Another star is rising out west as Eloy Jimenez is turning his potential into production for Eugene. Meanwhile, South Bend got a gutty performance from Erick Leal, and Jen-Ho Tseng set a career high for Myrtle Beach.
All of the early week storylines play out today in Down on the Farm Report.
Short Season Class-A – Eugene Emeralds (32-32)
Due to technical difficulties, the Eugene game on Monday was suspended after three innings. When the game resumed on Tuesday, the Emeralds were able to tack on three more runs to beat Spokane 5-1. Carson Sands had a rough first inning, giving up an earned run. But Sands settled down and halted the Indians while striking out four in three innings. Jose Paulino was on the hill when the game resumed, as he struck out five in 4.2 innings. Mark Malave worked around a walk and a hit in 1.1 innings to collect his first professional save.
It was sort of a coming out party for Eloy Jimenez (2-for-4 with two home runs and three RBI), as he launched a two-run home run with Donnie Dewees (1-for-4) on board after a single in the first inning. Jimenez blasted a solo shot with one out in the sixth inning. Andrew Ely (2-for-4 with a double and a triple) followed with a triple and scored on a single from Alex Bautista (2-for-4 with an RBI and a stolen base). Bautista stole second base and came home after P.J. Higgins (1-for-3 with a double and an RBI) doubled.
Low Class-A – South Bend Cubs (58-66)
Persistence paid off for South Bend on Monday as they beat West Michigan 4-2. Starter Erick Leal battled, even after taking a ball off of his knee, to strike out seven and allow two earned runs in five innings. Michael Wagner was able to go the rest of the way, fanning four as he pitched the final four frames.
The West Michigan lead was short lived after David Bote (1-for-3 with a double) was hit by a pitch to start the second inning. Singles from Gioskar Amaya (1-for-4) and Kevin Encarnacion (3-for-4 with an RBI) scored Bote. Amaya scored on a force play. A one out double by Bote and a base hit from Encarnacion brought in another run in the sixth. Encarnacion scored on an error.
South Bend kept the game close for five innings Tuesday, but fell apart as they lost 7-2 to West Michigan. The Cubs cut the deficit to one in the fifth inning after Gioskar Amaya (1-for-3) singled with one out and Kevin Encarnacion (0-for-2 with two walks) walked. After a wild pitch advanced the runners, a single by Rashad Crawford (1-for-3 with two RBI) drove in both Amaya and Encarnacion. Starter Trevor Clifton had a solid effort, giving up three earned runs while striking out five in five innings. Daniel Lewis was all over the place, walking three in 0.2 innings. Jordan Minch was unable to clean up the mess as he allowed four runs (three earned) with two strikeouts in 2.1 innings.
High Class–A – Myrtle Beach Pelicans (76-51)
It was an old fashioned clunker for the Pelicans on Monday as they lost 5-1 to Winston-Salem. Tyler Skulina started and had four strikeouts, but allowed three earned runs in 3.1 innings. Tyler Ihrig relieved and gave up two runs (one earned) and struck out four in 4.2 innings. David Berg tossed a scoreless ninth inning. Myrtle Beach scored their only run in the sixth inning after Chesny Young (1-for-4) singled and came home on a triple from Mark Zagunis (2-for-4 with a triple and an RBI).
In one of their patented comebacks, Myrtle Beach scored four runs in the seventh inning to beat Winston-Salem 4-2. Back-to-back doubles from Mark Zagunis (1-for-3 with a double) and Jason Vosler (2-for-3 with a double and an RBI) started the seventh and led to the first run. A one out walk to Ben Carhart (0-for-3 with a walk) and a single by Victor Caratini (2-for-4) loaded the bases. A free pass to Carlos Penalver (0-for-3 with a walk and an RBI) forced in Vosler. A ground out brought in Carhart. Both Chesny Young (1-for-3) and Pin-Chieh Chen (0-for-3 with an RBI) were hit by pitches to score Caratini.
Striking out a career high nine batters, starter Jen-Ho Tseng had one of his best games of the season. Tseng allowed two earned runs on four hits and a walk in seven innings. David Garner had three strikeouts in two scoreless innings for his second save.
Double-A – Tennessee Smokies (66-60)
It wouldn’t be a game day for Tennessee if there wasn’t a doubleheader scheduled, as they lost the Monday opener with Chattanooga 4-2. Pierce Johnson went the distance, allowing four earned runs and striking out five in seven innings. The Smokies broke a scoreless deadlock in the fourth inning when Willson Contreras (2-for-2 with a home run) belted a solo home run. Singles by Anthony Giansanti (1-for-3) and Jonathan Mota (2-for-3) began the fifth inning, and Giansanti scored on a sacrifice fly.
