Pitching, pitching, and more pitching was the hallmark for the end of the week as Trevor Clifton and Preston Morrison flirted with no-hitters for Myrtle Beach. Zach Hedges was dominant for Tennessee, and Ryan Kellogg tossed a shutout in South Bend. There was even a big performance from Javier Assad in the Rookie League.
With highlights from the Northwest League All-Star Game, the Down on the Farm Report catches all that’s thrown at it.
Short Season Class-A – Eugene Emeralds (30-14)
The Eugene Emeralds came back from All-Star Break on Thursday with a late game.
Low Class-A – South Bend Cubs (67-41)
It was yet another dominating pitching performance for South Bend on Wednesday, as they beat Fort Wayne 2-0. Ryan Kellogg joined the parade by giving up only two hits and two walks in 5.2 innings, striking out two batters. Tanner Griggs struck out three in 2.1 innings, while Carson Sands set down the side in order in the ninth for his first professional save.
All the scoring came in the third inning after Alberto Mineo (0-for-4 with an RBI) reached on a throwing error that allowed Carlos Sepulveda (2-for-3 with a stolen base) to come home. A single from Vimael Machin (2-for-4 with an RBI) drove in P.J. Higgins (2-for-4) with the final run.
On Thursday, it took another great pitching performance to beat a good one, as South Bend lost 2-1 to Fort Wayne. Casey Bloomquist followed a string of outstanding pitching from the SB Cubs’ starters by allowing two earned runs and striking out two in 6.2 innings. Kyle Twomey struck out four in 2.1 scoreless innings. Tyler Alamo (1-for-4 with an RBI) singled in Matt Rose (1-for-4) in the ninth inning for the SB Cubs’ only run.
High Class–A – Myrtle Beach Pelicans (60-51)
It was a thrilling Wednesday afternoon for Myrtle Beach as they completed a five-game sweep of Frederick with a 5-0 win. Trevor Clifton took a no-hitter into the eighth inning, giving up a hit and striking out six in seven innings. Ryan McNeil tossed two scoreless innings and had a strikeout.
The Pelicans offense did not make things easy. Tyler Pearson (1-for-4) scored on a ground out in the third and Jeffery Baez (2-for-4 with two home runs and two RBI) homered in the fifth inning. A double by Yasiel Balaguert (1-for-4 with a double and two RBI) drove in Andrew Ely (2-for-4 with a double) and David Bote (0-for-4) in the eighth inning. Baez belted his second solo home run of the game in the ninth.
Another exhilarating pitching performance turned into a nail-biter on Thursday as Myrtle Beach outlasted Carolina 6-4. Preston Morrison took a no-hitter into the sixth inning but ending up allowing three runs (two earned) while striking out seven in seven innings. Tommy Nance did not do his job, letting two inherited runners to score and giving up an earned run in 0.1 innings. Daniel Lewis tossed 1.1 scoreless innings and Pedro Araujo got the final out for his first save.
David Bote (1-for-4 with a double and an RBI) singled in Charcer Burks (2-for-3 with a double and an RBI). Donnie Dewees (1-for-4) and Bote scored on a ground out and a throwing error. Daniel Spingola (1-for-4 with a double and an RBI) doubled in Bryant Flete (1-for-3) in a four-run first inning. A double from Jeffrey Baez (2-for-4 with a double, a triple and two RBI) plated Flete in the seventh and Erick Castillo (2-for-4) scored on a sacrifice fly in the eighth inning.
Double-A – Tennessee Smokies (46-63)
It was a wild and wooly affair on Wednesday night as Tennessee defeated Birmingham 7-6 in 10 innings. Brad Markey once again gave the Smokies a chance to win as he allowed three earned runs and struck out two in six innings. Jack Leathersich held the Barons for an inning, but Starling Peralta was charged with two unearned runs in two innings to tie the game. Stephen Perakslis could not protect the lead as he gave up an earned run in 0.2 innings, giving way to James Farris who got the final out on a strikeout for his fourth save.
Once again, Tennessee jumped out to a big lead after Victor Caratini (2-for-5 with a home run and two RBI) singled in Chesny Young (1-for-5). Jorge Soler (2-for-3) scored on a double play and Ian Happ (1-for-4 with a home run) came in on a throwing error. A base hit by David Freitas (2-for-5 with an RBI) brought in Happ in the third inning, and Freitas came through with a single in the eighth to plate Caratini. With two out in the top of the tenth, Happ and Caratini hit back-to-back solo home runs.
It was domination from the beginning on Thursday as the Smokies beat Birmingham 5-1. Zach Hedges continued his fine 2016 campaign as he struck out four and scattered four hits and a walk through seven scoreless innings. Juan Paniagua pitched the final two innings and gave up an earned run.
