Chesny Young remains on top of the Carolina League in hitting as Myrtle Beach swept a doubleheader, and Jacob Hannemann is on a tear for Tennessee. Iowa remains on the West Coast, with John Andreoli running wild. And both the AZL Cubs and the DSL Cubs are fighting for playoff berths.
All the details are in today’s Down on the Farm Report.
Short Season Class-A – Eugene Emeralds (29–30)
It was just too much for Eugene to come back from on Tuesday as the Emeralds lost 5-4 to Boise. Starter Carson Sands fell apart in the third inning, allowing five earned runs as he struck out two in 2.2 innings. Greyfer Eregua stopped the bleeding by tossing 2.1 scoreless innings. Pedro Araujo went the rest of the way, striking out three in three shutout innings.
The Emeralds had the lead after Donnie Dewees (4-for-5 with two stolen bases) led off the game. Eloy Jimenez (0-for-2 with two walks and two RBI) drew a one out walk and Alex Bautista (0-for-3) was hit by a pitch to load the bases. A ground out brought in Dewees.
It was the top of the order again in the third inning. A base hit by Dewees and a double from Frandy Delarosa (1-for-5 with a double and an RBI) resulted in another run. Eugene chipped away in the fifth inning after Dewees singled, stole second, and scored after two ground outs. Blake Headley (1-for-4) reached on a force attempt in the sixth inning, while Tyler Alamo (0-for-4) got on as a result of an error. A passed ball advanced the runners and a ground out scored Headley.
The Emeralds moved to within a game of first place Wednesday with an 11-5 victory over Boise. Eugene put up five runs in the first inning after Donnie Dewees (1-for-6 with a double) led off the game with a double and Frandy Delarosa (3-for-6 with a double, three RBI, and a stolen base) singled. Dewees scored on an error. A base hit by Eloy Jimenez (2-for-6 with an RBI) drove in Delarosa and a one out single from Alberto Mineo (2-for-4 with a double) put runners at the corners. A force play brought in Jimenez as Mineo was wiped out at second and Tyler Alamo (1-for-5 with an RBI) reached. A double from Sutton Whiting (3-for-4 with a double and an RBI) plated Alamo. A single from Vimael Machin (2-for-4 with an RBI) scored Whiting. Ricardo Marcano (3-for-5 with a double and two RBI) began the fourth inning with a base hit and came home after an error and a force play. Mineo reached on a dropped third strike in the fifth and moved to third on a ground out and a single from Whiting. Mineo scored on a balk. In the seventh, Mineo doubled with one out and pinch-runner Ho-young Son came home on a two out single by Marcano. Eugene wasn’t done. Whiting and Machin singled and a double by Marcano scored Whiting. A base hit by Delarosa drove in Machin and Marcano.
Starter Justin Steele is still working himself back into shape as he allowed two earned runs and struck out two in two innings. Jose Paulino did some heavy lifting as he tossed five innings and gave up an earned run while striking out four batters. Jae-Hoon Ha had a rare bad showing, surrendering two earned runs in an inning. Craig Brooks had two strikeouts as he set down the side in order in the ninth.
Low Class-A – South Bend Cubs (56-63)
The South Bend Cubs kept rolling as their third straight victory came at the expense of Dayton, an 8-3 win on Wednesday. The South Bend offense stepped on the gas in the fourth inning and never looked back. Gioskar Amaya (1-for-3) singled with one out and Charcer Burks (1-for-5) reached on an error. Erick Castillo (1-for-2 with an RBI) was hit by a pitch, and a walk to Matt Rose (1-for-2 with an RBI) forced in Amaya. A single by Rashad Crawford (2-for-4 with a triple and four RBI) brought in Burks and Castillo. Ian Happ (1-for-4 with a double) led off the fifth with a double. A single by David Bote (2-for-4) and a walk to Amaya loaded the bases. A sacrifice fly scored Happ. Jeffrey Baez (1-for-4) walked with one out in the sixth and came around on a home run from Gleyber Torres (1-for-4 with a home run and two RBI). Castillo had a base hit with two outs in the seventh. Rose walked. A triple from Crawford scored Castillo and Rose.
Trevor Clifton had another good effort as he allowed two earned runs with seven strikeouts in 6.1 innings. Jordan Minch gave up an earned run n 1.2 innings. Ryan McNeil worked around a hit to toss a scoreless ninth.
The SB Cubs were never in the game on Thursday as they lost to Dayton 7-2. Tommy Thorpe had one of his worst outings since becoming a starter as he allowed five runs (three earned) with seven strikeouts in 5.1 innings. Michael Wagner gave up two earned runs and pitched 2.2 innings. Corbin Hoffner worked around two hits in the ninth. The only runs for South Bend came in the sixth inning after Jeffrey Baez (2-for-5) led off with a single. A one out triple by Ian Happ (2-for-3 with a triple and an RBI) drove in Baez. Happ came home on a base hit from David Bote (1-for-4 with an RBI).
