Big offensive performances were the norm for this past weekend as South Bend saw Eddy Julio Martinez take control, while Matt Rose and Wladimir Galindo went deep for Eugene. Rashad Crawford paced Myrtle Beach, with Billy McKinney and Bijan Rademacher on fire in Tennessee. Cael Brockmeyer and Gustavo Polanco were catchers that led Iowa and the AZL Cubs respectively.
Along with Dominican League highlights, the Down on the Farm Report vows to put crooked numbers on the board.
Short Season Class-A – Eugene Emeralds (17-6)
In their first doubleheader of the season, Eugene blanked Everett 5-0 in the opener. Jose Paulino allowed only one hit and one walk as he struck out four in six innings. Mark Malave had a strikeout in a perfect seventh.
The Emeralds went big in the first inning after Matt Rose (1-for-3 with a home run) thumped a solo home run while Wladimir Galindo (1-for-1 with a home run and two RBI) blasted a two-run shot with Jose Paniagua (0-for-3) on base. Trent Giambrone (1-for-3) scored on a sacrifice fly in the fifth inning. Galindo scored on a wild pitch in the sixth.
The nightcap saw the Emeralds being even more explosive as they once again shutout Everett 11-0. Four players had multiple-RBI games. Matt Rose led the way going 3-for-4 with a home run and three RBI. Yeiler Peguero was 2-for-3 with two RBI, while Jose Paniagua went 3-for-4 with a double and two RBI. Chris Pieters was 1-for-4 with a double and three RBI.
Manuel Rondon scattered four hits as he had five strikeouts in five innings. Enrique De Los Rio had a strikeout in two perfect innings.
The Emeralds received another dominant pitching performance on Saturday as they defeated Hillsboro 5-2. Jesus Castillo moved to within three of the Northwest League lead in strikeouts by fanning 10 and allowing two earned runs in 5.2 innings. Daniel Lewis held down 1.1 scoreless innings, and Jared Cheek had two strikeouts in two innings for his fourth save.
Eugene took a lead they never relinquished in the first inning after a triple by Chris Pieters (1-for-4 with a triple and two RBI) drove in D.J. Wilson (0-for-3) and Jose Paniagua (0-for-4). Marcus Mastrobuoni (1-for-3 with a double) scored on a single from Yeiler Peguero (1-for-4 with an RBI) in the second and Robert Garcia (2-for-4 with a double and two RBI) doubled in Trent Giambrone (2-for-3 with a double) in the fourth inning. The Ems added to their lead in the eighth after Garcia singled in Mastrobuoni.
Low Class-A – South Bend Cubs (54-33)
On Friday, South Bend could not dig out of an early hole as they lost to Bowling Green 5-3 in 10 innings. Kyle Miller gave up three earned runs in the first inning, but went on to pitch six and have two strikeouts. John Williamson had two strikeouts in two scoreless innings, but Greyfer Eregua gave up two earned runs in the 10th as he pitched two innings.
A single by Carlos Sepulveda (3-for-5 with three RBI) drove in Donnie Dewees (1-for-5) and Eddy Julio Martinez (3-for-5) in the second inning, and a base hit from Sepulveda scored Jesse Hodges (2-for-4) in the sixth to tie the game.
The SB Cubs’ offense never gave up on Saturday as they scored seven runs in the ninth to beat Bowling Green 12-11. Donnie Dewees (3-for-5 with a double and two RBI) doubled in P.J. Higgins (2-for-4 with a double), and scored on a double by Eddy Julio Martinez (3-for-4 with two doubles and three RBI) to start the inning. A single by Josh Silver (2-for-5 with two RBI) and an error brought in Martinez and Adonis Paula (1-for-4 with a triple and an RBI). A base hit from Andruw Monasterio (1-for-6 with two RBI) plated Carlos Sepulveda (2-for-5) and Silver to tie the game. After a walk to Higgins, a base hit by Dewees drove in Alberto Mineo (1-for-5 with a double and two RBI) with the game-winner.
It wasn’t a pretty game for the pitching staff. Justin Steele returned to the Cubs and gave up four runs (three earned) in 1.2 innings. Tyler Peitzmeier got the early call and allowed three runs (two earned) in 1.1 innings. Starter Adbert Alzolay was called upon to eat up some innings and he allowed four earned runs in five innings. Scott Effross pitched a scoreless ninth for his fifth win.
South Bend simply overwhelmed Bowling Green on Sunday, winning 10-6. After spotting the Hot Rods five runs, the Cubs scored five of their own in the fourth inning. A double by Eddy Julio Martinez (2-for-4 with two doubles and two RBI) drove in P.J. Higgins (3-for-5 with two doubles and an RBI) and Donnie Dewees (1-for-4 with an RBI and a stolen base). A double from Alberto Mineo (2-for-4 with a double and three RBI) scored Martinez and Jesse Hodges (2-for-4 with an RBI). Mineo later came home on a double play.
