Pitching was the story this past weekend as Oscar De La Cruz showed he may be ready in Eugene, and South Bend got good efforts from Kyle Miller and Casey Bloomquist. Ryan McNeil is angling for Minor League Pitcher of the Year in Myrtle Beach, while Michael Wagner and Brad Markey kept Tennessee’s hopes afloat.
Take a look inside as Down on the Farm Report continues to keep up with the arms race.
Short Season Class-A – Eugene Emeralds (27-10)
Eugene ventured north of the border on Thursday and was able to outlast Vancouver 8-7. The defense left some to be desired as starter Manuel Rondon allowed three runs (one earned) and struck out three in four innings. Alex Santana tossed two scoreless innings, but M.T. Minacci also gave up three runs (one earned) in pitching two innings. Mark Malave ended up striking out the side after surrendering an earned run in the ninth for his fifth save.
A four-run first inning was the highlight as Connor Myers (2-for-5 with a double and an RBI) doubled in Robert Garcia (0-for-3), and a single from Kevonte Mitchell (2-for-5 with a home run, two RBI and a stolen base) drove in Myers. After a stolen base, Mitchell came home on a base hit from Zach Short (2-for-4 with an RBI), who scored on a knock from Jose Paniagua (3-for4 with an RBI).
It took a while before both teams woke up on Friday, but the Emeralds prevailed 8-5 over Vancouver in 11 innings. Eugene cut a 4-0 deficit in half in the seventh inning after Wladimir Galindo (1-for-6 with a triple and an RBI) and Zach Short (2-for-4) scored on sacrifice flies. The Ems tied the game in the ninth after Tyler Payne (1-for-3 with a double and an RBI) doubled in Short. Jose Paniagua (1-for-5) came home on a sacrifice fly, and a single from Chris Pieters (3-for-5 with two RBI) scored Connor Myers (0-for-2 with an RBI). Another sacrifice fly brought in Marcus Mastrobuoni (1-for-1) in the 11th inning. A Pieters base hit scored D.J. Wilson (3-for-3 with a double and two RBI). Yeiler Peguero (1-for-5 with a stolen base) scored on an error.
Jesus Castillo did his part as he struck out three in five scoreless innings. Chad Hockin was rocked for four earned runs in an inning, and Andin Diaz gave up an earned run in two innings. Enrique De Los Rio held the Canadians scoreless for two innings, and Jared Cheek struck out two in the 11th for his seventh save.
The border raid continued on Saturday as Eugene whitewashed Vancouver 11-4. A seven-run second inning was key. A wild pitch brought in Trent Giambrone (1-for-5) with the bases loaded. Michael Foster (2-for-5) scored on a line out, and a single by Vimael Machin (2-for-4 with two RBI) drove in D.J. Wilson (2-for-4) and Robert Garcia (2-for-3 with a double, a triple and an RBI). Tyler Payne (1-for-4 with a home run and three RBI) launched a three run homer with Jose Paniagua (0-for-3 with an RBI) and Machin on board.
It was a bullpen night for the Ems as Michael Knighton drew the start and tossed four scoreless innings. Duncan Robinson gave up two earned runs in two innings for his Northwest League debut. Scott Frazier surrendered two earned runs as he pitched an inning, while M.T. Minacci finished with two scoreless innings.
In a rare Sunday matinee, Eugene was able to extend their winning streak to five games by beating Vancouver 5-3. Oscar De La Cruz was once again overpowering as he had seven strikeouts and allowed an earned run in 4.1 innings. Alex Santana gave up an earned run in 1.2 innings, and Wyatt Short had two strikeouts in an inning. Outfielder Michael Foster surrendered an earned run in an inning. Mark Malave picked up his sixth save with a perfect ninth.
