Thrills were the name of the game, as several big plays marked the end of the week in the minors. Kyle Twomey pitched six strong innings in a walk-off win for South Bend, while Zach Hedges went seven in a shut out for Myrtle Beach.
As usual, the Down on the Farm Report is here to provide you with all the excitement.
Low Class-A – South Bend Cubs (15-11)
South Bend pitching once again gave up the big inning as Wisconsin scored four in the fourth to inflict a 4-2 loss on Wednesday. Justin Steele was battered again, giving up four runs (three earned) while striking out four in three innings. Casey Bloomquist did the heavy lifting, striking out three in three scoreless innings. Scott Effross chipped in three strikeouts and two innings, and James Norwood pitching the ninth.
A double by Tyler Alamo (2-for-4 with a double and an RBI) scored Jesse Hodges (0-for-3) in the seventh inning. South Bend loaded the bases in the ninth on singles from Andrew Ely (3-for-4) and Alamo, along with a walk to P.J. Higgins (0-for-3), but only one run scored on a passed ball.
In a low scoring affair, South Bend used a walk-off sacrifice fly on Thursday to beat Beloit 3-2. The SB Cubs took the lead in the fourth inning when back-to-back-to back singles by Eloy Jimenez (2-for-4 with an RBI), Eddy Julio Martinez (1-for-3 with an RBI) and Bryant Flete (1-for-3 with an RBI) scored two. P.J. Higgins (2-for-4 with a double) led off the ninth with a base hit and moved to second as Daniel Spingola (1-for-3 with a double) was hit by a pitch. Two sacrifice flies would end up bringing Higgins home.
Kyle Twomey was dealing as he struck out six and allowed an earned run in six innings. John Williamson gave up an earned run in two innings, and Craig Brooks worked around a walk in the ninth for the victory.
High Class–A – Myrtle Beach Pelicans (14-12)
Myrtle Beach has a three-game winning streak as the Pelicans shut out Winston-Salem 3-0 on Wednesday. Zach Hedges improved to 3-2 on the season as he fanned five and went seven strong innings. Ryan McNeil tossed a scoreless inning, and James Farris picked up his fifth save.
Gleyber Torres (0-for-4 with a stolen base) stole second and scored on a double by Yasiel Balaguert (2-for-4 with a double and an RBI) for the first run of the game in the fourth inning. Speed factored in again in the seventh as Shawon Dunston Jr. (2-for-3 with a stolen base) stole second base and came home in a base hit by Cael Brockmeyer (2-for-4 with two RBI and a stolen base). Brockmeyer drove in another run in the ninth as his single brought in Jeffrey Baez (1-for-4 with a double).
Thursday saw the end of the winning streak for the Pelicans, as they were shut out by Wilmington 4-0. Starter Trevor Clifton deserved better as he matched a career-high eight strikeouts while allowing two earned runs over five innings. Jordan Minch gave up two earned runs and struck out three in two innings. Tyler Ihrig tossed the eighth inning.
Myrtle Beach had six hits but could not mount a serious threat as Gleyber Torres was 1-for-4 with a double while Charcer Burks went 1-for-3 with a double.
Double-A – Tennessee Smokies (13-14)
Tennessee fought back on Wednesday but could not hold off Mississippi as they lost 8-7. Rob Zastryzny once again was lit up as he gave up six earned runs to the Braves in five innings. Michael Jensen was touched up for an earned run in an inning, but Josh Conway tossed two scoreless innings. Starling Peralta had another spate of control issues and he surrendered the game winner in the ninth.
The Smokies pecked away with two runs in the second on an RBI single by Mark Zagunis (2-for-5 with an RBI) and a double from Carlos Penalver (2-for-4 with a double and an RBI). Tennessee drew closer in the fourth with doubles by Rob Zastryzny (1-for-1 with a double and an RBI) and Jacob Hannemann (1-for-4 with a double and an RBI) accounting for two more runs. The lead came the Smokies way in the fifth after Kelly Dugan (1-for-5 with a home run and three RBI) walloped a three-run home run.
The lack of offensive production has already begun to tax Tennessee pitching as they lost 3-2 to Mississippi on Thursday. Duane Underwood Jr. had a decent start, allowing three earned runs while striking out three in five innings. The bullpen shut out the Braves the rest of the way, with two strikeouts in 1.2 for Juan Paniagua. Gerardo Concepcion also struck out two in 1.1 innings, and Corey Black fanned a batter in the ninth.
The only runs for the Smokies came in the fifth inning after Kelly Dugan (1-for-1 with a home run and two RBI) drilled a pinch-hit home run with Mark Zagunis (1-for-1) on board.
Triple-A – Iowa Cubs (12-13)
Iowa slammed Nashville on Wednesday, as they won 8-4. The sixth inning was the key, as a grand slam from Dan Vogelbach (3-for-5 with a home run and five RBI) put the I-Cubs up for good. John Andreoli (1-for-3 with two RBI and a stolen base) also had an RBI single, while a base hit by Logan Watkins (1-for-3 with an RBI) brought in another run in the seventh inning. For good measure, Vogelbach singled in Willson Contreras (0-for-0 with four walks) in the ninth.
Jake Buchanan had his second straight good outing, striking out six and allowing an earned run in six innings. Jean Machi had a rough time, yielding three earned runs as he pitched an inning. Giovanni Soto had two strikeouts in 1.2 innings, while Brandon Gomes got the final out for his first save.
On Thursday, Iowa put together a big eighth inning to beat Nashville 4-1. Kris Negron (1-for-2 with a triple and a stolen base) led off with a triple and scored on a one out single by Munenori Kawasaki (1-for-1 with an RBI and a stolen base). A triple from Albert Almora Jr. (3-for-4 with a triple and an RBI) drove in Kawasaki, and Almora later scored on a wild pitch.
It was a bullpen day as Stephen Perakslis got the start and had three strikeouts in four scoreless innings. Scott Barnes was tagged for an unearned run in 1.1 innings, and Armando Rivero tossed 1.2 innings. Felix Pena struck out three as he pitched the final two innings.
News and Notes
The Chicago Cubs recalled RHP Spencer Patton from the Iowa Cubs; assigned RHP Stephen Perakslis to the Iowa Cubs from the Tennessee Smokies.
The Iowa Cubs placed RHP Pierce Johnson and OF Matt Murton on the 7-day disabled list; activated LHP Scott Barnes from the 7-day disabled list. The Tennessee Smokies activated RHP Michael Jensen from the 7-day disabled list. The South Bend Cubs placed INF Carlos Sepulveda on the 7-day disabled list; activated INF Sutton Whiting from the 7-day disabled list.