Carson Sands had another difficult outing, surrendering six earned runs in five-plus innings. In his 2016 debut, Tanner Griggs tossed 2.2 scoreless innings while John Williamson went 0.1 innings. Dillon Maples tossed a perfect ninth.
High Class–A – Myrtle Beach Pelicans (45-43)
Myrtle Beach out-hit Wilmington on Friday, but could not out-score them as they lost 1-0. Charcer Burks led the offense by going 1-for-3 with a double and a stolen base. Jason Vosler and Ian Rice were 1-for-4, while Yasiel Balaguert was 1-for-3 and Andrew Ely 1-for-2 with a stolen base.
The lead changed hands four times Saturday, but Myrtle Beach ended up on top 8-7 over Wilmington. Starter Jake Stinnett put the Pelicans on the spot by allowing six earned runs as he struck out six in five innings. Tommy Thorpe put things right with a scoreless inning, but Daury Torrez gave up an earned run in two innings. Ryan McNeil had two strikeouts in a perfect ninth for his 12th save.
It was a lot of pecking away for the Birds as a single by Gleyber Torrez (2-for-3 with a double and three RBI) drove in Charcer Burks (0-for-4) and Rashad Crawford (2-for-4 with a double, a triple, and an RBI) in the first inning. The Myrtle Beach offense added single runs in the second, third, fourth, and eighth innings. In the seventh, Torres doubled in Crawford and scored on a ground out.
It was never in doubt on Sunday as the Pelicans were all over Wilmington, winning 9-1. It was a team effort as Jason Vosler was 1-for-4 with a double and three RBI, and David Bote went 2-for-4 with a triple, a solo home run in the ninth, and two RBI. Charcer Burks (2-for-5 with a double) and Rashad Crawford (2-for-5 with an RBI and a stolen base) also had multi-hit games.
Zach Hedges was in total control as he struck out eight and scattered three hits in six scoreless innings. Craig Brooks gave up an earned run in an inning. James Pugliese contributed two scoreless innings.
Double-A – Tennessee Smokies (36-50)
Tennessee had a lot of making up to do on Friday and the Smokies lost game one of a doubleheader with Jackson 12-9. Paul Blackburn was blasted for eight runs (five earned) in three innings. Juan Paniagua allowed two earned runs as he pitched an inning, and R.J. Alvarez gave up two earned runs in two innings. Nick Sarianides tossed a scoreless inning.
Five Smokies had multi-hit games, led by Danny Lockhart, who went 2-for-3 with a home run and three RBI. Chesny Young went 2-for-4, while Ian Happ was 2-for-4 with a double and two RBI. Billy McKinney was 2-for-4 with a double, and Bijan Rademacher went 2-for-4 with an RBI.
It was a mirror opposite in game two, as the Smokies lost in a pitcher’s duel 2-1 to Jackson in eight innings. Rehabbing major-leaguer Clayton Richard got the start and struck out four, allowing an earned run in 4.2 innings. David Garner fanned three in 1.1 innings, but David Berg gave up the game-winner as he pitched two innings. Chesny Young (2-for-4 with a double) led off the game with a double and scored on a single by Ian Happ (1-for-4 with an RBI) for Tennessee’s only run.
Pitching once again was at the forefront on Saturday as the Smokies fell to Chattanooga 1-0. Brad Markey scattered five hits and had three strikeouts in six innings. Stephen Perakslis added two more innings and a strikeout. But veteran Joe Nathan served up a solo home run as he went 0.2 innings, with James Farris getting the final out. Billy McKinney led the offense by going 3-for-4 with a double. Danny Lockhart was 2-for-3 and Bijan Rademacher went 2-for-4.
The Smokies got power from unlikely sources on Sunday to hang on for a 5-4 win over Chattanooga. A walk to Billy McKinney (0-for-2) and singles by Bijan Rademacher (3-for-4 with a home run), Carlos Penalver (1-for-4 with an RBI), Trey Martin (3-for-3 with a home run and two RBI), and Chesny Young (1-for-4 with an RBI) led to three runs in the second inning. Martin blasted a solo home run in the fifth and Rademacher did the same in the sixth inning.
Tyler Skulina had one of his better efforts as he struck out three and allowed three earned runs in five innings. Starling Peralta gave up an earned run in 1.1 innings, and James Farris fanned three in 1.2 perfect innings. David Berg worked around a walk and a hit for his second save.
