Cubs Minor League News: Young crushes 493-foot bomb, Sanders impressive, Perlaza sizzling

Cubs Minor League News: Young crushes 493-foot bomb, Sanders impressive, Perlaza sizzling

by - Senior Writer -

Another night and another full slate of Minor League baseball as the Cubs had seven games to keep tabs on. From a results side of things, a 3-4 record is nothing to get excited about, but what the fans saw in these games brings excitement.

You continued to have great pitching from several key guys while the offense started to pick up for some slumping teams. That is a great sign, especially considering how much the Cubs offense has struggled at the MLB level.


Sometimes it is better to be late than never arrive at all, which was the case for the Cubs offense in this one. After being held to two runs through eight innings, the Cubs offense erupted for five runs in the ninth to push them to a massive win. That helped soften the blow of another no-decision from Caleb Kilian, whose final line doesn't show how good he really was.

Kilian gave the Cubs six innings of work and allowed five runs on 10 hits. However, he allowed two runs through five and was in complete control early. Following the start from Kilian was an impressive showing by Cam Sanders, who struck out five in three scoreless frames.

While Kilan and Sanders were doing their thing on the mound, so was Brent Headrick, who allowed two runs across seven dominating frames. The first of those runs came in the first inning when Yonathan Perlaza led off the game with another homer.

Saint Paul tied things up in the bottom half of the first on a Joey Gallo sacrifice fly, with Mark Contreras putting them on top 2-1 in the second.

Still holding a 2-1 lead in the sixth, the Saints offense finally was able to solve Kilian as signs of fatigue started to show. All three of those runs came on one swing, with Andrew Bechtold connecting for a three-run and extending the lead to 5-1. Once the seventh inning rolled around, you could see the momentum starting to shift, which began with a Jared Young homer making things 5-2.

Down to their final three outs and still trailing by three, the Cubs were starting to mount a rally as they had a pair of runners on and Nelson Velazquez coming to the plate. The right capable of tying things up with one swing, Velazquez smoked one into left for an RBI double to pull the Cubs within 5-3.

Following a Chase Strump walk to load the bases, Jake Slaughter came through with a massive hit as his ground-rule double kept the line moving and tied things up 5-5. That set the stage for Sergio Alcantara, who continued the ninth-inning rally with the go-ahead and game-winning RBI knock as the Cubs rallied from four down to win 7-5.


It hasn't always been pretty for the Smokies this season, but they have found a way to get into first place. Despite struggling most of the night, Scott McKeon came through with a go-ahead homer late in the game, only fall in extra innings.

Walker Powell did his best to pitch the Smokies to a win, giving Tennessee one of his better starts this season. Powell got through six innings and allowed three runs while striking out six. He gave way to Michael McAvene, Blake Whitney, and Danis Correa, who all did well. Despite the effort from Powell, Victor Mederos was even better, as he allowed one run in five-plus innings. Mederos did walk five but struck out seven to limit the overall damage.

After the Smokies took a 1-0 lead on a fourth-inning wild pitch, the Trash Pandas responded in the bottom half when Edgar Quero used a sacrifice fly to pull even. Two innings later, the long ball gave the Trash Pandas the lead as David Calabrese came through with a huge two-run shot to make things 3-1.

Trailing for the first time in the game, it was the Smokie's turn to play long ball as McKeon delivered his first AA homer in the eighth to put the Smokies in front 4-3. That score would hold until the late-inning when Orlando Martinez tied things up with a ninth-inning double and helped bring the game to extras. In the extra frame, the Trash Pandas got the last laugh as a wild pitch led to the eventual winning run to walk off the Smokies.


As you can expect, in most cases, when the Cubs get good starting pitching, they tend to win, and when they don't, the losses mount. Credit Richard Gallardo for giving the Cubs six innings with strikeouts, but after allowing four runs, he put his team in an early hole with Jacob Watters pitching extremely well through five.

Watters allowed two runs in five innings with seven strikeouts, with the first of those runs coming on a Kevin Made single to put the Cubs in front 1-0 in the third. Their lead didn't last long as the Lugnuts offense came out swinging against Gallardo in the fourth. Brayan Buelvas gave the Lugnuts a 2-1 lead with an RBI double, while Danny Bautista extended the lead to 3-1 with a single.

The Cubs kept things close in the bottom of the fourth when Casey Opitz singled to make things 3-2, only to see the Lugnuts stretch the lead to 4-2 in the fifth. Trailing by that 4-2 score in the seventh, Yohendrick Pinango cashed in with a massive RBI single and brought things back to even 4-4.

Unfortunately for the Cubs, that would be the last of their runs, with the Lugnuts taking the lead for good in the eighth with Bautista delivering the game-winning homer off of Chase Watkins.


Going back to the middle of May, Myrtle Beach has not only been the hottest team in the Cubs organization but one of the hottest teams in the minors. Looking to make it four straight against Augusta, the Greenjackets had the last laugh as their massive seventh inning pushed them in front for the win.

