With six weeks left in the season, the Down on the Farm Report keeps you informed of all news for the minors.
Short Season Class-A – Eugene Emeralds (20-9)
A contest of two of the top pitchers in the Northwest League on Thursday ended with Eugene defeating Tri-City 4-2. Jose Paulino allowed an earned run, but fanned eight in six innings. Wyatt Short was charged with an unearned run in an inning. Michael Knighton and Jared Cheek each tossed a perfect inning, with Cheek collecting his fifth save.
A three-run fourth inning was the difference as a double from Wladimir Galindo (2-for-4 with two doubles and two RBI) drove in Matt Rose (0-for-3). Kevonte Mitchell (1-for-4 with two RBI) singled in Chris Pieters (1-for-4) and Galindo. Another double by Galindo brought in Pieters in the eighth inning.
Each team had big innings on Friday but the Emeralds were two better than Tri-City, winning 9-7. Down 6-0 in the fourth inning, Eugene tied things up in one fell swoop as a double by Marcus Mastrobuoni (2-for-5 with a double and three RBI) scored Chris Pieters (0-for-2) and Jose Paniagua (1-for-5). A single by Trent Giambrone (2-for-4 with a double and an RBI) brought in Wladimir Galindo (2-for-4 with two triples), and a base hit by Connor Myers (2-for-5 with an RBI and a stolen base) brought in Mastrobuoni. Giambrone and Myers came home on a triple from Yeiler Peguero (2-for-5 with a triple and three RBI).
Lefty Manuel Rondon was the victim of his defense as he gave up seven runs but only one was earned and he had three strikeouts in four innings. Jordan Brink also struck out three in two perfect innings, and Scott Frazier had two punch-outs in a perfect inning. Mark Malave added another two perfect innings and three strikeouts for his third save.
Eugene was no-hit for six innings on Saturday but wound up beating Tri-City 4-3. All the runs came in the seventh after a one out single with the bases loaded by Trent Giambrone (1-for-4 with an RBI) drove in Matt Rose (0-for-3). D.J. Wilson (1-for-3 with a double and three RBI) cleared the bases as his double scored Wladimir Galindo (0-for-3), Kevonte Mitchell (1-for-3), and Giambrone.
Jesus Castillo was the hard-luck pitcher as he allowed two earned runs and struck out two in four innings. Enrique De Los Rio has settled down and pitched 2.1 innings, being charged with an unearned run while striking out two batters. MT Minacci and Jared Cheek each pitched 1.1 innings, with Cheek picking up his sixth save.
Low Class-A – South Bend Cubs (57-36)
It all boiled down to one inning on Friday as South Bend lost to Clinton 4-2. The Cubs took a 2-0 lead in the fourth after Bryant Flete (1-for-3 with a triple and two RBI) tripled in Andruw Monasterio (1-for-4) and Josh Silver (0-for-2). Eloy Jimenez (1-for-3) had to be removed from the game as a precautionary measure in the sixth after injuring his leg trying to beat out an infield hit.
Kyle Miller was not able to hold the advantage as he allowed four runs (three earned) in the bottom of the fourth. Miller would strike out five in five innings. John Williamson would have two strikeouts in two innings, while Tanner Griggs wound up striking out the side in the eighth.
The road trip for South Bend swung into Kane County on Saturday, where the Cubs started their series with a 5-2 win. Adbert Alzolay provided a quality start, allowing two earned runs and striking out two in six innings. Tommy Nance picked up the long save as he struck out three in three innings.
A single by Bryant Flete (1-for-4 with an RBI and a stolen base) drove in Eddy Julio Martinez (1-for-4) and Tyler Alamo (2-for-4 with a double and an RBI) scored on a ground out in the second inning. Two more runs came in the third after a base hit from Donnie Dewees (2-for-4 with a triple and two RBI) plated Andruw Monasterio (2-for-5 with a stolen base) and a single by Alamo brought in Dewees. South Bend added one for good measure in the seventh after Dewees tripled in Monasterio.
On Sunday, Kane County mounted a challenge but South Bend swept them aside, winning 8-5. A five-run third inning proved to be the difference and P.J. Higgins (2-for-5 with a double and an RBI) doubled in Carlos Sepulveda (2-for-5) and scored on a sacrifice fly. Bryant Flete (1-for-4 with a home runs and three RBI) smashed a three run homer with Tyler Alamo (1-for-5 with an RBI) and Andruw Monasterio (1-for-4) on base. Alamo singled in Donnie Dewees (3-for-4) in the first inning, and a double from Roberto Caro (1-for-4 with a double and two RBI) brought in Monasterio and Jesse Hodges (1-for-4) in the eighth.