The Emeralds’ offense was efficient as D.J. Wilson (1-for-3 with a double and an RBI) doubled in Trent Giambrone (0-for-2) in the fifth inning and a single from Wladimir Galindo (1-for-4 with an RBI) scored Chris Pieters (1-for-3 with an RBI and a stolen base) in the sixth. A bases loaded walk to Pieters forced in Wilson in the eighth. Kevonte Mitchell (1-for-4 with two RBI) singled in Robert Garcia (1-for-5) and Yeiler Peguero (1-for-2).
Low Class-A – South Bend Cubs (59-39)
South Bend got back on the winning side of the ledger on Friday with a 4-3 win over Burlington in 10 innings. Kyle Miller had a good start as he allowed three earned runs and had three strikeouts in six innings. John Williamson also fanned three in two innings. Scott Effross followed with two more scoreless innings for his sixth win.
The Cubs’ offense chipped away after Roberto Caro (2-for-4 with a double, an RBI and a stolen base) walked and scored on a ground out in the third inning. Caro doubled in Alberto Mineo (1-for-4) in the fourth. A walk to Eddy Julio Martinez (0-for-3 with an RBI) forced in Carlos Sepulveda (2-for-4 with an RBI) with the tying run in the sixth inning. Tyler Alamo (1-for-5) reached on an error in the 10th, and pinch-runner Andruw Monasterio came home on a single by Sepulveda for the game-winner.
The South Bend game on Saturday was postponed due to rain.
On Sunday, South Bend was back in action as they were able to outlast Peoria 4-3. Casey Bloomquist was back in the rotation and had four strikeouts while allowing an earned run over six innings. Tanner Griggs was roughed up for two earned runs in two innings. James Norwood struck out two in the ninth for his sixth save.
The Cubs added runs one at a time. Matt Rose (2-for-4 with a double and an RBI) doubled in Andruw Monasterio (1-for-3 with a stolen base) in the second inning. A triple by P.J. Higgins (1-for-4 with a triple and an RBI) scored Carlos Sepulveda in the third inning, and Bryant Flete (1-for-3 with a home run) smacked a solo home run in the seventh. In the eighth inning, a single from Alberto Mineo (1-for-4 with an RBI) brought in Donnie Dewees (2-for-4) with the go-ahead run.
High Class–A – Myrtle Beach Pelicans (52-48)
Myrtle Beach showed how good they could be on Friday when everything is working, as the Pelicans doubled up Wilmington 6-3. Trevor Clifton had six strikeouts and allowed three earned runs in six innings to gain the victory. Daury Torrez held the middle innings as he had two strikeouts in 1.2 innings. Ryan McNeil picked up his system leading 14th save with 1.1 scoreless innings.
Charcer Burks (3-for-5 with two doubles and an RBI) led off the game with a double and scored on a sacrifice fly. Singles from Tyler Pearson (2-for-4 with an RBI) and Burks in the second drove in David Bote (3-for-4 with a stolen base) and Ian Rice (1-for-3 with a double and an RBI). In the fifth, Bote singled in Rashad Crawford (1-for-3 with two stolen bases) and a double from Rice scored Gleyber Torres (1-for-3 with a double). A base hit from Jeffrey Baez (1-for-3 with an RBI and two stolen bases) brought in Bote in the seventh inning.
It was all Myrtle Beach on Saturday as they shut out Wilmington 9-0. Gleyber Torres (2-for-4 with an RBI) singled in Charcer Burks (0-for-2) and David Bote (2-for-4 with a double, a home run, and two RBI) belted a two-run homer with Yasiel Balaguert (2-for-4 with a double, two RBI, and a stolen base) on in the first inning. Balaguert doubled in Rashad Crawford (1-for-5) and Torres, and scored on an error in the fourth. Ian Rice (1-for-4 with a home run and three RBI) launched a two-run home run with Bote on base. The Pelicans capped the scoring in the sixth when Torres came home on a sacrifice fly.
James Pugliese drew a rare start and scattered five hits, striking out four in five innings. Craig Brooks tossed an inning. Daniel Lewis had two strikeouts in two perfect innings. Pedro Araujo mopped up in the ninth.
