans beat Lynchburg 4-1. Paul Blackburn struck out a career high nine batters and gave up only a solo home run in seven innings. Michael Heesch tossed a scoreless inning and David Garner struck out the side in the ninth for his first save.
Chesny Young (1-for-2 with a double) led off the game for the Pelicans with a double. Pin-Chieh Chen (2-for-4 with a triple and an RBI) followed with a single and a walk to Jason Vosler (0-for-3 with a walk) loaded the bases. A double play wiped out Young, but a single from Cael Brockmeyer (1-for-3 with two RBI) drove in Chen and Vosler. Danny Lockhart (0-for-1 with two walks and a stolen base) walked with two outs in the second, stole second base, advanced to third on an error, and scored on a wild pitch. In the seventh inning, Young walked with two outs and came home on a triple by Chen.
The same combination that worked for a victory on Saturday did the same Sunday as Myrtle Beach defeated Lynchburg 2-0. Brad Markey continued his dominance as he scattered three hits and struck out four in 6.2 innings. Tyler Ihrig had a strikeout in 1.1 innings. Jasvir Rakkar set down the side in order, striking out a batter and collecting his 15th save.
The Pelicans scratched out two runs after Chesny Young (3-for-4 with a double) laced a one out double in the third inning and came home on a triple from Pin-Chieh Chen (1-for-3 with a triple and an RBI). Jordan Hankins (2-for-4 with a double) had a one out double and scored on a double by Kevin Brown (1-for-3 with a double and an RBI) with two outs in the fourth inning.
Double-A – Tennessee Smokies (63-55)
The Smokies had their heads handed to them on Friday as the Tennessee lost 14-2 to Chattanooga. Starter Rob Zastryzny was lit up nine runs (eight earned) in 2.2 innings, with the unearned run coming on his error. Tennessee brought in the shock troops as Juan Paniagua gave up three earned runs and struck out two in three innings. Gerardo Concepcion allowed two earned runs with three strikeouts in 2.1 innings.
The only runs for the Smokies came in the fifth inning after Ryan Dent (1-for-4) singled and Tyler Pearson (1-for-4 with a double) doubled. A sacrifice fly brought in Dent, and a double from Bijan Rademacher (2-for-5 with a double and an RBI) scored Pearson.
Tennessee got some late run support as they rode great pitching for a 4-1 victory over Chattanooga on Saturday. It was a rarity for Ryan Williams, as he gave up his first home run of the season in the first inning. Williams settled down and struck out four in six innings. Starling Peralta tossed two perfect innings with a strikeout. It was save No. 19 for P.J. Francescon as he struck out two in a scoreless ninth inning.
The Smokies did not get on the board until the fifth inning. Jacob Hannemann (2-for-4 with a home run) singled and Albert Almora Jr. (1-for-5 with a double) doubled. Hannemann came in as Willson Contreras (0-for-4 with an RBI) reached one a one out fielding error. A two-out single from Jacob Rogers (1-for-4 with an RBI) brought in Almora, and a base hit by Stephen Bruno (2-for-3 with an RBI) scored Contreras. Hannemann belted a one out solo home run in the sixth inning.
It was the downside of the rollercoaster on Sunday for Tennessee as the Smokies lost 11-4 to Chattanooga. The Smokies actually jumped out to a four-run lead before the roof caved in. Willson Contreras (2-for-4 with a double) led off the second with a double, advanced to third on a wild pitch, and scored on a ground out. In the third, Albert Almora Jr. (1-for-4 with a double) doubled with two outs and scored on a single from Stephen Bruno (1-for-4). After a wild pitch, Bruno came home on a base hit from Contreras. Singles by Jeimer Candelario (1-for-3) and Jonathan Mota (1-for-3 with an RBI) brought in Contreras.
Jeffry Antigua’s command fell apart as he allowed three earned runs on four hits and five walks while striking out two in 4.2 innings. Andres Santiago poured gas on the fire as he gave up four runs (three earned) with a strikeout in 1.1 innings. Corey Black did not fare any better as he surrendered four earned runs in 0.2 innings. Matt Brazis was the only Tennessee pitcher unscathed, as he had a strikeout in 1.1 scoreless innings.
Triple-A – Iowa Cubs (66-55)
The I-Cubs closed out their series with Nashville by being thumped 9-2 on Friday. Felipe Paulino was the main focus of the thrashing as he gave up six earned runs in only two innings. Armando Rivero did some heavy lifting as he struck out three and allowed an earned run in three innings. Ryan Buchter also had three strikeouts in two perfect frames. Blake Cooper was charged with two runs (one earned) in two innings.
