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Cubs Minor League Daily: Canario stays hot, Swarmer impressive, Ball and Strumpf homer


by - Senior Writer -
Canario is an elite prospect for ther Cubs (Photo via South Bend)
Canario is an elite prospect for ther Cubs (Photo via South Bend)

If you want to watch winning baseball, or at least teams that have been winning more than not, you may want to tune into the Cubs Minor League system. The Cubs organization managed to post a .500 or better record on the evening for the eighth consecutive day, which is never easy to do.

That is refreshing to look at how things have been the last several years as all four organizational steams are near or above .500. It will be interesting to see if they stay that way, especially once promotions and roster changes occur.

IOWA CUBS 7 - INDIANAPOLIS INDIANS 3

After falling to .500 earlier in the week, Iowa has ripped off a pair of wins to take control of their series. Matt Swarmer continued to deliver on the mound going 4 2/3 innings and allowing three earned runs. Swarmer walked two and struck out seven as his ERA stands at 2.11. He gave way to Tony Gonsalves, and Ben Leeper as those two combined to provide Iowa with 4 1/3 scoreless innings with six punchouts.

The Indians certainly made the Cubs work for things in the early going, with Mason Martin connecting for a solo shot to give the Indians a 1-0 lead in the second. Tyler Payne tied things up in the bottom half with an RBI single, but once again, the former Iowa star Taylor Davis came through as his fifth-inning RBI gave the Indians the lead again. Add a bases-loaded hit by pitch to Rodolfo Castro, and Indianapolis held a 3-1 lead.

Like in the second, Iowa was able to respond after allowing a run as the Jared Young single and a wild pitch brought things back to even 3-3. Two innings later saw the Cubs take the lead for good as a costly error allowed for two runs to score with Iowa in front 5-3. The Cubs would add some insurance in the eighth, with John Hicks connecting for his first homer of the season and Esteban Quiroz adding a double to finish things off 7-3.

TENNESSEE SMOKIES 10 - CHATTANOOGA LOOKOUTS 5

The suddenly hot Smokies continued to do their thing on Thursday, doubling up the Lookouts 10-5. Ryan Jensen made the start and didn't pitch that well lasting just 2 1/3 innings. He gave way to Dalton Stambaugh, making his AA debut as both of them were touched up for all five runs.

Apart from that, the trio of Danis Correa, Burl Carraway, and Eury Ramos went the final four innings without allowing a run to secure the Smokies win. While the pitching wasn't strong early, the offense made up for it as they took it to starter Brandon Williamson and Ricky Salinas.

Down 1-0 after the TJ Hopkins first-inning double, the Smokies responded with a Levi Jordan triple before coming home on the Luis Vazquez grounder to put the Smokies in front 2-1. Isaiah Gillham tied things up with a solo shot in the bottom half of the second before the Smokies offense really got going.

Led by a solo shot by Chase Strumpf in the third and a three-run shot by Bryce Ball in the fourth, the Smokies pushed across five more runs and took a 7-3 lead. Gillham managed to pull the Lookouts within 7-5 in the fifth, only to see Christopher Morel bring home a pair with a sixth-inning double. Yonathan Perlaza capped off the scoring with an eighth-inning bases-loaded walk to give the Smokies their 10th win of the year. Darius Hill continues to mash the baseball, collecting three more hits to bring his average to .348.

QUAD CITIES RIVER BANDITS 5 - SOUTH BEND CUBS 3

Sparked by a three-run first inning, Quad Cities built an early lead and then held on for the win. Kohl Franklin continues to work through the motions as he works his arm back into starter shape. Across two innings, Franklin allowed three runs before handing the ball off to Joe Nahas, who worked five innings, allowing two runs.

Things were not all that bad early on for South Bend as they managed to strike first off the Matt Mervis single in the first. That lead was short-lived, as Peyton Wilson got into a Franklin pitch and crushed it over the fence for a three-run shot. The Cubs were playing catchup from that moment on, with Alexander Canario picking up an RBI single in the third to pull within 3-2.

A costly error in the bottom of the third led to the River Bandits fourth run before the Cam Williams homer in the sixth extended the lead to 5-2. Hoping for some late-game offense, Ed Howard connected for an eighth-inning RBI double, but that is as close as things would get in the 5-3 loss. Despite losing by two, the Cubs doubled the River Bandits in hits with Luis Verdugo, Canario, and Edmond Americaan each with two.

COLUMBIA FIREFLIES 7 - MYRTLE BEACH PELICANS 6

It wasn't easy, but the Fireflies managed to come from behind and then hold off the Pelicans for the win. It was not only the first loss this series, but the first loss in over a week as the Pelicans were streaking.

Richard Gallardo continues to impress on the hill as he delivered his best start of the season. Across five innings, Gallardo allowed one unearned run on five hits and lowered his ERA to 2.66. While he was strong, Chase Watkins was not, as he got touched up for five earned runs in the loss.

Looking to back the performance by Gallardo on the mound, Myrtle Beach was gifted a second-inning run off an error to take a 1-0 lead. That score would hold until the fourth inning, when Gallardo surrendered the Wilmin Candelario single to bring things back to even 1-1.

The Pelicans continued to do what they have done so well recently in the sixth inning, using a Miguel Fabrizio groundout to retake the lead and then adding on with a Peter Matt single to make things 3-1. Leading 3-2 in the bottom of the seventh, another error led to the Pelicans fourth run as they led 4-2 at this point.

Things took a turn for the worse as Watkins started to unravel in the eighth. A stolen base and a throwing error from Ethan Hearn didn't help, but RBI doubles from River Town and Darryl Collins put Columbia in front by the 6-4 score. After putting together a huge doubleheader the other night, James Triantos brought the Pelicans within 6-5, working a bases-loaded walk to push a run across.

Candelario not only had the first RBI for the Fireflies, but he added a crucial ninth-inning RBI single to extend the lead to 7-5, as that proved to be the game-winner. Looking for some late-game magic, Hearn made up for his earlier error with a leadoff homer to begin the ninth, but the offense came up empty after that as the winning streak ended.

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