Cubs Minor League News: Castillo with three hits in I-Cubs win, Jensen with ten Ks, more
Castillo had three hits in the win on Tuesday (Photo via Iowa Cubs)

Cubs Minor League News: Castillo with three hits in I-Cubs win, Jensen with ten Ks, more

by - Senior Writer -

Tuesday was one of the busier nights on the farm, with all seven teams in action once again. Despite the system posting a 3-4 record, every single game was decided by two runs or less as fans were treated to plenty of competitive games across the board.

While the results were not what fans were hoping for, they will be seeing plenty of new faces coming through the system in the coming weeks. From this year's draft picks, to potential trades, and even the arrival of Keegan Thompson back at Iowa to become a starter once again and you have exciting times down on the farm.


The Cubs returned to Principal Park on Tuesday and took on the Reds AAA affiliate, the Louisville Bats. Led by Matt Swimmer's short, but strong start and some timely hits, the Cubs kicked off their series in a positive way depositing the Bats 3-2.

Four innings into the game, and both teams were searching for their first run. Alejo Lopez changed that with one swing picking up an RBI double to give the Bats a 2-0 lead and chase Swarmer in the process. One inning later saw Erick Castillo

respond with a double of his own as the Cubs were back to even 2-2.

Now with the bullpen doing their job, the Cubs offense had a chance to make things happen. Castillo once again came up huge as his RBI single in the sixth gave the Cubs the lead for good putting them in front 3-2. After Tony Cingrani came in to do his thing, Jake Jewell slammed the door for his fourth save in the ninth to preserve the win. Cingrani has yet to allow a run since joining Iowa.

The Cubs collected eight hits in the game, with Ian Miller and Castillo responsible for six of those hits. Castillo also drove in all three runs in the win, with Alfonso Rivas and Abiatal Avelino rounding out the hits. Sergio Alcantara and Nick Martini were held hitless.


Led by some early offense in which the Lookouts pushed across four runs in the game's first two innings, the Lookouts topped the Smokies 4-3. Peyton Remy continues to give the Smokies good length in his starts, but once again was bitten by a big inning to suffer another loss.

After a first-inning error had the Lookouts up 1-0, Remy served up too much hard contact in the second, which helped Chattanooga open things up. An RBI single from Errol Robinson doubled the lead 2-0 before Brian Rey went deep for the third time this season extending the Lookouts lead to 4-0. Little did they know that would be all the offense they would need as Tennessee had to play catchup the rest of the way.

Cam Balego did his best to get things moving in the right direction picking up an RBI double in the second to put the Smokies on the board. One inning later saw Brennen Davis ground into a force out to bring another run home as Tennessee was within 4-2. It was in the fifth when you could see momentum starting to shift as the Levi Jordan homer closed the gap to 4-3 with four innings to play.

Unfortunately, the Smokies could not get much going over those final four innings, and they fell to the Lookouts by that 4-3 score. Chase Strumpf led the way for the offense, collecting two hits for the lone multi-hit game. Nelson Maldonado, Carlos Sepulveda, Jordan, and Balego tallied the remaining hits while Davis and Christopher Morel were held hitless.


Things haven't been going South Bend's way offensively lately, and that proved to be the issue in another low-scoring loss. Up against one of the best offenses in the game, Ryan Jensen delivered what possibly could have been his best start this season in a tough-luck loss. Despite the loss, Jensen was brilliant as he two runs, one earned in six innings to go with 10 punchouts.

Both runs against him came in the first, but it was the Nick Loftin homer as the lone earned run charged to his line. After an error later in the inning put another runner on base, the River Bandits used an Eric Cole single to double their lead which spelled trouble for South Bend the rest of the day. With Brad Deppermann now on the hill in the sixth, Quad Cities extended their lead to 4-0 as John Rave greeted him with an RBI double.

Hoping to generate a bit of momentum of their own in the seventh, Jake Slaughter put an end to the shut-out bid as his RBI triple put the Cubs on the board. A few pitches later saw Slaughter come home on the Ryan Reynolds RBI single to make things 4-2. Not only did the Cubs waste a golden bases-loaded opportunity in the eighth, but they wasted a two on no out chance in the ninth and fell 4-2.

