Carrying over from last week, pitching was front and center this past weekend as Oscar De La Cruz dominated for South Bend. Rob Zastryzny continues to impress in Iowa, while Tyler Skulina lacked support in Tennessee. Jonathan Martinez and James Pugliese have emerged on a now powerful Myrtle Beach pitching staff, and Manuel Rondon remains unbeaten for Eugene.
For the rest of the arms race, take a look at today’s Down on the Farm Report.
Short Season Class-A – Eugene Emeralds (33-15)
Back from the All-Star break, Eugene continued their second half struggle on Thursday as the Emeralds lost 8-4 to Vancouver. Fifth round pick Bailey Clark got the start and allowed two runs (one earned) and had five strikeouts in 2.2 innings. M.T. Minacci pitched 1.1 scoreless innings, but fourth round pick Tyson Miller gave up two earned runs in 2.2 innings. Dakota Mekkes was charged with an unearned run in 1.1 innings and Alex Santana surrendered three earned runs in the final inning.
The Emeralds actually led in the second inning as Zack Short (2-for-4 with a home run and three RBI) pounded his first home run with Wladimir Galindo (0-for-2) on base. Eugene regained the lead in the fifth after D.J. Wilson (0-for-3 with an RBI) sacrificed Kevonte Mitchell (2-for-3 with a double and a stolen base) in from third. Short singled in Chris Pieters (0-for-3) in the eighth inning.
The Emeralds bounced back with 10 hits on Friday as Eugene was one better than Vancouver, winning 3-2. The game see-sawed through five lead changes, as back-to-back doubles from D.J. Wilson (2-for-4 with a double and an RBI) and Robert Garcia ( 2-for-5 with a double and an RBI) tied the score at one in the third inning. Eugene tied the game again in the fifth with Wilson singling home Kevonte Mitchell (0-for-1 with an RBI). Marcus Mastrobuoni (0-for-3) scored on a sacrifice fly in the sixth inning.
Dylan Cease started for the second time after coming back from arm cramps and fanned three while allowing an earned run in 1.2 innings. Duncan Robinson replaced Cease and also had three strikeouts, giving up an earned run in 3.1 innings. Andin Diaz struck out three in two perfect innings and Mark Malave also had a strikeout in a perfect inning. Wyatt Short set down the side in order in the ninth for his fourth save.
On Saturday, Eugene built a lead and then had to hang on as Eugene beat Vancouver 5-4. Michael Foster (2-for-4 with a double and an RBI) singled in Wladimir Galindo (2-for-4 with a double and a stolen base) and a double from D.J. Wilson (2-for-3 with a double, a home run and three RBI) plated Kevonte Mitchell (0-for-3) in the second inning. Stephen Bruno (1-for-2) scored on a wild pitch in the third inning. In the fourth inning a home run from Wilson with Foster on board added two more runs.
Manuel Rondon upped his record to 5-0 as he struck out seven in five scoreless innings. Jed Carter had a strikeout in a perfect inning, but Tyler Peitzmeier gave up four runs (one earned) in 1.1 innings. Michael Knighton tossed 1.2 scoreless innings for his third save.
Eugene used their deep pitching staff to subdue Vancouver 6-2 on Sunday. Pedro Silverio labored through three scoreless innings, striking out five batters. Marc Huberman worked around three walks and two hits in two innings for his first victory. Outfielder Michael Foster chipped in as he allowed two earned runs in an inning. Josh Conway, Chad Hockin, and Mark Malave each tossed a scoreless inning.
The Emeralds broke the ice in the third inning after a single from Chris Pieters (2-for-4 with two RBI and a stolen base) drove in Robert Garcia (1-for-4) and Yeiler Peguero (1-for-2). A base hit by D.J. Wilson (1-for-3 with an RBI) scored Trent Giambrone (0-for-2) in the fourth inning. A solo home run from Sam Tidaback (1-for-4 with a home run) and Peguero racing home on a wild pitch added two more in the seventh inning. A sacrifice fly brought in Kevonte Mitchell (1-for-4 with a double) in the eighth inning.
Low Class-A – South Bend Cubs (69-43)
South Bend let one get away from them on Friday night, as they lost 4-3 to Fort Wayne in 15 innings. The Cubs built a lead as Connor Myers (1-for-6) came in on a sacrifice fly in the third inning. Andruw Monasterio (3-for-6 with a double and two stolen bases) doubled and scored on a sacrifice fly in the fourth, and came home on a single from Adonis Paula (2-for-4 with two RBI) in the sixth inning.
Oscar De La Cruz was dominating again, striking out nine and allowing an earned run in five innings. John Williamson had a strikeout in two perfect innings, but Scott Effross gave up two earned runs in two innings. Jared Cheek kept the Cubs in the game by fanning five in three scoreless innings. However, Dillon Maples surrendered the game-winning run after tossing three innings.
On Saturday, South Bend had to hold their breath again with their bullpen as the SB Cubs eked out a 5-4 victory over Great Lakes. Adbert Alzolay had a good start, striking out five and allowing an earned run in six innings. But Carson Sands, still adjusting to life in the pen, gave up three earned runs in an inning. Tanner Griggs allowed three inherited runners to score, but got the victory with two scoreless innings.
