The Cubs minor league system ended the week with three teams on a roll, as South Bend, Myrtle Beach and Tennessee are all enjoying winning streaks. The SB Cubs are hot behind the hitting of Donnie Dewees and Carlos Sepulveda, while Myrtle Beach now has a surging Gleyber Torres and Yasiel Balaguert.
With first place on the line, make today’s Down on the Farm Report a must read.
Low Class-A – South Bend Cubs (11-6)
Speed played a big part in Friday’s extra inning victory as South Bend defeated Fort Wayne 6-5 in 10 innings. Donnie Dewees (2-for-5 with two RBI and a stolen base) reached on an error in the final inning, and made it around to third on a single from Eloy Jimenez (1-for-3 with an RBI) and a ground out, sprinting home with the game-winner on a fielder’s choice. It was all aided by a five-run fifth inning, with the big blow by Dewees as his base hit scored Tyler Alamo (0-for-3) and Carlos Sepulveda (2-for-5).
Kyle Twomey had a rough time as he allowed six earned runs, including a three-run homer, in five innings. Casey Bloomquist kept the SB Cubs in the game with three strikeouts in four perfect innings. James Norwood struck out two in the 10th to gain the victory.
It was a rollicking good time on Saturday as South Bend used a five-run fourth inning to beat Fort Wayne 7-4 and move to within a half a game of first place. Matt Rose (1-for-3) and Andrew Ely (0-for-2 with an RBI) drew walks to start the inning, loading the bases on a single from Bryant Flete (1-for-3). A Carlos Sepulveda (3-for-5 with two doubles and three RBI) double drove in Rose, Ely and Flete, and Sepulveda came home on a double by P.J. Higgins (2-for-4 with a double). A sacrifice fly brought in Higgins.
Adbert Alzolay pitched an outstanding game, giving up only an unearned run as he struck out four in six innings. Scott Frazier labored through a scoreless inning, but Scott Effross was tagged for three runs (one earned) as he pitched only 0.1 innings. Greyfer Eregua worked around two hits in 1.2 scoreless innings to finish up.
South Bend simply would not quit on Sunday as they came from six runs down to beat Fort Wayne 7-6 in 10 innings. Once again, the SB Cubs had a five-run inning as Donnie Dewees (2-for-5 with a triple and two RBI) tripled in Bryant Flete (2-for-5 with a double and a stolen base) and P.J. Higgins (1-for-4) with the first two runs. Eloy Jimenez (3-for-6 with two RBI) singled in Dewees and scored on an error, while Eddy Julio Martinez (1-for-5 with an RBI) came home on a base hit from Tyler Alamo (1-for-5 with an RBI). The game-winner came with two outs in the 10th, as Carlos Sepulveda (2-for-6) singled and was driven in on a base hit by Jimenez.
Carson Sands had a game he would like to forget, as he gave up six earned runs on five walks and six hits in 4.1 innings. John Williamson and Craig Brooks each pitched 2.1 scoreless innings, and James Norwood was able to get around two hits in the 10th for the victory.
High Class–A – Myrtle Beach Pelicans (10-8)
Myrtle Beach was unable to keep pace with Carolina on Friday as the Pelicans lost 6-3. Starter Erick Leal had a rough time, allowing four earned runs while only being able to go 1.2 innings. Tyler Ihrig did the heavy lifting, as he was nicked for an unearned run in 4.2 innings. Daury Torrez finished up by yielding an earned run and striking out two in 1.2 innings.
The Pelicans matched the two runs they gave up in the first inning after Gleyber Torres (2-for-4), Ian Happ (2-for-3 with a double and an RBI), Jason Vosler (1-for-2 with an RBI), and Jeffrey Baez (2-for-4 with an RBI and a stolen base) all singled to even things up. Torres and Happ combined for another run in the second with a base hit and a double.