High Class–A – Myrtle Beach Pelicans (73-49)
Rain washed away Tuesday’s game, so in the opener of Wednesday’s doubleheader Myrtle Beach was able to ride excellent pitching to a 4-1 victory over Winston-Salem. Jonathan Martinez was in usual dominant form, giving up a hit and striking out three as he shut down the Spirit for four innings. Tyler Skulina, in his first action off the disabled list, allowed an earned run with two strikeouts in three innings.
Chesny Young (1-for-3 with a double) got the Pelicans’ offense going in the fourth inning with a double. Young scored on a one-out double from Jason Vosler (1-for-3 with a double and an RBI). Jacob Rogers (0-for-2 with a walk) walked and a base hit by Victor Caratini (1-for-3 with an RBI) brought in Vosler. Myrtle Beach put the game away in the seventh when Kevin Brown (1-for-2 with a home run) blasted a one out solo home run. Trey Martin (0-for-2 with a walk) walked with two outs and scored on a double by Danny Lockhart (1-for-3 with a double and an RBI).
It took nine innings to conclude the nightcap, but when it was over, Myrtle Beach emerged with a 4-2 victory over Winston-Salem. One again, the Pelicans jumped out ahead as Trey Martin (0-for-3 with a walk) walked to start the third inning. On a bunt attempt from Danny Lockhart (0-for-2 with a walk and an RBI) the Dash made a series of errors that allowed both Martin and Lockhart to score. Cael Brockmeyer (0-for-3 with a walk) and Jacob Rogers (0-for-3 with a walk) drew walks to start the ninth. After a sacrifice bunt, Carlos Penalver (0-for-3 with a walk) walked. After an argument where the Winston-Salem pitching coach was ejected, Lockhart and Chesny Young (0-for-4 with a walk and an RBI) drew free passes to force in Brockmeyer and Rogers.
Jen-Ho Tseng has been making some progress as he had seven strikeouts and allowed two earned runs in six innings. Jasvir Rakkar fanned two in two scoreless frames. David Berg picked up his third save with a strikeout in the ninth.
Myrtle Beach could not sweep their series with Winston-Salem on Thursday as the Pelicans lost 5-4. The Pelicans scored all their runs early. Back-to-back doubles from Chesny Young (1-for-4 with a double and a stolen base) and Pin-Chieh Chen (2-for-5 with a double and an RBI) started the game and resulted in Young crossing the plate. Chen moved to third on a balk and came home on a double from Mark Zagunis (1-for-5 with a double and an RBI). A one out base hit by Jacob Rogers (1-for-4 with an RBI) brought in Zagunis. In the second inning, Young walked with one out and Chen singled. A one out base hit by Jason Vosler (2-for-4 with an RBI) scored Young.
Daury Torrez served up two solo homers, but otherwise held the Dash to two hits and a walk with four strikeouts in six innings. Josh Conway allowed Winston-Salem back into the game with two earned runs in 1.1 innings. Michael Heesch surrendered the winning run on a wild pitch as he pitched the final 1.1 innings.
Double-A – Tennessee Smokies (64-56)
When it rains on a Tuesday, it means a doubleheader on Wednesday as Tennessee came back in game one to beat Montgomery 7-6 in nine innings. Down 2-0 in the fourth, Willson Contreras (0-for-3 with a walk) walked and singles from Jeimer Candelario (1-for-3) and Stephen Bruno (1-for-3 with an RBI) brought Contreras home. A base hit by Bijan Rademacher (2-for-3) loaded the bases and a single by Jonathan Mota (1-for-3) scored Candelario and Bruno. A double play allowed Rademacher to score. Taylor Davis (1-for-4 with a home run) increased the lead in the fifth inning with a solo home run. Behind 6-5 in the bottom of the ninth, Bruno and Rademacher walked. A sacrifice advanced the runners, and a fielder’s choice allowed pinch-runner Anthony Giansanti to score. A sacrifice bunt by Jacob Hannemann (0-for-3 with an RBI) brought in Rademacher with the game-winner.
Pierce Johnson had his worst day since coming back from the disabled list. Johnson allowed four runs (three earned) and struck out a batter in 6.1 innings. P.J. Francescon was stretched out for 2.2 innings and gave up two earned runs with two strikeouts.
Tennessee had to settle for a split as the Smokies lost game two 4-2 to Montgomery in a rain shortened five innings. Felix Pena went the entire way for the Smokies, allowing four earned runs while striking out eight in five innings. Tennessee cut the lead in half in the third inning after Jonathan Mota (1-for-2) singled and scored after a pair of ground outs. Albert Almora Jr. (1-for-2 with a double) started the fourth with a double and came home on a single from Taylor Davis (1-for-2 with an RBI).
It was one of those nights for Tennessee, as they were destroyed by Montgomery 17-4. Rob Zastryzny was simply shelled as he gave up six earned runs in three innings. Juan Paniagua was like pouring gas on a fire. Paniagua allowed four earned runs in three innings. Gerardo Concepcion was absolutely miserable and surrendered six earned runs in only 0.2 innings. Returning from the disabled list, Tayler Scott was somewhat better, yielding an earned run in 1.1 innings. Position player Wes Darvill pitched for the first time in his professional career, inducing a double play to record a scoreless inning.
