There was some turbulence to end the week as all of the Cubs’ affiliates experienced a bumpy road. Along the way there were great pitching performances for South Bend’s Justin Steele and Trevor Clifton of Myrtle Beach. Dan Vogelbach kept hitting home runs, but Tennessee could not get out of its own way despite the efforts of Bijan Rademacher.
Reminding that progress is not always linear is another Down on the Farm Report.
Low Class-A – South Bend Cubs (19-13)
South Bend had a game which many thought would be the norm for this season, as they defeated Dayton 2-0 on Wednesday. Justin Steele had his best effort of the season, striking out six in five innings. Kyle Miller tossed two innings while Craig Brooks chipped in an inning. James Norwood struck out two in a perfect ninth for his first save.
A one out single and a stolen base by Andrew Ely (4-for-4 with three doubles and a stolen base) set up a scoring opportunity in the first, as Daniel Spingola (0-for-4) reached on a dropped third strike and Ely came home on a ground out. South Bend added some insurance in the ninth after Eddy Julio Martinez (0-for-3) was hit by a pitch and advanced to third on a balk and a wild pitch. A base hit from Jesse Hodges (3-for-4 with an RBI) drove in Martinez.
Moving onto Lansing on Thursday, South Bend played one of their worst games of the season in losing 5-0. Only P.J. Higgins (1-for-3) and Donnie Dewees (1-for-4) were able to collect hits. Starter Kyle Twomey was never in sync, allowing five runs (four earned) in five innings. Scott Effross had two strikeouts in two innings, and Greyfer Eregua pitched a perfect inning.
High Class–A – Myrtle Beach Pelicans (17-15)
The Myrtle Beach offense was stymied once again as they lost to Winston-Salem 5-1 on Wednesday. The lone run was produced in the third inning when Cael Brockmeyer (1-for-3 with a home run) blasted a solo home run. Zach Hedges was hung with the loss after giving up two earned runs and striking out six in six innings. Daury Torrez was tagged for an unearned run and Jordan Minch allowed two earned runs in an inning. Ryan McNeil tossed a perfect ninth.
It was a dominant performance by the Pelicans’ pitching staff on Thursday as they blanked Winston-Salem 3-0. Trevor Clifton had a career-high 10 strikeouts as he pitched six innings and scattered four hits. Tommy Thorpe faced five batters and struck out three of them, as he was perfect over 1.2 innings. It was save number six for James Farris as he added two more strikeouts in the final 1.1 innings.
Jason Vosler (2-for-3 with a double and a home run) continues to shine, as his first home run of the season in the second inning put Myrtle Beach on the board. Vosler led off the seventh with a double and scored on a sacrifice fly. A walk by Charcer Burks (0-for-1 with a stolen base), a single from Gleyber Torres (1-for-4 with a stolen base), and a sacrifice fly in the eighth completed the scoring.
Double-A – Tennessee Smokies (15-19)
It was a total loss for Tennessee on Wednesday, as the Smokies were embarrassed 8-1 by Montgomery. The Smokies best pitcher was unable to rise to the occasion, as Paul Blackburn was stunned for four earned runs in six innings. Michael Jensen saved the bullpen but still gave up four runs (three earned) in two innings. The sole run came in the second inning when Kelly Dugan (0-for-1) walked and scored on a double by David Freitas (1-for-4 with a double and an RBI).
A valiant comeback effort for the Smokies on Thursday was for naught, as Tennessee lost to Montgomery 5-4 in 10 innings. With only Mark Zagunis’ (1-for-3 with a home run) solo home run to show for them, Tennessee began the ninth with a single by Billy McKinney (1-for-4) and Kelly Dugan (0-for-4) reaching on catcher’s interference. Doubles from David Freitas (1-for-4 with a double and an RBI) and Bijan Rademacher (2-for-4 with a double and an RBI) brought in two runs, with Freitas scoring the tying run on a ground out.
Starter Tyler Skulina once again put the Smokies behind the eight ball as he allowed four earned runs and struck out five in five innings. Juan Paniagua and David Berg each contributed two scoreless innings. However, Josh Conway walked the bases loaded in the 10th and gave up the winning run on a fielder’s choice.
Triple-A – Iowa Cubs (16-16)
Rehabbing Major Leaguer Miguel Montero was in the thick of things on Wednesday as Iowa beat Nashville 4-2. Albert Almora Jr. (2-for-5 with two doubles and an RBI) doubled to lead off the fourth and came around on a single by Montero (2-for-4 with two RBI). Doubles by Kris Negron (2-for-4 with a double), Almora Jr., and Willson Contreras (1-for-4 with a double and an RBI) in the fifth inning led to two more runs. Another base hit from Montero drove in Contreras.
Drew Rucinski took advantage of the run support as he struck out five and allowed two earned runs in five innings. Giovanni Soto, Felix Pena, and Spencer Patton held the Sounds the rest of the way, with Patton picking up his fifth save.
Iowa was burned by another bullpen day in a Thursday matinee, as they lost to Nashville 7-2. Michael Wagner showed he has not been stretched out as a starter as he allowed three earned runs and struck out two in four innings. Armando Rivero gave up another three earned runs in 1.2 innings. Jean Machi surrendered an earned run as he went 2.1 innings, while Brandon Gomes tossed a scoreless ninth.
The I-Cubs failed to capitalize on eight hits, as Dan Vogelbach (2-for-3 with a home run and two RBI) singled in Albert Almora Jr. (2-for-4) for a run in the fourth inning. Vogelbach added a solo home run in the ninth.
News and Notes
- Trevor Clifton Photo – Larry Kave – Myrtle Beach Pelicans