On Saturday, Myrtle Beach survived a late inning score to push their record over .500 as they topped Carolina 6-5. The runs came in twos, as Yasiel Balaguert (2-for-4 with a double and an RBI) came around on a wild pitch and Jeffrey Baez (1-for-3 with a triple and an RBI) tripled in Jason Vosler (2-for-3 with an RBI) in the second inning. Gleyber Torres (2-for-3 with a triple) scored on a double from Balaguert in third, with Ian Happ (1-for-3 with a home run and two RBI) coming home on a sac fly. Torres had a triple of his own in the fifth and walked home on Happ’s third home run of the season.
This was the Jake Stinnett most anticipated when he was drafted in the second round in 2014. Stinnett struck out seven and allowed an earned run in 6.2 innings. Lefty Jordan Minch added two strikeouts as he pitched an inning. But David Berg was touched for four runs (two earned) in the final 1.1 innings, picking up his third save.
The Pelicans moved to a game out of first place on Sunday when Myrtle Beach defeated Carolina 4-2. Tommy Thorpe had another quality start, striking out five and allowing an earned run on four hits and three walks in 5.1 innings. Ryan McNeil pitched 1.2 scoreless innings, and James Farris gave up an earned run in two innings to collect his third save.
Myrtle Beach put the game out of reach in the seventh inning after Cael Brockmeyer (0-for-3) and Trey Martin (0-for-1) walked. Brockmeyer scored on a double from Gleyber Torres (1-for-4 with a double and an RBI). Martin later came home on a sacrifice fly. Charcer Burks (1-for-2 with two stolen bases) paced the offense early. Burks walked, stole second and scored in the first inning.
Double-A – Tennessee Smokies (9-9)
Tennessee used the big fly on Friday to outlast Mobile 5-4. The Smokies tied the game at one modestly in the fifth inning after Mark Zagunis (1-for-3 with a double) doubled and was singled home by Carlos Penalver (1-for-4 with an RBI). Jeimer Candelario (1-for-3 with a home run) blasted a solo home run in the sixth. Base hits by Billy McKinney (2-for-5) and Taylor Davis (3-for-5 with a double and an RBI) added another run. Jacob Hannemann (2-for-5 with a home run and two RBI) delivered a two-run shot in the seventh with Bijan Rademacher (1-for-1 with a double) on board following a double.
Rob Zastryzny had his best start of the season, limiting the BayBears to an earned run while striking out six in six innings. Corey Black and David Garner had trouble in the middle innings, giving up three earned runs between them. Michael Jensen worked around two hits to strike out the side in the ninth for his first save.
It was a comeback of grand proportions on Saturday as Tennessee scored four runs in the top of the ninth to beat Mobile 5-2. Paul Blackburn had another outstanding effort, allowing only two unearned runs on his own error while scattering seven hits over eight innings and striking out a batter. Juan Paniagua gave up a hit and a walk in the ninth, but still collected his second save.
The Smokes were first on the board in the fourth inning after singles by Victor Caratini (1-for-3) and David Freitas (2-for-4 with an RBI) drove in Jeimer Candelario (1-for-3). Bijan Rademacher (1-for-5) singled to lead off the ninth and scored on a base hit from Carlos Penalver (1-for-4 with an RBI). Another single by Mark Zagunis (1-for-5 with two RBI) plated Penalver and Ryan Dent (1-for-1). Jacob Hannemann (1-for-4) later scored on a wild pitch.
Sunday made it three in a row for the Smokies as Tennessee blew past Mobile 9-4. Chesny Young (3-for-5 with an RBI and a stolen base) helped manufacture runs in the first two innings, as he singled and stole second in the first, scoring along with Jeimer Candelario (1-for-4 with a double and an RBI) on a base hit by Bijan Rademacher (1-for-3 with an RBI). Young drove in Brad Markey (0-for-1) in the second inning. It was Young again leading off the fourth with a base hit and back-to-back doubles by Candelario and Taylor Davis (1-for-4 with a double and two RBI) drove in two runs. Jacob Hannemann (3-for-5 with a home run and a stolen base) added a solo home run in the fifth.
