The week ended with inconsistencies at all levels of the Cubs’ minor league system, but still had some notable performances. The South Bend Cubs ran their winning streak to nine games thanks to Jesse Hodges, while Myrtle Beach got a great start out of Erick Leal.
With eyes toward the Memorial Day weekend, here is today’s Down on the Farm Report.
Low Class-A – South Bend Cubs (28-17)
South Bend continued their roll on Wednesday as they crushed Great Lakes 10-5. A five-run third inning was the centerpiece as Daniel Spingola (2-for-5 with an RBI) drove in Andrew Ely (0-for-3 with a stolen base) with a single, Jesse Hodges (2-for-4 with a double and three RBI) had a bases clearing double to bring in Spingola, Donnie Dewees (2-for-5 with a stolen base), and Eddy Julio Martinez (2-for-3); and a base hit by Ian Rice (2-for-4 with a home run and three RBI) scored Hodges. Rice also had a two-run homer in the second with Tyler Alamo (1-for-3 with two RBI) on base, and Alamo singled in Eloy Jimenez (1-for-3 with a double and an RBI).
Kyle Twomey had another rough go, as he allowed four earned runs but struck out six in five innings. Craig Brooks was nicked for an unearned run as he pitched two innings, while Scott Effross had two strikeouts in two perfect innings.
On Thursday, South Bend had an early start that seemed to throw them off as they lost to Great Lakes 9-4. Adbert Alzolay suffered his first loss of the season as he gave up four earned runs and struck out four in five innings. John Williamson surrendered three earned runs in two innings, and Greyfer Eregua allowed another two earned runs in two innings.
The S-Cubs tied the game at one in the second inning after Eddy Julio Martinez (1-for-4 with a double) doubled and scored on a single from Bryant Flete (2-for-3 with an RBI). Flete also drove in a run in the sixth inning, this time Matt Rose (1-for-3). Eloy Jimenez (1-for-3 with a double and two RBI) drove in P.J. Higgins (1-for-3 with a double) and Donnie Dewees (0-for-2) with a double in the seventh inning.
High Class–A – Myrtle Beach Pelicans (26-20)
It was never in doubt on Wednesday, as Myrtle Beach used a four-run first inning to throttle Carolina 6-2. Erick Leal didn’t give the Mudcats a chance as he struck out five and allowed two earned runs over seven innings. James Pugliese tossed a scoreless inning, and Jordan Minch earned his first save.
Gleyber Torres (3-for-5 with a home run and two stolen bases) gave the Birds the lead for good as he blasted a solo home run in the first. A double by Jason Vosler (1-for-5 with a double and an RBI) drove in Ian Happ (1-for-4) and Yasiel Balaguert (1-for-4), and a Trey Martin (2-for-4 with a double and two RBI) single brought in Vosler. Charcer Burks (2-for-3 with a home run and a stolen base) added his own solo home run in the seventh, while Martin doubled in Cael Brockmeyer (0-for-4) in the eighth inning.
The game spun out of control for Myrtle Beach on Thursday as they lost to Carolina 10-2. With the game tied at 2-2, starter Jeremy Null simply lost it as he gave up five runs (four earned) on 10 hits in 5.2 innings. Daniel Lewis made his first appearance of 2016 and was roughed up for five earned runs in an inning. Dillon Maples returned and tossed a scoreless inning, while Ryan McNeil got the final out.
The Pelicans tied the game in the fourth inning when a double by Jason Vosler (2-for-4 with a double and two RBI) drove in Ian Happ (0-for-2) and Yasiel Balaguert (1-for-4).
Double-A – Tennessee Smokies (22-25)
The struggles continued for Tennessee on Wednesday as they lost to Chattanooga 6-2. The Smokies just can’t seem to get it together as they left four runners in scoring position without scoring. Jeimer Candelario (2-for-4 with two doubles) doubled and scored on a sacrifice fly in the second inning, while Mark Zagunis (1-for-4) came home on a sac fly in the seventh inning.
It appears as if the front office is trying to stretch out Stephen Perakslis to be a starter without much success, as he allowed three runs (two earned) and had three strikeouts in four innings. Newly promoted Jose Rosario had a rude introduction as he yielded two earned runs in two innings. David Garner was tagged for an unearned run as he pitched two innings.
It was touch-and-go for Tennessee because of their pitching, but they were able to outlast Chattanooga 7-6 on Thursday. Duane Underwood Jr. had another underwhelming performance, as he gave up three earned runs on 86 pitches in only four innings. Juan Paniagua tossed two scoreless frames, but David Berg yielded an earned run as he pitched two innings. While Corey Black picked up his sixth save, he made it interesting by allowing two earned runs in the ninth.
A sacrifice fly in the second inning scored Victor Caratini (2-for-3 with a double) to cut the lead in half. Jacob Hannemann (1-for-5 with a home run and two RBI) popped a two-run home run with Chesny Young (2-for-5) on board in the third. A triple by David Freitas (3-for-4 with a triple, a home run, and four RBI) brought in Mark Zagunis (2-for-5 with two doubles) and Caratini. The Smokies scored two more important runs in the eighth after Freitas went deep with Caratini on base.
Triple-A – Iowa Cubs (19-25)
The embarrassing losses continue to pile up for Iowa, as they were humiliated by El Paso on Wednesday 9-1. The I-Cubs’ pitching staff has been rocked as Jake Buchanan surrendered six runs (three earned) and had four strikeouts in five innings. Armando Rivero worked two scoreless innings and struck out four, but Giovanni Soto allowed two earned runs as he pitched two innings. The only run came in the second inning after Arismendy Alcantara (tripled and scored on a ground out.
A Thursday matinee saw Iowa’s bullpen fail to hold as they lost to El Paso 6-3 in 12 innings. Alex Sanabia was not as bad as his previous appearances, yielding two earned runs and striking out four in 5.2 innings. Felix Pena tossed 1.1 scoreless innings, but Gerardo Concepcion gave up his first earned run of the season in an inning of work. Carl Edwards Jr. held serve for two innings, but Brandon Gomes allowed three earned runs in 1.2 innings.
The I-Cubs tied the game at two in the fourth on back-to-back doubles from Willson Contreras (1-for-6 with a double and a stolen base) and Dan Vogelbach (2-for-4 with a double and an RBI), with Vogelbach eventually scoring on a balk. Iowa tied the game again in the eighth as Munenori Kawasaki (1-for-5) came home on an error.
News and Notes
The Chicago Cubs assigned RHP Jose Rosario to the Tennessee Smokies from the Myrtle Beach Pelicans; assigned RHP Daniel Lewis to the Myrtle Beach Pelicans from extended Spring Training.
The Tennessee Smokies released RHP Michael Jensen. The Myrtle Beach Pelicans placed RHP James Pugliese on the 7-day disabled list; activated RHP Dillon Maples from the 7-day disabled list.
- Erick Leal Photo – Larry Kave – Myrtle Beach Pelicans