The Cubs tied the game in the fourth after Andruw Monasterio (1-for-4) scored on a single from Eddy Julio Martinez (2-for-4 with two RBI). Another base hit by Martinez in the sixth inning drove in Alberto Mineo (1-for-4). A double by Matt Rose (1-for-4 with a double and two RBI) plated Eloy Jimenez (1-for-3 with a double) and Martinez. Some wildness produced the game-winner, as Jimenez was hit by a pitch and scored after three wild pitches in the eighth inning.
The machine that is the South Bend Cubs continued to roll on Sunday as they spotted Great Lakes a run and went on to win 5-3. A single by Adonis Paula (2-for-3 with an RBI and a stolen base) drove in Matt Rose (3-for-4 with a double and a home run) in the second to tie the game. A solo homer by Rose in the fourth inning put the Cubs ahead for good. Roberto Caro (1-for-3 with two RBI) tripled in Andruw Monasterio (0-for-4) and Paula. A base hit by Connor Myers (1-for-3 with an RBI) brought in Caro.
Justin Steele looks to be getting his season back on track after striking out six Loons and holding them to an earned run in six innings. John Williamson had two strikeouts in a scoreless frame. But Scott Effross once again stumbled, giving up an earned run and striking out three in two innings.
High Class–A – Myrtle Beach Pelicans (63-51)
The roll continued on Friday night as Myrtle Beach was all over Carolina in a 5-1 win, their seventh straight. Jonathan Martinez was in control on the mound, striking out two and allowing an earned run in six innings. Craig Brooks worked around two walks as he pitched an inning, and Pedro Araujo tossed a scoreless inning. Tommy Thorpe finished up by going 1-2-3 in the ninth.
The Pelicans got all the runs they would need in the third after Charcer Burks (1-for-4 with a home run and two RBI) smacked a two-run homer with Tyler Pearson (1-for-1) on board. Bryant Flete (2-for-4 with a triple) scored on a sacrifice fly in the fourth and came home on a single from Ian Rice (1-for-3 with an RBI) in the sixth inning. Donnie Dewees (1-for-4 with an RBI) singled in Andrew Ely (1-for-4) in the seventh inning.
It took 11 innings on Saturday, but the Birds were able to one-up Carolina 4-3. Myrtle Beach was down 3-0 in the fourth inning when Yasiel Balaguert (1-for-5 with a home run) cut the deficit to two with a solo home run. Erick Castillo (1-for-4) scored on a single from David Bote (1-for-5 with an RBI) in the sixth, and Daniel Spingola (1-for-4 with a double and an RBI) doubled in Jeffrey Baez (2-for-4) in the seventh inning. A base hit by Charcer Burks (3-for-4 with a double and an RBI) brought in Ian Rice (1-for-5) in the 11th with the game-winner.
Jeremy Null was serviceable as he allowed three earned runs and had two strikeouts in six innings. Daury Torrez walked three, but otherwise provided three scoreless innings. Ryan McNeil had three strikeouts in two scoreless innings for the win.
Sunday saw another series sweep as Myrtle Beach ran their win streak to nine games with a 6-0 shutout of Carolina. James Pugliese has a new lease on life after returning to the rotation, striking out four in 5.1 innings. Craig Brooks continues to lower his ERA with another 1.2 scoreless innings, and Tommy Nance added a scoreless inning of his own. Daniel Lewis went 1-2-3 in the ninth.
Charcer Burks (1-for-3 with an RBI) drew a bases loaded walk in the second to force in Ian Rice (0-for-2). In the sixth, Jeffrey Baez (1-for-3 with a home run and three RBI) walloped a three-run homer with Yasiel Balaguert (1-for-3 with an RBI) and Rice on board. Burks came home on a passed ball and Donnie Dewees (1-for-3 with a stolen base) scored on a sacrifice fly in the seventh inning.
Double-A – Tennessee Smokies (46-66)
Good pitching wasn’t enough for Tennessee on Friday as they lost 3-1 to Montgomery. Tyler Skulina unwrapped one of his better efforts of the season, striking out seven and being charged with an unearned run in seven innings. R.J. Alvarez surrendered two earned runs as he pitched an inning, and Nick Sarianides had two strikeouts in a perfect ninth. Victor Caratini (0-for-3) scored on a sacrifice fly in the second inning for the Smokies’ only run.
Tennessee did not have enough to keep up with Montgomery on Saturday, losing 7-5. Jen-Ho Tseng had one of his rare bad outings, allowing six runs (five earned) in four innings. Starling Peralta tossed a scoreless inning, but David Berg gave up an earned run in two innings. Jack Leathersich and David Garner each pitched a scoreless inning.
The Smokies tied the game in the second after Jason Vosler (4-for-4 with a double and two RBI) doubled in Kelly Dugan (0-for-2). Ben Carhart (1-for-3 with a double) came home on a sacrifice fly in the fifth inning. A base hit from Vosler drove in Carhart, who came in on a balk in the seventh. Carlos Penalver (1-for-4 with an RBI) singled home Dugan in the ninth inning.
