It was an exciting Thursday for the Cubs organization, and the minor leagues did their part. South Bend and Ryan Kellogg were able to overwhelm their opponent to move to two games above .500. Meanwhile, Myrtle Beach was able to walk-off with a victory thanks to Yasiel Balaguert.
To relive that excitement, along with Wednesday’s highlights, take a peek at today’s Down on the Farm Report.
Low Class-A – South Bend Cubs (8-6)
It was the offense to the rescue as South Bend closed out their series against Bowling Green with an 8-4 win on Wednesday. Starter Justin Steele was a little shaky in the beginning, allowing three runs (two earned) in the first three innings before settling in and tossing two three-up, three-down innings. Craig Brooks (five strikeouts) and Scott Effross (two strikeouts) took over and held the Hot Rods to five hits and an unearned run over the final four innings.
The SB Cubs answered two runs in the first with four of their own with a single by Eddy Julio Martinez (2-for-4 with two RBI) scoring P.J. Higgins (1-for-5) and Donnie Dewees (1-for-4 with a double). South Bend added four more runs in the third after Eloy Jimenez (2-for-3), Martinez, and Danny Spingola (2-for-4 with two RBI) started the inning with singles. Base hits by Matt Rose (1-for-3 with an RBI) and Tyler Alamo (3-for-4 with a double and an RBI) drove in two runs.
South Bend put together a complete game on Thursday and beat Fort Wayne 7-2. Starter Ryan Kellogg was scratched for an unearned run in the first, but shut out the Tin Caps the rest of the way as he had three strikeouts in six innings. John Williamson gave up an earned run in 1.1 innings, but Greyfer Eregua slammed the door for his second save, striking out two in 1.2 innings.
Bryant Flete (3-for-4 with a double and an RBI) put the SB Cubs ahead for good in the second inning, as he doubled in Daniel Spingola (1-for-4 with a double, an RBI and a stolen base). In the third inning, Eloy Jimenez (1-for-4 with an RBI) was aboard as Eddy Julio Martinez (2-for-4 with a double, a home run and two RBI) went deep with his second homer of the season. Martinez and Spingola had back-to-back doubles in the eighth as South Bend added another three runs.
High Class–A – Myrtle Beach Pelicans (8-7)
Pitching dominated for the Pelicans on Wednesday, as they beat Winston-Salem 4-1. Zach Hedges continues to make progress and he tossed seven strong innings, giving up an earned run on four hits and walk while striking out four batters. James Farris allowed only one base runner on a walk, as he fanned three in two innings for his second save.
It took a while for the Myrtle Beach offense to get going as they tied the score at one in the fifth inning. David Bote (1-for-4 with a home run and two RBI) broke things open in the eighth with solo home run. The Birds loaded the bases without the benefit of a hit, and Yasiel Balaguert (1-for-4 with two RBI) delivered a two-run single.
Myrtle Beach answered a three-run home run by Carolina with one of their own, which allowed them to walk off a 6-5 winner on Thursday. It looked as if three first inning runs would hold up for the Pelicans. Yasiel Balaguert (3-for-4 with a home run and four RBI) and Jason Vosler (2-for-4 with an RBI) had RBI singles. But that was it until the bottom of the ninth when Charcer Burks (1-for-4 with a double) doubled and Ian Happ (1-for-3) walked. Balaguert then came up with two outs and drilled a three-run homer to left center for the game-winner.
Trevor Clifton had his best outing of the season. Clifton struck out two and allowed two runs (one earned) in 5.1 innings. Ryan McNeil served up a three-run homer to super prospect Dansby Swanson as he pitched 1.2 innings. Jose Rosario shut out the Mudcats the rest of the way for his first win in two years.
Double-A – Tennessee Smokies (6-9)
Tennessee had a day game on Wednesday and got blitzed for three runs in the ninth as they lost to Montgomery 6-5. Tyler Skulina was given a rough time by the Biscuits, allowing three earned runs in 3.2 innings. Gerardo Concepcion and Juan Paniagua held Montgomery at bay in the middle innings, but David Garner served up a three-run homer in the ninth.
Chesny Young (4-for-4 with and RBI and two stolen bases) had a big day, as he scored the Smokies first run in the seventh on a double from Billy McKinney (1-for-4 with a double and an RBI). Young delivered a two-run single in the eighth inning. Tennessee tried to rally in the ninth, as Bijan Rademacher (1-for-4 with a double and an RBI) doubled to bring in Taylor Davis (1-for-5).
Thursday was a getaway day matinee and the Smokies were crushed by Montgomery 8-1. Jen-Ho Tseng was ripped by the Biscuits’ offense, allowing seven earned runs on seven hits and three walks in five innings. James Pugliese had to do some heavy lifting, as he tossed three innings and gave up an earned run in three innings. Josh Conway had a strikeout in a perfect ninth inning.
The only run for Tennessee came in the second inning, when Victor Caratini (1-for-4) singled and scored on a sacrifice fly from Taylor Davis (2-for-2 with an RBI).
Triple-A – Iowa Cubs (4-8)
All the runs came one at a time, but it was Iowa who came up one short as they lost to New Orleans 3-2 on Wednesday. The I-Cubs’ offense consisted of two solo home runs, as Albert Almora Jr. (3-for-4 with a double and a home run) blasted his first of the season in the seventh inning. Juan Perez (2-for-5 with a home runs and an RBI) tied the game at 2-2 in the eighth with his first home run.
Drew Rucinski fanned 10 batters, but gave up two earned runs on five hits and two walks in six innings. Carl Edwards Jr. and Spencer Patton each tossed a scoreless inning, but Scott Barnes allowed the walk-off on two hits with one out in the ninth.
On Thursday, the game between Iowa and New Orleans was suspended in the top of the seventh due to rain. The I-Cubs were leading 2-1.
News and Notes
The Chicago Cubs released RHP Jonathan Pettibone.
The Iowa Cubs placed LHP Scott Barnes on the 7-day disabled list; activated RHP Pierce Johnson from the 7-day disabled list. The Tennessee Smokies activated RHP David Garner from the temporarily inactive list. The Myrtle Beach Pelicans activated OF Trey Martin from the 7-day disabled list. The South Bend Cubs placed C Ian Rice on the 7-day disabled list; activated INF Adonis Paula from the 7-day disabled list.