One big inning was all the Birds needed on Sunday as Myrtle Beach held on for a 6-4 win over Wilmington. Down 4-0 in the third, a bases clearing double by Yasiel Balaguert (2-for-4 with two doubles and three RBI) brought in Jesse Hodges (2-for-3 with a double), Andrew Ely (2-for-3 with a double), and David Bote (0-for-3). Balaguert scored on a sacrifice fly, and a single from Tyler Pearson (1-for-4 with two RBI) drove in Ian Rice (0-for-2 with a stolen base) and Jeffrey Baez (1-for-4).
Jonathan Martinez had some trouble as he allowed four runs (three earned) and struck out four in 5.1 innings. Tommy Nance tossed 2.2 perfect innings and had two strikeouts. It was save No. 15 for Ryan McNeil as he worked around two hits in the ninth.
Double-A – Tennessee Smokies (40-59)
There was a Major League presence for Tennessee on Friday as the beat Mississippi 2-1. Rehabbing outfielder Chris Coghlan was 1-for-3 while outfielder Jorge Soler was also on hand. The Smokies started the scoring in the first inning when David Freitas (1-for-4 with a double and an RBI) doubled in Ian Happ (2-for-4 with a double). Kelly Dugan (1-for-2 with a home run) added a solo home run in the fifth inning.
Michael Wagner is having a decent season despite being designated as the “system” pitcher, as he struck out seven in five scoreless innings. R.J. Alvarez gave up an earned run as he pitched an inning. Jack Leathersich tossed a scoreless inning and James Farris struck out the side in the eighth. David Garner had two strikeouts in the ninth to record his third save.
Even with Major-Leaguers in the line-up, Tennessee could not generate any offense as the Smokies lost 3-0 to Mississippi on Saturday. Brad Markey was the hard-luck starter as he allowed an earned run and struck out three in five innings. Starling Peralta also gave up an earned run as he had three strikeouts in three innings. Juan Paniagua surrendered an earned run in the ninth. The Smokies managed only four hits. Chris Coghlan was 1-for-3 with a double. Trey Martin went 2-for-3 and Chesny Young was 1-for-4.
New faces could not help the Smokies on Sunday, as they lost 8-5 to Mississippi. Promoted from Myrtle Beach, Zach Hedges started for Tennessee and allowed four earned runs in six innings. Stephen Perakslis pitched a perfect inning. James Farris gave up two earned runs in his inning of work. Juan Paniagua also surrendered two earned runs in the ninth.
Chris Coghlan (1-for-3 with two RBI) singled in Trey Martin (3-for-4 with an RBI) in the third inning to cut the lead to three runs. Tennessee took the lead in the seventh after Martin drove in David Freitas (1-for-3) with a single. A bases loaded walk by Coghlan forced in Gioskar Amaya (0-for-3), and a base hit from Jorge Soler (1-for-3 with an RBI) brought in Carlos Penalver (0-for-3). Chesny Young (1-for-3 with an RBI) singled in Martin for the final run.
Triple-A – Iowa Cubs (43-59)
Weather and travel problems on Friday gave Iowa a doubleheader in Memphis on Saturday. And the I-Cubs dropped the opener 6-4 in nine innings. Brian Matusz had a great start, as he struck out six in 4.1 scoreless innings. But Corey Black surrendered three earned runs in pitching an inning. C.J. Riefenhauser tossed 1.2 scoreless innings, and Spencer Patton shut down the Redbirds for an inning. Gerardo Concepcion came on in the ninth and gave up three earned runs in 0.2 innings.
A single by John Andreoli (3-for-5 with an RBI) brought in Munenori Kawasaki (1-for-2 with two stolen bases) in the fifth inning and a base hit by Tim Federowicz (2-for-4 with two RBI) drove in Juan Perez (1-for-2) and Andreoli in the seventh. A sacrifice fly in the ninth brought in Andreoli with the go-ahead run.