Although they fought hard, the Smokies were unable to finish the job on Sunday as Tennessee lost 7-5 to Montgomery in 12 innings. Lane Adams (1-for-6) scored on a single from David Freitas (3-for-6 with a double and an RBI) in the first inning to provide Tennessee with their only lead of the day. A two-run homer from Kelly Dugan (2-for-5 with a home run and two RBI) in the fourth inning with Ben Carhart (1-for-5 with a double) on base tied things up at three. Doubles by Carhart and Carlos Penalver (2-for-4 with a double and an RBI) were responsible for another run in the sixth. Ian Happ (1-for-1 with an RBI) singled in Penalver in the bottom of the ninth to knot the score again.
Michael Wagner had the wheels come off after the third inning, allowing three earned runs in five innings. Stephen Perakslis had two strikeouts in three innings and James Farris gave up only a hit in two innings. Juan Paniagua yielded two earned runs in pitching two innings.
Triple-A – Iowa Cubs (50-65)
Iowa could not solve New Orleans on Friday night, managing only three hits in a 3-0 loss. Jake Buchanan went six innings and allowed three runs (two earned). Miguel Mejia tossed two scoreless innings while Corey Black set down the side in order with two strikeouts in the ninth. John Andreoli was 1-for-4. Jeimer Candelario and Munenori Kawasaki each went 1-for-3 in the loss.
The game did not seem to get going until the fifth inning on Saturday, but produced a 6-1 Iowa win over New Orleans. Trevor Cahill did well enough, striking out two in 3.1 scoreless innings. Pierce Johnson remains a work in progress, giving up an earned run in 1.2 innings. C.J. Riefenhauser worked around three walks as he pitched an inning, and Felix Pena fanned four in two scoreless innings. Jose Rosario had two strikeouts in the ninth.
A single by John Andreoli (2-for-4 with an RBI) drove in Munenori Kawasaki (1-for-4) in the fifth. A base hit by Taylor Davis (3-for-4 with an RBI) scored Tim Federowicz (1-for-4 with an RBI) in the sixth inning. Andreoli came home on a ground out and Logan Watkins (3-for-5 with a double, two RBI, and a stolen base) stole home in the seventh inning. A double by Watkins in the eighth inning plated Jose Gonzalez (1-for-1 with a double) and Andreoli.
The bullpen made things interesting for the I-Cubs on Sunday as they topped Oklahoma City 6-4. Rob Zastryzny continues to improve as he allowed two hits and a walk while striking out five in six innings. Armando Rivero had three strikeouts but gave up an earned in two innings, while Gerardo Concepcion surrendered three earned runs without recording an out. Spencer Patton nailed down the victory with two strikeouts in the ninth for his 10th save.
With the bases loaded in the first, John Andreoli (1-for-4 with a stolen base) came home on a ground out, Logan Watkins (0-for-3) scored on a balk, and a single from Bijan Rademacher (1-for-3 with two RBI) drove in Albert Almora Jr. (3-for-4). In the sixth, Almora came in on a sacrifice fly. Jeimer Candelario (0-for-3) crossed home on a throwing error. A base hit by Kris Negron (2-for-4 with an RBI) plated Tim Federowicz (1-for-4 with an RBI).
Arizona Rookie League – AZL Cubs (19-16)
It all fell apart for the A-Cubs in the third inning on Friday as they lost 11-4 to the AZL Dodgers. Outfielder Tolly Filotei was 1-for-3 with two RBI and a stolen base. Enrique De Los Rio struck out four and allowed an earned run in 3.1 innings in his return to the rookie league.
Dominican Summer League – DSL-1 Cubs (21-32)
The D-1 game was suspended after five innings on Friday due to rain.
Dominican Summer League – DSL-2 Cubs (30-24)
In a rain shorted affair, D-2 beat the DSL Giants 6-1 in seven innings. Catcher Daniel Diaz came up big as he was 3-for-4 with two doubles and two RBI. Faustino Carrera had three strikeouts and allowed an earned run in six innings.
The D-2 Cubs’ bullpen could not hold on Saturday and lost 5-4 to the DSL Giants in 11 innings. Abraham Rodriguez was 3-for-5 with a double and a stolen base, while Richard Nunez was 3-for-4 with a double and an RBI. Hector Garcia was charged with an unearned run as he had two strikeouts in six innings.
News and Notes
The Chicago Cubs assigned INF Jason Vosler to the Tennessee Smokies from the Myrtle Beach Pelicans; sent RHP Josh Conway to the Eugene Emeralds on a rehab assignment; assigned RHP Enrique De Los Rio to the AZL Cubs from the Eugene Emeralds; assigned RHP Michael Rucker to the AZL Cubs.
The Tennessee Smokies placed INF Chesny Young on the 7-day disabled list. The Myrtle Beach Pelicans placed RHP James Norwood on the 7-day disabled list; activated C Ian Rice from the 7-day disabled list.