Cubs Minor League News
Patrick Gorski - USA Today Sports

Cubs Minor League News


by - Senior Writer -

It has been a very busy week for the Cubs Minor League system, as plenty of great games have been going on. Not only has Tennessee stayed hot, but now Myrtle Beach and South Bend are starting to win games, which is what you wanted to see from them at this point in the first half.

All that helped the Cubs post a 4-1 record on the final day of a full schedule this week, which is all you can ask for. Pitching played a massive part in Saturday's success, but several big offensive showings need to be accounted for.

IOWA CUBS 3 - LOUISVILLE BATS 2: It has been an interesting season for Thomas Pannone, to say the least. After starting the season 3-0 and looking like the best pitcher in AAA, Pannone has gone winless in his last six starts and has struggled immensely. Saturday made seven straight starts without a win, although he pitched better, allowing just two runs in five innings.

Considering Carson Spiers went six innings with seven punchouts, the Cubs needed Pannone and their bullpen to match his effort, as the Cubs struck out 11 Bats in the victory. Six of those strikeouts came from Sam McWilliams and Jose Cuas in their three innings of work, with Carl Edwards Jr picking up the save and punching out two.

Both of the runs for Louisville came in the second inning and it all started with a PJ Higgins homer before Hernan Perez doubled the lead with an RBI groundout. Both of these men are former Iowa Cubs players and it does hurt seeing former teammates beat you. Sometimes all you need is one player to shoulder the load for your team and that player was Owen Caissie.

Caissie tied things up with a two-run double in the third and then connected for the game-winning solo shot in the eight to lift the Cubs to the 3-2 win. Caissie led the way with three hits and three RBIs, with BJ Murray JR adding two hits.

TENNESSEE SMOKIES 4 - CHATTANOOGA LOOKOUTS 0: Despite failing to address the needs on their MLB roster, Jed Hoyer and Carter Hawkins have done a great job adding depth to their minor league system. Signing Trey Supak is a prime example of that as the right-hander has yet to allow a run in his three appearances in AA, giving Tennessee five-shutout innings on Saturday.

He teamed up with Chris Kachmar and a pair of other relievers, including Frank Scalzo Jr., to post the shutout as the Smokies continued to play well. Like Supak, Scalzo Jr. has yet to allow an earned run this season as he has now pitched more than 20 innings this season and registered seven saves.

The only offense the Smokies would need came in the bottom of the first when Luis Verdugo doubled home the winning run to give Tennessee a 1-0 lead. They held that lead until the fourth when the Ezequiel Pagan triple extended it to 2-0. Still holding that lead in the eighth, Tennessee added two more crucial insurance runs courtesy of an error, which allowed them to pick up the 2-0 win.

QUAD CITY RIVER BANDITS 13 - SOUTH BEND CUBS 4: For the most part, the Cubs have been playing their best ball of the season, but you wouldn't have guessed it based on this outing. A rough outing from Aaron Perry, mixed with an offense that didn't score until the eighth, proved too much as the Cubs fell to Quad City 13-4.

It didn't take long for the Cubs to find themselves behind as a first-inning RBI double from Carson Roccaforte, followed by an RBI single off the bat of Kale Emshoff, put the River Bandits in front 2-0. That added to that lead with a Justin Johnson double in the second to push their lead to 3-0, but it was the fourth inning when they broke the game wide open, scoring four times to make things 7-0.

Emshoff started that with a solo blast, followed by a Johnson RBI single. A sacrifice fly and an error aided the other two runs as the Cubs were down big early. That would be all the offense Henry Williams would need as he struck out six in six scoreless frames, allowing just three hits overall.

Following a Dustin Dickerson RBI single in the fifth to make things 8-0, Quad City continued to pound Cubs pitching as Carter Jensen and Brett Squires added two more singles to make things 10-0. Emshoff capped off his massive day with a three-run shot in the bottom of the sixth, closing out the scoring in a five-run frame to put the Cubs in a 13-0 hole.

It took eight innings for the Cubs to break through as the Pedro Ramirez homer ended the shutout and made things 13-1. They continued to use that momentum in the ninth, with Rafael Morel adding an RBI double ahead of the Dilan Granadillo homer, but that was it as the Cubs fell 13-4. Morel led the way for the Cubs with two hits.

MYRTLE BEACH PELICANS 9 - CHARLESTON RIVERDOGS 0: Don't look now, but the Pelicans are suddenly one of the hottest teams in the Carolina League, and that doesn't bode well for teams in the second half. Backed by a pitching performance that struck out 18, the Pelicans offense scored early and often picked up the 9-0 win.

Juan Bello and Marino Santy were the stories of the game on the mound. Both pitchers tossed four scoreless frames with eight strikeouts. They also allowed just one hit, which was the only hit of the night for Charleston, as the Pelicans dominated from start to finish. It took three innings for the Birds to get going, but with a four-run third, it was the only offense they would need.

Jacob Wetzel opened the scoring with a two-run triple to put Myrtle Beach up 2-0, with Cristian Hernandez adding an RBI single before coming home on a groundout. Three innings later, the Myrtle Beach offense scored four additional times, with Reggie Preciado delivering a two-run double before scampering home on the Alfonsin Rosario two-RBI triple.

The Pelicans added their final run in the eighth off a balk as they took care of business 9-0 for another big win. Preciado paced the offense with three hits and two RBIs, and he is now hitting .271. Rosario and Ismael Mena joined him with multi-hit efforts in the win.

ACL CUBS 6 - ACL GIANTS 5: On the final day before the DSL leagues begin, the Cubs Rookie League affiliate gave the fans some excitement as they scored three times in the final inning to deliver a walk-off win. Luis Martinez-Gomez continues to be the man on the mound for the Cubs, delivering five strong innings of two-run ball before handing things over to Sam Thoreson and Brandon Noriega.

Martinez-Gomez allowed two runs in his five innings, with both coming in the first inning off a Christian Koss double and the Jose Ortiz single. From there, the Cubs were playing catchup as Drew Bowser pulled the Cubs within 2-1 in the second with his second homer of the season. That was the game's only runs until the sixth when Lisbel Diaz homered off Thoreson to extend the Giants lead to 3-1.

That homer seemed to awaken both offenses as the two teams combined for eight runs in the final two innings, with the Cubs tying things up in the bottom of the sixth off the Eriandys Ramon single. One inning later saw the Giants retake the lead 5-3 as a pair of balks from Noriega brought home both runs.

Needing two runs to force extras and three to win, the Cubs offense was just getting started as they seemed to figure things out in the sixth. All it took was for Anderson Suriel to come to bat with men on base as he connected for his third homer of the year to deliver the Cubs a walk-off 6-5 win. Suriel had a massive day with a team-high three hits and three RBIs in the win.

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