Canario has been on fire offensively of late (Photo vis SB)
Canario has been on fire offensively of late (Photo vis SB)

Cubs Minor League News: Canario on fire, Sanders impressive, SB walks off Peoria, more


by - Senior Writer -

It was another near-perfect night for the Cubs farm system as they capped off a strong night of play with a 3-1 mark. Ironically, the team you would expect to win had the lone loss, with Myrtle Beach suffering a rare defeat for just the second time in 12 games. They still have the best record in the Cubs system by a wide margin and remain in first place in their division.

It is all about finding consistency for the rest of the system as everyone else is at or near the .500 mark. That goes a long way to this team's confidence moving forward, as the Cubs may need to count on these guys sooner rather than later.

IOWA CUBS 7 - ST. PAUL SAINTS 3

Things couldn't have gone much better for Iowa on Tuesday as they pushed across all seven runs in the first three innings. That was enough to back top pitching prospect Caleb Killian, who, although not his best, still gave the Cubs four great innings.

Facing one of the best offensive teams in AAA, Killian kept them at bay as he allowed two runs (1ER) on four hits across four innings, walking two and striking out four. His ERA continues to be impressive as that still sits under 2.00 at 1.83. Three batters into the game, the Cubs had the bases loaded as Dixon Machado, Ilderamo Vargas, and Jared Young all cashed in with soft singles.

Brennen Davis got the scoring started with a sacrifice fly before the recently promoted Nelson Maldonado cashed in with an RBI double to make things 3-0.

Greg Deichmann capped off the massive first inning with an RBI single as the Cubs led 4-0. When looking at Killian's outings, the first inning is typically his worst inning, and this was no exception.

With a leadoff walk to Jake Cave getting things started, the Saints got on the board three batters later, with Curtis Terry ripping an RBI double to left. Not about to let off the gas, it was the top of the order doing damage again in the second as Machado and Vargas collected RBI singles to extend the lead to 6-1. Once again, the Saints would answer using an Elliot Soto single to pull within 6-2.

Maldonado capped off his three-RBI game with a single in the third before the Saints added a fifth-inning run off Tony Gonsalves and fell by the 7-3 score. Machado and Maldonado had three hits, but the three RBIs from Maldonado led the way.

TENNESSEE SMOKIES 3 - BIRMINGHAM BARONS 2

The Cubs weren't the only ones facing the White Sox on Tuesday as their AA affiliates met for game one of a six-game set. Despite scoring all three of their runs in the first inning, the Smokies pitching set the tone as they held on for the 3-2 win.

Cam Sanders continues to improve and was near perfect in his five innings of work. Not only did he not allow a run, but he didn't allow a hit yielding one walk and puching out nine. His ERA is now 3.26 for the year after being above 10.00 earlier.

Big first innings were the theme for the Cubs all night as Darius Hill got the party started with his second leadoff homer of the season. That homer was followed by the Christopher Morel single as he came around to score on the Bryce Ball double. With two outs in the inning, Birmingham had a chance to get out of things without further damage, but a costly error allowed Andy Weber to reach while pushing across another run.

That run would prove to be the game-winner as the Barons offense didn't have anything going until the seventh. You saw Yoelqui Cespedes pick up an RBI single mixed in with a fielding error in that frame, but it wasn't enough as the Smokies picked up a 3-2 win. Ball led the offense with two hits with an RBI, while Morel, Hill, Nelson Velazquez, and Levi Jordan had hits.

SOUTH BEND CUBS 5 - PEORIA CHIEFS 4 (10 innings)

Facing one of the hotter offenses in the Midwest League, the Cubs turned to their ace DJ Herz to play stopper. Despite a career-high five walks, Herz delivered as he lasted just three innings, but didn't allow a run. He gave way to Bailey Reid, who pitched well himself as all the runs came after the fifth inning.

Facing one of the best South Bend has to offer, Peoria countered with their ace as Gordon Graceffo took the mound, giving the Chiefs six scoreless innings of eight strikeout ball as his ERA sits at 0.65. He left with a 2-0 lead as a wild pitch and bases loaded walk in the top of the inning saw the Chiefs grab the lead.

Things only got worse with Thomas Francisco and Masyn Winn adding RBI doubles in the eighth as that lead doubled to 4-0. Trailing by three in the ninth, South Bend brought some fireworks to the plate, which started with an Alexander Canario two-run shot to make things 4-3. The next hitter was Matt Mervis, as he answered with a homer of his own to tie things up 4-4 and send the game into extras. South Bend continued to ride that wave of momentum as the Bradlee Beesley single capped off the comeback and gave the Cubs a huge walk-off win.

After delivering three hits, Luis Verdugo raised his average to .317 while Beesley added two. This was game one of a 12-game homestand as South Bend has an excellent opportunity to find a hot streak.

SALEM RED SOX 8 - MYRTLE BEACH PELICANS 4

There haven't been many times over the last two weeks where the Pelicans had a clunker. This was one of those times as the Red Sox doubled up the Pelicans 8-4. Neither Tyler Schlaffer nor Jose Miguel Gonzalez could find a groove as they posted near-identical stat lines of four runs on six hits across three innings. That was more than enough support for Tyler Uberstein, who allowed one run in five innings.

Not only did Salem strike first on a first-inning single, but after the Pelicans drew even in the second, the Red Sox countered with a big inning. Singles by Eduardo Vaughan and Eddison Paulino made things 3-1 before an RBI groundout extended the lead to 4-1. Two innings later, Salem used another crooked inning to bust the game wide open as the Pelicans searched for answers.

Brainer Bonaci picked up his second RBI hit of the day using a triple to push across a pair. Bonaci would then score on the Miguel Ugueto sacrifice fly, making things 7-1 as the inning would end with the Pelicans down 8-1. No one will question the fight the Pelicans have this season, with Miguel Fabrizio picking up an RBI single in the seventh ahead of a two-run error in the eighth that made things 8-4.

Unfortunately for the Pelicans, that was as close as they would get dropping just their second game in 12 tries. Making his long-awaited return to the field was Cole Roederer as he went 2-4 in his first game back in nearly a year. That is an excellent sign for the Cubs, as he needs a breakout season this year.

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