Iowa answered weakly in the second inning after Christian Villanueva (1-for-3) walked and Tommy La Stella (1-for-4 with a double) doubled. Villanueva scored on a sacrifice fly. Mike Baxter (1-for-2 with an RBI) walked to begin the fifth inning and came home after back-to-back one out singles from Chris Valaika (1-for-3) and John Andreoli (1-for-3) and a ground out.
Iowa moved on to Las Vegas on Saturday and came away with a 6-1 victory. Carlos Pimentel was at the top of his game, striking out six while giving up a solo home run in seven innings. Carl Edwards Jr. and Yoervis Medina each tossed a scoreless inning and had a strikeout.
The I-Cubs scored first as Mike Baxter (2-for-4 with a double) led off the second inning with a double and would score on a sacrifice fly. Taylor Teagarden (2-for-4 with a double) doubled with one out in the fourth inning and came home on a single from Adron Chambers (2-for-3 with an RBI and a stolen base). A base hit by Carlos Pimentel (1-for-2 with two RBI) drove in Chambers, and a two-run home run from John Andreoli (2-for-2 with a home run and three RBI) brought in Pimentel. Iowa added a run in the eighth inning after Teagarden and Chambers singled, Teagarden scored on a sacrifice fly.
Arizona Rookie League – AZL Cubs (23-20)
The AZL Cubs may be seeing their season slip away as they lost 5-4 to the AZL Reds on Friday. Austyn Willis was pounded for five runs (four earned) and had two strikeouts in five innings. Carlos Sepulveda remained hot, going 3-for-4 with a double while Carlos Jimenez was 1-for-5 with a home run and two RBI.
All the scoring happened late as the AZL Cubs fell to the AZL Giants 5-0 on Saturday. The A-Cubs spoiled some good pitching as starter Jesus Camargo struck out four in four scoreless innings while rehabbing Tyler Skulina also fanned four in two shutout innings. Another rehabbing player, Dan Vogelbach, was 2-for-2.
Dominican Summer League – DSL Cubs (42-24)
It was a bullpen collapse that led to a 9-4 loss to the DSL Brewers by the DSL Cubs on Friday. Eury Ramos was charged with two runs (one earned) and struck out five in four innings. Catcher Erick Gonzalez went 2-for-3 with a home run and an RBI, and Yeiler Peguero was 1-for-3 with an RBI.
The DSL Cubs are now tied for first in the San Pedro de Macoris division with six games left to play, as they defeated the DSL Brewers 4-2 on Saturday. Yovanny Cuevas did the major damage as drove in two runs, while Frankin Tineo went 3-for-4 with an RBI. Andri Rodon had another good outing, allowing two runs (one earned) while striking out four in four innings. Julian Aybar provided quality relief, fanning four in three scoreless innings.
News and Notes
The Chicago Cubs sent 1B Dan Vogelbach to the AZL Cubs on a rehab assignment; assigned INF/OF Anthony Giansanti to the Tennessee Smokies from the Iowa Cubs; assigned INF Vimael Machin to the Eugene Emeralds from the South Bend Cubs;
The Tennessee Smokies placed OF Billy McKinney on the 7-day disabled list.
Top Prospect Watch
Note: Eloy Jimenez and Justin Steele return to the Top Prospect Watch.
- Albert Almora Jr. (OF) – .268/.323/.396/.718, 30 doubles, four triples, six home runs, 38 RBI, seven stolen bases (Tennessee Smokies)
- Victor Caratini (C) – .240/.330/.336/.666, 24 doubles, three home runs, 46 RBI (Myrtle Beach Pelicans)
- Dylan Cease (RHP) – 1-2, 18.1 IP, 2.45 ERA, 5 ER, 18 K, 1.256 WHIP (AZL Cubs)
- Trevor Clifton (RHP) – 5-9, 85 IP, 4.45 ERA, 42 ER, 83 K, 1.376 WHIP (South Bend Cubs)
- Carl Edwards Jr. (RHP) – 3-1, 29.2 IP, 2.73 ERA, 9 ER, 37 K, 1.247 WHIP (Iowa Cubs)
- Eloy Jimenez (OF) – .272/.315/.371/.686, six doubles, three home runs, 16 RBI, three SB (Eugene Emeralds)
- Pierce Johnson (RHP) – 6-1, 68.2 IP, 1.70 ERA, 13 ER, 55 K, 1.107 WHIP (Tennessee Smokies)
- Billy McKinney (OF) – .285/.346/.420/.766, 26 doubles, a triple, three home runs, 39 RBI (Tennessee Smokies)
- Justin Steele (LHP) – 3-1, 32 IP, 2.25 ERA, 8 ER, 32 K, 1.312 WHIP (Eugene Emeralds)
- Gleyber Torres (INF) – .305/.364/.397/.761, 22 doubles, five triples, two home runs, 59 RBI, 22 stolen bases (South Bend Cubs)