Hicks had the game-winning homer (Photo via Iowa Cubs)
Hicks had the game-winning homer (Photo via Iowa Cubs)

Cubs Minor League News: Hicks with go-ahead homer, Vazquez raking, Pinango homers, more


by - Senior Writer -

Now that the fourth is over and the Minor League schedule is back on track, it was time for the full-season leagues to join the Rookie Leagues for some great Minor League action. With five teams on the docket for Wednesday, there was plenty of action to go around, and that action was extremely exciting.

Led by strong pitching and high-octane offensive performances, the Cubs put together a perfect night as they went 5-0. That is never expected, but it is always a good sign when it happens.

IOWA CUBS 4 - INDIANAPOLIS INDIANS 1

Although the offense was scarce for the most part, it was Iowa who got the last laugh as the Cubs plated three runs in the ninth to claim the victory. Luke Farrell continues to give the Cubs quality outings on the mound as he went 4 2/3 innings and allowed just one run.

Apart from him, Sean Newcomb, Steven Brault, and Erich Uelmen all saw time on the mound as the trio didn't allow a single run, with Brault earning the win in relief. While Iowa had strong pitching, Indianapolis matched them with Jerad Eickhoff giving the Indians seven solid innings with seven punchouts.

The lone run Farrell allowed came in the second inning when Travis Swaggerty connected for his seventh homer and the 1-0 Indians lead. That score would hold until the seventh inning, when Jackson Frazier came through with the game-tying single to make things 1-1.

With momentum fully on their side, the Cubs continued their late-game surge with John Hicks delivering the game-winning three-run shot in the ninth for the 4-1 win.

Darius Hill was one of four Cubs with multiple hits as he was joined by Greg Deichmann, Frazier, and Trent Giambrone.

TENNESSEE SMOKIES 8 - BIRMINGHAM BARONS 0

Things haven't gone well for the Smokies in their last four games, but things quickly changed with a dominating win on Wednesday. With Riley Thompson setting the tone with his three scoreless frames and some late-game offense, it made for a complete-game effort.

Samuel Reyes took over for Thompson to give the Smokies three scoreless frames to earn the win before Bailey Horn and Jeremiah Estrada finished things off. Despite the scoreboard saying what it did, things were much closer early, with Emilio Vargas going seven innings and allowing two runs before the bullpen imploded.

Those runs came in the third inning when Yonathan Perlaza put the Smokies on top for good with an RBI double before Jake Slaughter extended that lead to 2-0 with a sacrifice fly. That 2-0 game would hold until the eighth inning when the Smokies offense erupted for some late-game magic.

With Bryce Ball picking up an RBI single to double the Smokies advantage, Luis Vazquez added an RBI double to cap off the four-run frame to make things 6-0. The Smokies would add two more runs in the ninth off the Matt Mervis homer to take care of things 8-0. Vazquez paced the offense with a four-hit night, with Ball and Chase Strumpf adding multi-hit games.

SOUTH BEND CUBS 3 - WISCONSIN TIMBER RATTLERS 0

In a matchup of the top two teams in the Midwest League to begin the second half, it was the South Bend pitching that led the way as the Cubs evened up their series with a 3-0 win. Jordan Wicks continues to improve with each start as he went five shutout innings with six strikeouts to earn the win and move his record to 3-3 on the season.

Luis Devers followed suit, making his High-A debut with three scoreless innings before Eduarniel Nunez locked down his first save. Israel Puello was equally as good on the mound, giving the Timber Rattlers seven innings of work and allowing just one run. That run came in the fourth when Yohendrick Pinango delivered the game-winning homer to make things 1-0 Cubs.

South Bend made that score hold until the eighth inning when Pinango came through again with an RBI double to cap off the scoring in a 3-0 Cubs win. Pinango led the way with two hits and all three RBIs, with Luis Verdugo adding two hits.

MYRTLE BEACH PELICANS 11 - COLUMBIA FIREFLIES 3

Granted, the Pelicans haven't been as dominant to start the second half as they were in the first half; this is still a great team. Sparked by a massive seven-run inning, the Pelicans avenged their loss on Monday to put away the Fireflies.

It took long enough, but it seems like Tyler Schlaffer has gotten into the groove, he was looking for. He went six innings for the fourth time in five starts and allowed three runs as he moved above .500 for the first time this season. Schlaffer allowed the game's first run on a first-inning sacrifice fly, but it was the Organizational player of the month for June in Ezequiel Pagan tying things up with a homer in the second.

The final runs of the game for Columbia came in the bottom of the third when River Towns connected for his 10th homer to give the Fireflies a 3-1 lead. With Juan Mora pulling the Pelicans within 3-2 in the fifth, Myrtle Beach took the lead for good in the sixth, using a seven-run frame to bust things open.

Kevin Alcantara and Pagan started things off with RBI singles before the Jacob Wetzel double extended the lead to 5-3. That double was followed by singles from Alejandro Rivero and Kevin Made, with Alcantara capping off the inning with a sacrifice fly to give the birds a 9-3 lead. Pagan would add a two-run single in the eighth to cap off the scoring as the Pelicans won 11-3.

Pagan continues to produce, leading the way with three hits and four RBIs. Mora and Made added multi-hit games while nearly every starter picked up a hit on the night.

DSL CUBS RED 8 - DSL YANKEES 6

At long last, the DSL Red Cubs got back in the win column, topping the Yankees 8-6. It didn't come easy, but a five-run frame to open the game made things a lot easier for a pitching staff that didn't pitch well. Framing Marte was the only pitcher who had success as he tossed 3 2/3 scoreless frames to close out the game.

Down 2-0, after the Joel Mendez double in the first, the Cubs offense responded in a big way. Joan Delgado put the Cubs on the board with an RBI triple before the Daniel Benschop single tied things up. Eliza Chalas kept the line moving with a two-run double, with Offerman Hernandez capping off the five-run frame with an RBI single.

Despite leading 5-2 after one, the Yankees came roaring back with Hans Montero connecting for a two-run shot in the second ahead of the Luis Suarez sacrifice fly in the third to tie things up. That was the last time the Yankees would have a chance to win as a fifth-inning error gave the Cubs the lead for good before Chalas put the game away with an RBI single in the seventh.

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