Nick Hull got the start and struggled for the first time in a long time. Hull got through three innings and was charged with six earned runs in a rough night. Despite his struggles, he was backed by plenty of early offense, with Juan Mora going deep for a two-run shot and an early 2-0 lead. Myrtle Beach added to that lead with a wild pitch and a bases-loaded walk to give the Pelicans a 4-0 lead.

Homers continued to play a huge role throughout the early parts of the game, with EJ Exposito going deep in the bottom of the first and Moises Ballesteros going deep in the second as the Pelicans held a 5-1 lead. After an RBI groundout made things 5-2, Justin Janus came through with an RBI single to make things 5-4.

One inning later saw Tyler Collins pick up an RBI single, and just like that, Augusta took a 6-5 lead. Not to be outdone, it was the Pelicans rallying in the fourth, with Mora adding an RBI single to his big game and making things 6-6. The back and forth continued into the fifth, with Ethan Workinger picking up the go-ahead triple with Rafael Morel tying things up in the sixth.

Still tied at seven in the seventh, Janas put the Greenjackets in front for good as his solo shot made things 8-7. Throw in Cory Acton and Dawson Dimon singles, and the Greenjackets busted things open, leading 11-7. Down to their final at-bats in the ninth, the Pelicans had a nice little rally going, with Parker Chavers picking up an RBI single to make things 11-8.

Myrtle Beach had the bases loaded with Mora at the plate but couldn't cash in as the Greenjackets picked up their first win of the series.


At long last, the DSL Red squad has come away with a victory, downing the Astros 5-4. David Bracho overcame a start where he walked four and struck out none, as the offense did just enough to pick up the win. Bracho was given some early support when Carlos Altuve delivered an RBI double in the first for an early 2-0 lead.

After the Astros pulled within 2-1 with a wild pitch in the second, Axell De Paula connected for a solo shot in the third to bring things back to even 2-2. It didn't take long for the Cubs to respond, with Sandy Sanches reaching on a fielder's choice to bring home another run with an error on the same play making things 4-2.

The Astros pulled within 4-3 with an error in the bottom of the fourth before the Cubs scratched across the go-ahead and game-winning run in the fifth. Another passed ball aided the final Astros run to score, but it wasn't enough as the Cubs held on 5-4. Altuve led the way with two hits and two RBIs, with Albert Gutierrez adding two hits.


If you love offense, this was the place to be, as the Cubs and Braves combined for 25 wins. Pitching was not the strong suit on either side, as both offenses came out on a mission to begin the game. It was the Braves opening up the scoring with a massive first inning as Luis Guanipa started what was a four-run frame with a solo shot.

RBI doubles from Mario Baez and Luis Parababire added two more runs with an RBI groundout making things 4-0. The Cubs answered in the bottom of the first with an Edward Vargas RBI triple, but after John Estevez connected for a homer in the second, it was the Braves holding a 6-1 lead.

Trailing 9-3 in the third, the Cubs offense started to take control as they began to flip the momentum on its head. A bases-loaded walk aided to one run, with a pair of wild pitches making things 9-6. Throw in a Luis Maza double, and the Cubs were within 9-7, and things were looking up. Another Estevez hit pushed the lead back out to 10-7, but it was the Cubs and their offense responding again in the bottom of the fifth.

A pair of errors not only helped the Cubs, but it allowed three runs to come in and score as the Cubs were even 10-10. Daniel Campos kept the line moving with an RBI hit and gave the Cubs their first lead of the day, 11-10. The back-and-forth affair continued into the sixth when Robier Niazoa singled to put the Braves in front 12-11. Once again, the Cubs had the answers as Derik Alcantara tied things up at 12 with an RBI triple and set the offense up to add more. That they did as Vargas delivered the game-winning sacrifice fly to help the Cubs pick up the 13-12 win.


Whenever you can catch an ACL game, please do, as this is an essential level to keep tabs on. Granted, the wins are coming less frequently, but this team has a mix of up-and-coming prospects paired with players rehabbing their way back.

Regarding pitching, the Cubs used a plethora of arms, including the rehabbing Scott Kobos who allowed one run in 1 1/3. Take out the first four innings, and the Cubs are in much better shape, as all of the Athletics runs came in those first few innings and had the Cubs playing catchup.

A significant portion of the Athletics runs came in the first when they grabbed an early 3-0 lead. Two of those three runs came on miscues by the Cubs, but Leniel Laboy added a sacrifice fly to offset that. Ray Garrett added to that lead with a solo shot off of Kobos in the second as the Cubs trailed 4-0.

After the Ke-Shun Collier single made things 4-1 in the third, it was the Athletics offense coming back out in the fourth and putting the game away with a four-run frame. The toughest part about those four runs is that none of them were earned, with two errors and a wild pitch allowing all those runs to score and putting the Cubs in a huge hole.

Give the Cubs some credit, however, as they would not go down quietly. Anderson Suriel and Frank Hernandez picked up RBI singles in the sixth to make things 8-3, with Alexis Hernandez capping off the scoring with an RBI single in the seventh. For Hernandez, he had a massive day as he led the Cubs offense with three hits to go with his RBI.

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