The Smokies bounced back in the nightcap to beat Chattanooga 4-1. A one out walk by Bijan Rademacher (0-for-0 with two walks) and a single from Stephen Bruno (1-for-2) set up Tennessee in the second. Rademacher scored on a sacrifice fly. Jonathan Mota (1-for-2 with a home run and two RBI) drilled a solo home run to lead off the fifth inning. In the sixth, Willson Contreras (2-for-4 with a double) doubled and Jeimer Candelario (0-for-2 with a walk) drew a walk. A one out double from Anthony Giansanti (1-for-1 with a double and two RBI) drove in Contreras and Candelario.
Frank Batista returned to the Smokies and struck out four while allowing an earned run in four innings. Matt Brazis took over and tossed 1.2 scoreless innings. P.J. Francescon faced one batter over the minimum in the final 1.1 innings to collect his 20th save.
A leaky bullpen was again at the root of a 4-3 loss by Tennessee to Chattanooga on Tuesday. Starter Felix Pena pitched well enough to win, striking out four and allowing two runs (one earned) in six innings. But Juan Paniagua was not up to the task as he gave up two runs (one earned) in one inning. Gerardo Concepcion faced one over the minimum in the eighth inning.
The Smokies struck first after Alberto Almora Jr. (2-for-4 with an RBI) singled and Bijan Rademacher (1-for-3) walked with two outs in the third inning. A wild pitch advanced the runners, and a base hit by Willson Contreras (2-for-4 with two RBI) brought in Almora and Rademacher. In the fifth, Jonathan Mota (2-for-4 with a double) led off with a double and scored on a one out base hit from Almora.
Triple-A – Iowa Cubs (72-58)
Home cooking seemed to be just what the I-Cubs needed on Monday, as they shut out Fresno 9-0. All Iowa required was the fourth inning. Javier Baez (4-for-4 with a double, a home run, and two RBI) singled and stole second base. Walks to Christian Villanueva (0-for-3 with a walk) and Mike Olt (1-for-4) loaded the bases. A one out double from Taylor Teagarden (2-for-4 with a double and three RBI) drove in Baez and Villanueva. A base hit by Chris Valaika (1-for-3 with two RBI) brought in Olt. Singles by Adron Chambers (2-for-4) and John Andreoli (2-for-5 with a stolen base) once again loaded the bases. A sacrifice fly scored Valaika, and Chambers came home on an error. A two-run home run from Baez drove in Andreoli. Iowa added a run in the seventh inning as Baez singled and Villanueva was hit by a pitch. A two out base hit by Teagarden scored Baez.
Eric Jokisch had lasted only until the fourth inning in his previous two starts, but Jokisch struck out four in six innings. Armando Rivero pitched two perfect innings, and Trevor Cahill had a strikeout in the ninth.
Iowa jumped on the doubleheader bandwagon Tuesday as they defeated Fresno 3-2 in the opener. The I-Cubs got a rare good outing from Drake Britton as he had three strikeouts and allowed two earned runs in 5.1 innings. Ryan Buchter relieved and struck out a batter in 1.2 scoreless innings. Brian Schlitter worked around two walks to qualify for his 21st save of the season. Matt Szczur (1-for-1 with a home run) put Iowa on the board in the second inning, as he led off with a solo home run. Javier Baez (1-for-3) started the fourth with a single, and Arismendy Alcantara (0-for-1 with two walks and a stolen base) drew a two out walk. After Alcantara stole second, Taylor Teagarden (0-for-2 with a walk) coaxed a free pass. A base hit by Mike Baxter (2-for-3 with a triple and two RBI) drove in Baez and Alcantara.
In the nightcap, Fresno was all over Iowa pitching, as the I-Cubs lost 7-3. Felipe Paulino was fairly typical, giving up six runs (four earned) while striking out two in five innings. Yoervis Medina had a strange outing, striking out a batter and walking three, but allowing no hits and giving up an unearned run in two innings. In the third inning, Luke Carlin (0-for-0 with two walks) was hit by a pitch and scored on a two out single from Javier Baez (1-for-4 with an RBI). Carlin walked to start the fifth inning, and Adron Chambers (0-for-1 with two walks) drew a one out free pass. After a ground out, a single by Christian Villanueva (1-for-3 with two RBI) drove in Carlin and Chambers.
Arizona Rookie League – AZL Cubs (30-21)
The AZL Cubs took advantage of a game with the first place AZL Giants to move to a half a game out of first with a 1-0 victory in 11 innings on Sunday. A rehabbing Duane Underwood Jr. had two strikeouts in three innings, while Jared Cheek fanned four in two innings. Ho-young Son went 2-for-3 in the win.
With a 9-2 victory over the AZL Angels on Monday, the AZL Cubs moved into a frost place tie. Chris Pieters had the big hit as he went 1-for-5 with a double and two RBI. Angelo Amendolare was also 1-for-2 with an RBI. Dylan Cease was back at the top of his game as he struck out five in three scoreless innings.
News and Notes
The Chicago Cubs recalled LHP Zac Rosscup and INF Tommy La Stella from the Iowa Cubs; assigned OF Quintin Berry and INF/OF Emilio Bonifacio to the Iowa Cubs; assigned INF Vimael Machin to the South Bend Cubs from the Eugene Emeralds.