Cubs Minor League News
Patrick Gorski - USA Today Sports

Cubs Minor League News

by - Senior Writer -

For the first time all season, all seven of the Cubs affiliates were in action in what will be one of the busiest, if not the busiest, days of the season thus far. That was until a postponement in the DSL eliminated one team, but either way, six teams were in action as they combined to go 4-1 on the evening.

IOWA CUBS 6 - TOLEDO MUD HENS 2 (Suspended in the fifth): The team with the toughest luck on the evening was the Iowa Cubs, who raced out to a 6-0 lead in the first before having things suspended in the fifth. Owen Caissie came out swinging with a massive Grand Slam to start the scoring and put the Cubs in front 4-0 in the first. One inning later saw Luis Vazquez deliver an RBI single as the Cubs took a 6-0 lead after two.

That was plenty of offense for Dan Straily, who was pitching well for the most part, only to allow two runs in the fourth before coming out of the game. Sam McWilliams took over from there and will be back on the mound when this game resumes on Wednesday.

BIRMINGHAM BARONS 6 - TENNESSEE SMOKIES 3: In what will be the biggest series of the season for the Smokies, the winner of this week has a great shot to claim the first-half division title. Despite the fast start by the Smokies that saw them plate three runs in the first, the offense went cold as Ky Bush struck out eight in seven strong innings.

Mix that with Matt Thompson having his worst start of the season with six walks in just over an inning and a bullpen that struggled to get the job done it was the Barons taking game one. Trailing 1-0 in the bottom of the first, Moises Ballesteros changed that with one swing as he connected for a two-run homer off Bush to put the Smokies in front 2-1. Yohendrick Pinango would add an RBI single later in the first to extend the lead to 3-1, but that was it for their offense as the Barons ended the game with five unanswered runs.

Two of those runs came in the second to tie things up, with two more coming in the fourth off the Terrell Tatum double and the Jacob Gonzalez single. Birmingham closed out the scoring in the sixth on the Edgar Quero homer to win 6-3. Of all the pitchers, Alex Troop pitched the best as he stuck out seven in four innings of relief.

SOUTH BEND CUBS 7 - WEST MICHIGAN WHITECAPS 3: Sparked by a pair of three-run innings, the South Bend Cubs continued to play inspired baseball to pick up another series-opening win. Nick Dean was back on the mound for the Cubs as his great season continued. After five innings and allowing just two runs, he improves to 3-0 with South Bend and 5-0 on the season.

After spotting the Whitecaps with a first-inning run off a wild pitch, Jonathon Long put the Cubs on the board as his fifth homer made things 1-1. The long ball continued to play a massive role for both teams in the fourth, with Roberto Campos delivering a solo shot to make things 2-1 before the Whitecaps extended their lead to 3-1 with a sacrifice fly.

All it took was one big swing for the Cubs to win this game as Jordan Nwogu connected for a three-run shot to put the Cubs back in front for good, 4-3. A Jefferson Rojas double extended that lead to 5-3 in the fifth before the Cubs tacked on two additional runs to win 7-3. Pedro Ramirez led the Cubs with two hits as he continues to be one of the best hitters in High-A. Carlo Reyes also pitched well, as he has now tossed nine scoreless innings with the Cubs.

MYRTLE BEACH PELICANS 3 - AUGUSTA GREENJACKETS 2: Despite a short one-inning outing from Luis Rujano, the Pelicans got strong pitching across the board while their offense did just enough in a 3-2 win. Rujano was followed by Vince Reilly, who earned his sixth win of the season in relief, while Kenten Egbert struck out eight in his four innings.

Alfonsin Rosario wasted no time getting the scoring started, belting a two-run blast in the top of the first. That lead didn't last long, however, with a Will Verdugo single putting Augusta on the board in the bottom of the first before tying things up with a wild pitch later. Still tied in the fourth, Miguel Pabon came through with the winning hit, his RBI double pushing across the winning run in the Pelicans' 3-2 victory.