Carson Sands had trouble once again as he gave up four earned runs in only 2.2 innings. Greyfer Eregua drew the long assignment and struck out three in 3.1 scoreless innings. James Norwood also held the Cougars scoreless for an inning, while Scott Effross was charged with an unearned run and had three strikeouts in two innings.
High Class–A – Myrtle Beach Pelicans (48-46)
The Pelicans’ pitchers were unable to hold an advantage on Friday as they lost to Frederick 8-7 in 11 innings. A six-run fourth inning gave Myrtle Beach a 7-4 lead after Charcer Burks (1-for-5 with an RBI) and Rashad Crawford (2-for-5 with an RBI and a stolen base) singled in Yasiel Balaguert (1-for-5) and David Bote (1-for-5 with a double). A base hit by Gleyber Torres (1-for-6 with two RBI) drove in Erick Castillo (0-for-4) and Burks. Crawford scored on a wild pitch. Ian Rice (2-for-5 with two RBI) singled Torres home.
Erick Leal had trouble with his defense as he allowed four runs (two earned) and had three strikeouts in five innings. Craig Brooks gave up an earned run in 1.2 innings, and Pedro Araujo surrendered an earned run in 1.1 innings. Reliable closer Ryan McNeil yielded an earned run in the ninth and Tommy Thorpe gave up the game-winner, pitching two innings.
In a game that saw six lead changes and 12 innings, Myrtle Beach prevailed over Winston-Salem 12-10 on Saturday. A five-run eighth inning put the Pelicans back into the game after Tyler Pearson (3-for-5) came in on a sacrifice bunt from Charcer Burks (2-for-5 with a double and a stolen base) and a walk to Gleyber Torres (2-for-4 with two doubles, three walks, four RBI and a stolen base) forced in Andrew Ely (1-for-6). Another walk to Ian Rice (1-for-4 with two RBI) brought in Burks. Rashad Crawford (3-for-6 with a triple, an RBI, and a stolen base) scored on a ground out and an error plated Torres.
The Birds were placed in this predicament by starter Jake Stinnett, who allowed seven runs (five earned) in 5.1 innings. James Pugliese held serve with 2.2 scoreless innings, but Daury Torrez surrendered three earned runs before striking out the side in the ninth. Daniel Lewis got the deserved win with three scoreless innings and four strikeouts.
Consistency is something that has been foreign to Myrtle Beach all season as the Pelicans lost to Winston-Salem 7-2 on Sunday. Zach Hedges had himself to blame as he allowed five runs (three earned) and committed a crucial error in six innings. Craig Brooks gave up two earned runs in an inning. Tyler Pearson moved over from DH to toss the eighth inning.
Andrew Ely (1-for-3 with a home run and an RBI) homered to lead off the fifth inning, and David Bote (2-for-3 with an RBI) singled in Rashad Crawford (0-for-5).
Double-A – Tennessee Smokies (37-55)
All you can say is UGH! as Tennessee was thoroughly embarrassed by Montgomery 12-0 on Friday. The defense threw the ball all over the field, committing five errors as Tyler Skulina could record only one out in being bashed for five runs (three earned). Juan Paniagua served up four earned runs in three innings, and R.J. Alvarez gave up two earned runs in 0.2 innings. James Farris restored some order as he tossed two scoreless innings, while David Garner added a scoreless inning of his own. Position player Kelly Dugan tossed an inning and was charged with an unearned run. The Smokies provided only three hits from Gioskar Amaya (1-for-2), Trey Martin (1-for-3), and David Freitas (1-for-4).
When a team like the Smokies has trouble scoring runs, it does not help when your pitching can’t pick up the slack as Tennessee lost to Montgomery Saturday 5-4 in 10 innings. Jen-Ho Tseng continues to be the most consistent pitcher on the staff as he allowed two earned runs and struck out four in six innings. Nick Sarianides gave up an earned run in an inning, and David Berg yielded a run in two innings. Stephen Perakslis surrendered the game-winner in 0.2 innings.
It looked like another loser for Tennessee after the seventh in which Billy McKinney (1-for-5) scored the Smokies first run on a sacrifice fly. But a three run eighth gave Tennessee a brief lead after Bijan Rademacher (3-for-4 with a double and an RBI) doubled in Chesny Young (1-for-3 with a double) and Victor Caratini (2-for-4 with a home run and two RBI) walloped a two-run home run.
It took a while for the offenses to get on track, but Tennessee was able to best Montgomery 6-4 on Sunday. Down 1-0 in the sixth, Ian Happ (2-for-5 with a double) scored on a wild pitch. A single by Trey Martin (2-for-4 with a home run and four RBI) drove in David Freitas (2-for-5 with an RBI) and Gioskar Amaya (1-for-3). Martin belted his second home run in the eighth with Amaya on board. Freitas singled in Happ in the ninth for the final run.