Down 10-0, the Smokies finally put up a run in the fifth inning as Stephen Bruno (0-for-3) was hit by a pitch and scored on a two out triple from Jacob Hannemann (2-for-5 with a triple, a home run, and two RBI). Hannemann took things into his own hands in the eighth inning, as he belted a solo home run. In the ninth, Bruno reached on an error and came around on a home run from Wes Darvill (1-for-4 with a home run and two RBI).
Triple-A – Iowa Cubs (68-56)
The I-Cubs just could not hold off Las Vegas on Tuesday as they lost 6-5. Eric Jokisch lasted only four innings in his second game back from the DL. Jokisch allowed four runs (two earned) and struck out a batter. Yoervis Medina simply has not shown any progress since being acquired from the Seattle organization. Medina gave up an earned run with a strikeout in two innings. Zac Rosscup also had a strikeout as he tossed a scoreless inning. The usually reliable Blake Cooper gave up the winning run in the ninth, as he pitched 1.1 innings and struck out a batter.
Iowa was able to cut a 2-0 deficit in half in the fourth inning. Matt Szczur (1-for-5) and Javier Baez (2-for-5) singled, and Szczur scored on a ground out. With one out in the fifth, Arismendy Alcantara (3-for-4) singled and Mike Baxter (1-for-4 with a double) doubled. Pinch-hitter Adron Chambers (1-for-1 with two RBI) base hit brought in both Alcantara and Baxter. The I-Cubs tied the game in the eighth inning when Baez singled with one out, and Taylor Teagarden (1-for-3) worked a free pass with two outs. A double from Mike Olt (1-for-4 with a double and two RBI) scored Baez and Teagarden.
Iowa moved on to Salt Lake in their west coast swing and blitzed the Bees 8-2 on Wednesday. John Andreoli (3-for-5 with an RBI and two stolen bases) led off the game with a single and stole second base. A base hit from Matt Szczur (1-for-4 with two RBI) drove in Andreoli. Tommy La Stella (1-for-1 with a double and an RBI) started the second inning with a double, and a one out single from Chris Valaika (2-for-4 with a double and an RBI) put runners at the corners. A double by Luke Carlin (1-for-4 with a double and an RBI) scored La Stella, and runners remained at first and third. A base hit by Andreoli brought in Valaika, and Carlin scored on a sacrifice fly. In the fifth inning, Javier Baez (3-for-4 with an RBI) singled and scored on a double from Christian Villanueva (1-for-5 with a double and an RBI). After a ground out, Villanueva came home on a sacrifice fly. Iowa added a run in the eighth when Arismendy Alcantara (0-for-4) reached on a force play and scored on a double from Valaika.
Starter Felipe Paulino had one of his better efforts, allowing two earned runs and striking out a batter in five innings. Newcomer Trevor Cahill had two strikeouts as he tossed three scoreless innings. Ryan Buchter came back from a poor previous showing to strike out a batter in the ninth.
Arizona Rookie League – AZL Cubs (27-20)
The AZL Cubs found their offense late on Tuesday and defeated the AZL Reds 5-3. Duane Underwood had a rehab start and looked spot-on, striking out four and giving up one hit in two scoreless innings. It was another big day for Chris Pieters, who went 2-for-3 with two doubles and an RBI.
A half game out of first place, the AZL Cubs shut out the AZL Padres 6-0 on Wednesday. It was a three pitcher effort as Heath Dwyer struck out four in four innings. Carlos Rodriguez fanned eight as he tossed three innings. John Williamson added two more strikeouts in two innings. Outfielder Danny Spingola went 2-for-3 with a triple and two RBI.
Dominican Summer League – DSL Cubs (43-27)
The DSL Cubs had further disappointment on Wednesday as they lost to the DSL Pirates 4-3 in 14 innings. Pablo Ochoa pitched well, striking out two in 3.1 scoreless innings. Outfielder Jose Jules was 2-for-5 with an RBI.
With two games left to play, the DSL Cubs are a game out of first place after a 10-5 victory over the DSL Pirates on Thursday. Catcher Erick Gonzalez had a monster game, going 3-for-3 with five RBI, while first baseman Richard Nunez was 2-for-3 with a double and two RBI. Starter Eury Romos allowed an earned run and struck out three in four innings.
News and Notes
The Chicago Cubs assigned INF P.J. Higgins and OF Danny Spingola to the Eugene Emeralds from the AZL Cubs; assigned OF Kevonte Mitchell and INF Ho-young Son to the AZL Cubs from the Eugene Emeralds; assigned RHP Junior Marte to the AZL Cubs from the DSL Cubs.
The Tennessee Smokies activated RHP Tayler Scott from the 7-day disabled list. The Myrtle Beach Pelicans sent RHP Duane Underwood to the AZL Cubs on a rehab assignment; placed RHP Jonathan Martinez on the 7-day disabled list, activated OF Mark Zagunis from the 7-day disabled list.