Chesny Young (1-for-3 with a double) led off the game with a double and scored on a single from Gioskar Amaya (1-for-5 with an RBI). Trey Martin (1-for-4 with a triple and two RBI) tripled in Ben Carhart (2-for-2 with a double and an RBI) and Carlos Penalver (0-for-4) in the fourth. Back-to-back doubles by David Freitas (1-for-4 with a double and an RBI) and Carhart drove in Victor Caratini (0-for-3) and Freitas in the fifth inning.
Triple-A – Iowa Cubs (48-65)
While Iowa showed some fight in the end, they were still embarrassed by New Orleans 9-4 on Wednesday. Drew Rucinski had a typical start, as he gave up five earned runs in five innings. Pierce Johnson relieved and struck out four in two scoreless innings. Gerardo Concepcion allowed four earned runs in an inning. Spencer Patton tossed a scoreless inning.
The I-Cubs did not score until the sixth inning when Logan Watkins (2-for-4 with a triple) tripled and came home on a ground out. Albert Almora Jr. (2-for-5 with a double and two RBI) doubled in John Andreoli (2-for-4) and a single from Jeimer Candelario (1-for-3 with two RBI) drove in Watkins and Almora in the eighth inning.
Iowa was able to build a big early lead on Thursday and cruise to a 7-4 win over New Orleans. A five-run second inning was the key as Taylor Davis (2-for-3 with a double, a home run and two RBI) double in Bijan Rademacher (1-for-3) and later scored on a sacrifice fly. A double from Albert Almora Jr. (2-for-4 with a double and three RBI) brought in Munenori Kawasaki (1-for-4) and John Andreoli (0-for-2). Jeimer Candelario (1-for-4 with an RBI) singled Almora Jr. home. A base hit by Almora drove in Kris Negron (2-for-3 with an RBI and a stolen base) in the first inning and Davis swatted a solo home run in the sixth.
Jordan Pries allowed four runs (three earned) and struck out two in five innings. Armando Rivero had two strikeouts in two innings, while Jose Rosario and Spencer Patton each tossed a scoreless inning.
Arizona Rookie League – AZL Cubs (18-15)
It could have been considered rehab night as the A-Cubs defeated the AZL Giants on Wednesday night. Stephen Fife was charged with an unearned run in three innings while Josh Conway and Jordan Brink each tossed an inning. Javier Assad had seven strikeouts in four scoreless innings. Catcher Michael Cruz was 2-for-4 with two doubles and an RBI.
Dominican Summer League – DSL-1 Cubs (21-31)
D-1 was pummeled for 16 hits on Wednesday as they lost 7-6 to Mets-1. Brailyn Marquez limited the damage to two runs (one earned) and had four strikeouts in 4.2 innings. Luis Hidalgo launched home run number eight as he was 1-for-4 with three RBI.
There were only 11 hits between tem as D-1 defeated Mets-1 on Thursday 2-1. Andres Bonalde had five strikeouts and allowed an earned run in six innings. Third baseman Jose Rojas was 1-for-4 with an RBI.
Dominican Summer League – DSL-2 Cubs (29-23)
It was a day to forget for D-2 as they were blasted 11-2 by the DSL Twins on Wednesday. Ivan Medina was the only pitcher that performed decently, allowing an earned run in two innings of relief. Luis Diaz was 2-for-4 to lead the offense.
On Thursday, D-2 blew a lead to the DSL Twins and lost 7-4. Starter Emilio Ferribus allowed three earned runs in four innings. Shortstop Aramis Ademan went 2-for-4 with two RBI.
Northwest League All-Stars v. Pioneer League All-Stars
On Tuesday night, the Northwest League All-Stars took on the Pioneer League All-Stars and won 11-5. The Eugene Emeralds were well represented as Chris Pieters started at DH and was 2-for-4 with two doubles and an RBI. Pieters also finished second in the pre-All-Star Game Home Run Derby. Outfielder Robert Garcia entered the game in the fifth inning and was 1-for-2, while Michael Knighton had two strikeouts in a scoreless inning.
News and Notes
The Chicago Cubs recalled RHP Justin Grimm from the Iowa Cubs; sent RHP Stephen Fife to the AZL Cubs on a rehab assignment; assigned OF Bijan Rademacher to the Iowa Cubs from the Tennessee Smokies; assigned OF Jose Gonzalez to the Iowa Cubs from the AZL Cubs; signed OF Lane Adams and assigned him to the Tennessee Smokies; sent INF Stephen Bruno to the Eugene Emeralds on a rehab assignment; assigned RHP Jed Carter, RHP Bailey Clark, and RHP Tyson Miller to the Eugene Emeralds from the AZL Cubs; assigned RHP Jordan Brink to the AZL Cubs from the Eugene Emeralds.