The Smokies are the latest stop for system pitcher Michael Wagner, who allowed an earned run and had five strikeouts in four innings. Starling Peralta gave up two earned runs and pitched three innings. David Garner also had five strikeouts as he surrendered an earned run in two innings for his second save.
Triple-A – Iowa Cubs (42-53)
Iowa took care of business on Friday as they beat Las Vegas 7-2. Singles by Dan Vogelbach (2-for-4 with an RBI) and Tim Federowicz (2-for-4 with two RBI) drove in John Andreoli (1-for-4) and Juan Perez (2-for-2 with a double, a triple, and two RBI) in the first inning, and Perez scored on a ground out in the third. A double from Perez plated Jake Buchanan (0-for-2) and a sacrifice fly scored Andreoli. Federowicz singled in Vogelbach in the fifth inning. Perez came home on a wild pitch in the seventh inning.
On Saturday, Iowa regressed back to the norm for 2016 as they lost to Las Vegas 11-5. Pierce Johnson simply is not getting it done as he allowed six earned runs and struck out five in 4.1 innings. Gerardo Concepcion gave up an earned run in 1.1 innings and Joe Nathan faced two batters in 0.1 innings. Giovanni Soto yielded an earned run and C.J. Riefenhauser surrendered three earned runs. Armando Rivero had two strikeouts in an inning.
The I-Cubs had an early lead after Munenori Kawasaki (2-for-2 with a double and two RBI) doubled in Jeimer Candelario (1-for-3) and Logan Watkins (2-for-4 with a double). A single from Pierce Johnson (1-for-1 with an RBI) scored Kawasaki in the second inning. In the fourth inning, a base hit by John Andreoli (1-for-5 with two RBI) brought in Watkins and Kawasaki.
In another late inning fold, Iowa lost to Las Vegas 6-2 on Sunday. The I-Cubs battled back to tie the game at two after Juan Perez (1-for-4 with a double) scored on a ground out in the fourth inning and Mark Zagunis (1-for-4 with a home run) belted a solo home run in the seventh.
But Felix Pena came on in the seventh inning and yielded four earned runs in 1.2 innings. Brian Matusz started and gave up two earned runs and struck out five in five innings. Corey Black and Joe Nathan each tossed a scoreless inning before Pena came in the game. Armando Rivero recorded the final out.
Arizona Rookie League – AZL Cubs (11-10)
The A-Cubs broke out in a big way on Thursday night as they defeated the AZL Royals 8-2. Isaac Parades was 4-for-4 with a stolen base while outfielder Zach Davis went 2-for-4 with an RBI. Javier Assad was virtually untouchable as he struck out eight in 4.2 scoreless innings.
On Friday, the AZL Cubs were able to survive a late rally by the AZL Royals to win 5-4. Zach Short was unstoppable on the base paths as he was 1-for-2 with three stolen bases, while Isaac Parades (2-for-4 with a double and an RBI) continued to stay hot at the plate. Erling Moreno turned in the second straight dominant pitching performance by the A-Cubs as he scattered four hits and struck out six in six scoreless innings.
A big nine run inning on Saturday was all the A-Cubs needed as they defeated the AZL Diamondbacks 9-3. Luis Ayala (2-for-5 with a triple and three RBI) unloaded a three run triple and Michael Cruz went 2-for-3 with an RBI. Pablo Ochoa continued to be steady as he was charged with an unearned run and had four strikeouts in five innings.
Dominican Summer League – DSL-1 Cubs (16-20)
Seven walks given up but D-1’s pitching staff led to a 5-1 loss to the DSL Pirates on Friday. Starter Riger Fernandez limited the damage as he was charged with an unearned run in six innings. Franklin Tineo was 1-for-3 with a double and an RBI.
Dominican Summer League – DSL-2 Cubs (24-11)
It was a frustrating Friday for D-2 as they lost 5-0 to Orioles-2. The Cubs could not capitalize as Yovanny Cuevas went 2-for-2 but was caught stealing. Maikel Aguiar pitched three scoreless innings of relief and had five strikeouts.
News and Notes
The Dominican Summer League held their All-Star game on Sunday, with the AL All-Stars defeating the NL All-Stars 4-3. Lefty Braylin Marquez of the DSL Cubs-1 pitched the third inning and gave up a walk and a hit. Outfielder Abraham Rodriguez (0-for-2) and second baseman Fidel Mejia (0-for-2) also started.
The Chicago Cubs optioned INF Munenori Kawasaki to the Iowa Cubs; assigned INF Zack Short to the Eugene Emeralds from the AZL Cubs.