Triple-A – Iowa Cubs (41-50)
What can you say when Iowa was whipped as badly as it was on Friday, losing 15-5 to Colorado Springs? Pierce Johnson continued to be miserable, allowing five earned runs in 2.2 innings. Miguel Mejia was equally as bad, giving up four earned runs while pitching 1.2 innings. CJ Riefenhauser gave some hope with 1.2 scoreless innings, but Corey Black was blitzed for six earned runs in 1.2 innings. Position player Vimael Machin got the final out.
John Andreoli (1-for-4 with a double and an RBI) doubled in Kris Negron (0-for-3) in the third inning. Miguel Mejia (1-for-1) scored on a single by Mark Zagunis (1-for-4 with an RBI) in the fifth. A bases loaded single by Cael Brockmeyer (1-for-2 with two RBI) in the seventh inning drove in Vimael Machin (1for-1) and Juan Perez (2-for-5). Brockmeyer came home on a base hit from Tim Federowicz (3-for-4 with an RBI).
Iowa bounced back on Saturday with four runs in the final two innings to get past Colorado Springs 8-5. The I-Cubs got solo home runs from Mark Zagunis (2-for-5 with a home run) in the first and Cael Brockmeyer (1-for-5 with a home run) in the third. Matt Murton (1-for-5 with a triple and an RBI) tripled and came home on a single by Taylor Davis (1-for-5 with an RBI) and Davis scored on a sacrifice fly in the sixth. A home run from Tim Federowicz (1-for-1 with a home run and two RBI) brought in Kris Negron (2-for-3 with a double and an RBI) in the eighth. Logan Watkins (2-for-4) touched home on a fielder’s choice and Zagunis scored on a passed ball in the ninth.
It was a bullpen day as system pitcher Michael Wagner started and gave up two earned runs in two innings. Giovanni Soto had six strikeouts in three perfect innings, while Felix Pena allowed three earned runs in two innings. Armando Rivero and Jose Rosario each pitched a scoreless inning. Rosario picked up his first Triple-A save.
It was back to the drawing board for the I-Cubs on Sunday as they lost 7-4 to Colorado Springs. Drew Rucinski had one of his better outings as he allowed two runs (one earned) in six innings. Gerardo Concepcion had the same luck but in less time, as he gave up two runs (one earned) in an inning. Tommy Nance made his Triple-A debut and surrendered three earned runs in an inning.
All the scoring for Iowa came in the last two innings. Matt Murton (2-for-5) and Mark Zagunis (0-for-2 with an RBI) came home on a single by David Freitas (1-for-4 with two RBI). Taylor Davis (0-for-3) scored on a sacrifice fly in the eighth inning. John Andreoli (2-for-4 with a double) led off the ninth with a double and came around on a sacrifice fly.
Arizona Rookie League – AZL Cubs (8-8)
The AZL Cubs doubled up the AZL Athletics on Friday, winning 6-3. Gustavo Polanco was a force as he went 4-for-5 with a double and four RBI. Pablo Ochoa started and allowed two earned runs in 3.2 innings.
On Saturday, the A-Cubs were blanked by the AZL Rangers 6-0. Sam Tidaback provided the offensive highlight as he was 1-for-3 with a double. Erling Moreno had eight strikeouts and allowed three earned runs in 5.2 innings.
Dominican Summer League – DSL-1 Cubs (15-16)
On Friday, it was over for D-1 almost from the beginning as they lost to Yankees-1 12-3. Shortstop Yonathan Perlaza smacked his first home run as he was 1-for-4, while Jonathan Sierra went 2-for-4 with an RBI. Reliever Juan Rengifo had two strikeouts in two scoreless innings.
D-1 amassed 13 hits on Saturday as they spanked Mets-1 7-1. Shortstop Rafael Narea had a big day as he was 4-for-5 with three RBI and a stolen base. Riger Fernandez was charged with an unearned run as he struck out two in five innings.
Dominican Summer League – DSL-2 Cubs (20-10)
The D-2 Cubs were overpowered by Mariners-1 on Friday, losing 11-4. Bryan Molina was able to limit some of the damage in relief, allowing an earned run in three innings. Yovanny Cuevas led the attack as he was 1-for-4 with a home run and two RBI.
News and Notes
The Chicago Cubs recalled INF Munenori Kawasaki from the Iowa Cubs; optioned INF Munenori Kawasaki to the Iowa Cubs; optioned INF Jeimer Candelario to the Iowa Cubs; sent RHP Joel Peralta outright to the Iowa Cubs; assigned RHP Tommy Nance to the Iowa Cubs from the Eugene Emeralds; assigned C/1B Alberto Mineo to the South Bend Cubs from the Tennessee Smokies; assigned LHP Justin Steele to the South Bend Cubs from the Eugene Emeralds; assigned RHP Tanner Griggs to the South Bend Cubs for the AZL Cubs.