Brad Markey was solid in six innings, allowing three earned runs on seven hits. Starling Peralta and Gerardo Concepcion each tossed a scoreless inning, while Josh Conway gave up an earned run in the ninth.
Triple-A – Iowa Cubs (6-10)
Iowa completed Thursday’s suspended game on Friday, with the I-Cubs prevailing over New Orleans 4-1. Pierce Johnson got his first start off the disabled list and struck out six while allowing an earned run in five innings. Giovanni Soto tossed a perfect inning for the win, and Spencer Patton picked up his second save.
Iowa broke a 1-1 tie in the seventh inning. Tim Federowicz (1-for-4 with a double and an RBI) doubled in Ryan Kalish (3-for-4). After a walk to Munenori Kawasaki (0-for-3), pinch-hitter Matt Murton (1-for-1 with a double and two RBI) drove in two runs with a double.
It was an effort from the pitching staff that was expected for this year, as Iowa blanked New Orleans 5-0 in Friday’s regularly scheduled game. Ryan Williams had his second straight good outing, striking out three and scattering three hits in five innings. Armando Rivero had two strikeouts as he pitched two innings, while Carl Edwards Jr. and Jean Machi each tossed a scoreless inning.
John Andreoli (2-for-4 with a stolen base) led off the game with a single, stole second and scored on a base hit from Willson Contreras (2-for-4 with two RBI and a stolen base). It was Andreoli again in the third inning with a base knock followed by a double from Albert Almora Jr. (1-for-4 with a double). Contreras drove in another run with a single, and Almora scored on a sacrifice fly.
Iowa and Oklahoma City took part in a 13 inning marathon on Saturday, and the I-Cubs came up short in a 6-4 loss. It was another bullpen night, with Stephen Perakslis getting the start and allowing two earned runs while striking out six in 4.2 innings. Giovanni Soto gave up two runs (one earned) and had an error in two innings to suffer the loss.
Iowa got on the board in the sixth after Logan Watkins (1-for-4) singled and came around on a home run from Albert Almora Jr. (2-for-5 with a home run and two RBI). The I-Cubs inched closer in the eighth after Tim Federowicz (2-for-2 with a double) doubled and scored on an error. The score was tied in the bottom of the ninth. Matt Murton (0-for-5) reached on an error, moved to third on a base hit from Ryan Kalish (1-for-1), and touched home in a force out.
Iowa was on the wrong end of a laugher on Sunday, as they were thrashed by Oklahoma City 13-5. Jake Buchanan had a less than stellar beginning for the I-Cubs, as he allowed eight runs (seven earned) and struck out four in 4.1 innings. Michael Wagner also had four strikeouts as he gave up four earned runs in 2.2 innings. C.J. Riefenhauser tossed a scoreless inning, and Carl Edwards Jr. surrendered an earned run in the ninth.
The I-Cubs actually took a 3-0 lead in the first inning after Tim Federowicz (1-for-3 with a home run and three RBI) smacked a three-run homer with Ryan Kalish (1-for-4) and Dan Vogelbach (1-for-3) aboard. Munenori Kawasaki (2-for-4 with an RBI) singled in Logan Watkins (1-for-4 with a stolen base) in the fourth inning, and Kris Negron (2-for-4 with a home run) added a solo home run in the ninth.
News and Notes
The Chicago Cubs assigned RHP Jake Buchanan and RHP Michael Wagner to the Iowa Cubs from the Eugene Emeralds; assigned LHP Tyler Ihrig to the Myrtle Beach Pelicans from the Iowa Cubs; assigned RHP Stephen Perakslis to the Tennessee Smokies from the Iowa Cubs; assigned RHP James Pugliese to the Myrtle Beach Pelicans from the Tennessee Smokies.
The Iowa Cubs placed RHP Brandon Gomes on the temporarily inactive list. The Tennessee Smokies activated RHP Starling Peralta from the temporarily inactive list.