In the nightcap, the I-Cubs could not contain Memphis in losing 5-2. Trevor Cahill drew the start, striking out five and allowing three runs (two earned) in four innings. Rob Zastryzny gave up another two earned runs in two innings.
Juan Perez (2-for-3 with a double and a stolen base) scored on a ground out in the second inning and John Andreoli (3-for-4 with a stolen base) came home on a sacrifice fly in the sixth.
It was over almost before it started on Sunday, as Iowa was dominated by Memphis 5-1. The only run for the I-Cubs came in the first when Tim Federowicz (1-for-4 with an RBI) singled in Mark Zagunis (1-for-3 with a triple). Drew Rucinski gave a Drew Rucinski performance, allowing three earned runs in four innings. Giovanni Soto gave up two earned runs in 2.2 innings, and Jose Rosario pitched a scoreless 1.1 innings.
Arizona Rookie League – AZL Cubs (15-11)
The A-Cubs could not hang-on on Thursday night as they lost 5-4 to the AZL Indians. Erling Moreno had a good start as he allowed two earned runs and struck out three in four innings. Outfielder Ruben Reyes went 2-for-4 with an RBI.
On Saturday, the AZL Cubs took care of the AZL White Sox as they won 7-4. Fifth round pick Bailey Clark started and had two strikeouts in two scoreless innings, while fourth rounder Tyson Miller was charged with two unearned run in three innings of relief. Gustavo Polanco was 3-for-4 with an RBI while outfielder Jose Gonzalez went 2-fr-4 with a double and four RBI.
Dominican Summer League – DSL-1 Cubs (16-26)
D-1 was unable to contain Mets-1 on Friday, losing 8-1. Brailyn Marquez allowed four runs (two earned) and struck out five in five innings. Yonathan Perlaza was 2-for-4 with a double and a stolen base.
The misery continued for D-1 on Saturday as they lost 6-3 to Mets-1. Andres Bonalde gave up three runs (one earned) and struck out three in six innings. Jonathan Sierra went 3-for-4 with a double and an RBI.
Dominican Summer League – DSL-2 Cubs (25-17)
The slide continued for D-2 on Friday as they lost to Diamondbacks-2 6-4. Miguel Amaya has displayed advanced skills for a 17-year old as he was 2-for-4 with an RBI and a stolen base. Carlos Ocampo struggled with his control as he allowed two earned runs in three innings.
In a wild affair on Saturday, D-2 scored four runs in the 10th to beat Diamondbacks-2 12-8. Aramis Ademan (2-for-5 with an RBI and a stolen base) put the Cubs ahead with a single in the 10th, and Yovanny Cuevas (1-for-1 with a double and two RBI) followed with a two-run double. Luiz Escanio had three strikeouts in 2.2 scoreless innings for the win.
News and Notes
The Chicago Cubs sent Of Chris Coghlan and OF Jorge Soler to the Tennessee Smokies on a rehab assignment; optioned OF Albert Almora Jr. and RHP Spencer Patton to the Iowa Cubs; assigned RHP Zach Hedges to the Tennessee Smokies from the Myrtle Beach Pelicans; assigned INF Jesse Hodges to the Myrtle Beach Pelicans from the South Bend Cubs; assigned RHP Bailey Clark and RHP Tyson Miller to the AZL Cubs.
The Tennessee Smokies sent RHP Josh Conway to the AZL Cubs on a rehab assignment; activated LHP Jack Leathersich from the 7-day disabled list; placed RHP David Berg on the 7-day disabled list. The Myrtle Beach Pelicans placed INF Jason Vosler on the 7-day disabled list. The South Bend Cubs placed RHP Greyfer Eregua on the 7-day disabled list; activated RHP Tanner Griggs and C/1B Alberto Mineo from the 7-day disabled list.