ACL CUBS 6 - ACL ATHLETICS 2: Although the Rookie Leagues had a tough time winning games last season, that hasn't been the case this season, and it continued on Tuesday. Sparked by their massive five-run fifth, the Cubs had a strong pitching performance across the board to take care of the Athletics 6-2.

Zhiorman Imbriano had a great 2023 season in the DSL and opened his ACL season with three strong innings of one-hit, three-strikeout ball. A first inning, Adan Sanchez put the Cubs in front for good, but it was the fifth inning when they put the game away. With a wild pitch extending the Cubs lead to 2-0, Yahil Melendez singled home the game's third run, with Joan Delgado sprinting around the bases for an inside-the-park homer to make things 5-0.

The Cubs closed out their scoring with a Geuri Lubo sacrifice fly as they held a 6-0 lead up to this point. The Athletics did manage to pick up a pair of late-game runs, including an RBI double from Erubiel Fuentes, but it wasn't enough to top the Cubs. Angel Cepeda continued to hit the ball well as he led the way with three hits to raise his average to .338.

DSL CUBS BLUE 10 - DSL DODGERS 5 (F/8): Talk about a fun start to the season for DSL Blue. After struggling to win games in 2023, the Cubs have ripped off a 2-0 start to begin their season, which included their extra-inning win against the Dodgers on Tuesday. This will go down as one of the sloppiest games in quite some time, as six Dodger errors led to seven unanswered runs in the Cubs' win.

One thing you will notice about the DSL is that most of its pitchers don't go more than three innings, which was the case for the Cubs. Yander Maria got the start and struck out one in two scoreless frames before handing things off to a trio of relievers, including Alberto Chala, who struck out four in two perfect innings.

The Cubs couldn't have asked for a better start to the game, scoring in each of the first three innings to take a 3-0 lead. Ludwing Espinoza opened the scoring with a sacrifice fly in the first, and Henniel Alcala added one in the third. There was also a wild pitch in the second inning, aiding another run to give the Cubs a massive early lead.

Once the bottom of the third rolled around, the Dodgers' offense came to life, and most of their damage came on one swing. Following a bases-loaded hit by pitch to the Dodgers on the board, Yorfran Medina connected for the bases-clearing RBI double as the Dodgers stormed in front 4-3. That lead was short-lived, with the Cubs benefitting from a pair of costly errors in the top half of the fifth, which helped them retake the lead 5-4.

They held that lead until the seventh when Medina took it upon himself to single-handedly keep things close as his homer brought things back to even and forced extras. It was in the extra frame where errors continued to haunt the Dodgers as three errors led to four unanswered runs to help the Cubs open up a 9-5 lead. There was also a Diego Gonzalez double mixed in as the Cubs scored five times in the eighth to win 10-5.


MILWAUKEE MILKMEN 10 - CHICAGO DOGS 5: The Independent Leagues continue to march along, with the Dogs getting doubled up by the Milkmen on Tuesday. Jesus Lujano, Brantley Bell, and Nick Dalesandro all had two-hit nights, with Dalesandro leading the way with two RBIs. Jacob Teter also picked up an RBI, as did Narcisco Crook, who belted his league-best 10th homer to go with 21 RBIs.

WASHINGTON WILD THINGS 8 - WINDY CITY THUNDERBOLTS 2: Tuesday was a rough night for the Thunderbolts as plenty of early offense and a four-run fifth did the Thunderbolts in. Kevin Pindel got the start legion for Windy City, allowing just three unearned runs in four innings with four strikeouts.

Opposing him was Kobe Foster, who improved to 3-0 in the season after going six scoreless innings with eight strikeouts, which lowered his ERA to 1.82. After scoring three times with minimal damage early on, the big blow came in the fifth when Caleb McNeely connected for a Grand Slam to extend the lead to 7-0. McNeely had five RBIs on the night to lead the Wild Things.

Both Thunderbolt's runs came late in the game, with JR Heavilin doubling home their first run in the seventh to make things 7-1, with Joe Johnson taking on an RBI late.

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