While runs may be tough to score for the Cubs, hits are not as they outhit Quad Cities 10-8. Three of those hits came from Reynolds, while Slaughter and Yonathan Perlaza added multi-hit games of their own. Delvin Zinn, D.J. Artis, and Bryce Ball picked up the other three hits.


Led by some early offense and late-game magic, the GreenJackets were able to take game one walking off the Pelicans 5-3. Manuel Espinoza continues to go about his business, allowing two runs in his four-inning start. Those runs came in the first inning off a Vaughn Grissom homer, and Landon Stephens double had the Pelicans down 2-0. Outside of that, he was very strong, as was Danis Correa, as the two of them held the GreenJackets to just two runs through six innings.

The seventh inning is when things changed in Myrtle Beach's favor as they not only got on the board but erased the early game deficit. Matt Mervis needed just one swing to make things happen with two men on base as he continued to build on his team lead in both homers and RBIs to give the Pelicans a 3-2 lead. A Cam Shepherd sacrifice fly of Jarod Wright in the bottom of the seventh tied the game 3-3, but it was in the ninth where Augusta received the last laugh.

With Wright still on the mound, he was on the verge of sending things to extras after retiring the first two hitters. A walk to Braulio Vasquez extended the inning before Shephard made him pay for one mistake too many, taking him deep for his first homer of the season in a walk-off 5-3 win. Losses are one thing, but it is harder to swallow when you outhit a team and lose.

Kevin Made had a great night from the bottom of the order leading the way with three hits. The Pelicans received multi-hit efforts from Jacob Wetzel and Ezequiel Pagan as they provided seven of the teams 10 hits. Mervis, Pablo Aliendo, and Ethan Hearn rounded out the hits while Ed Howard and Jordan Nwogu went hitless.

ACL CUBS 6 – ACL ROCKIES 4 (10 Innings)

The ACL Cubs got back to their winning ways, using extra innings to do that. Luis Devers continues to be impressive as a starter, giving the Cubs five innings of one-run ball to lower his ERA to 1.89. What helped him settle in was a first-inning homer by Owen Caissie as he hot only has four on the season, but put the Cubs up 2-0.

The lone run Devers allowed came off a double-play ball in the fourth as he was able to escape, still leading 2-1. Acquired from the Pirates in the Duane Underwood deal this season, Shendrik Apostel connected for his first homer of the season in the fifth as he put the Cubs up 3-1. That score would hold until the eighth inning when back-to-back throwing errors by catcher Miguel Fabrizio allowed two runners to score, tying the game up 3-3.

With neither team coming through in the ninth, it was off to the 10th where the Cubs offense got rolling again. A Yovanny Cuevas single brought home the first of what would be a three-run 10th, with Reggie Preciado adding a sacrifice fly and Rafael Morel picking up a bases-loaded walk to give the Cubs a 6-3 lead. The Rockies were able to pick up a bases-loaded walk of their own in the bottom of the 10th, but that was it in the Cubs 6-4 win.

With just seven hits, the Cubs certainly made them count as both Caissie and Preciado led the way with two. Apostel, Cuevas, and Yeison Santana recorded the rest of the hits while Ismael Mena went hitless.

DSL ROYALS 7 – DSL CUBS BLUE 6 (8 innings): High drama was a theme in the DSL, with the Cubs Blue team falling victim to a 7-6 loss. After falling behind 1-0 in the first, DSL started to play some great baseball, tying things up in the second on a double play before taking a 3-1 lead in the fourth off a Leonel Espinoza homer.

The Cubs extended their lead to 4-1 in the fifth before the Royals bats came to life off the Cubs pen in the sixth. Sparked by a Jorge Morales RBI groundout, the Royals used a Jorge Celado single to pull within one. Sabastian Ramirez followed that up with an RBI triple to cap off a four-run frame, with the Cubs down 5-4.

The Cubs wasted no time tying things right back up in the bottom of the sixth as Dilan Granadillo picked up an RBI single that eventually sent the game to extras. In that extra frame, it was costly defense that proved to be the difference as three runs scored off errors. Unfortunately for the Cubs, the Royals benefitted from two of those runs as DSL Blue fell 7-6.

Granadillo and Ezequiel Alvarez led the offense with two hits as they accumulated for half of the team's hits. Espinoza, Frank Hernandez, Daniel Ferreira, and Raul Guzman recorded the remaining four hits while Cristian Hernandez went hitless again and watched his average fall to .206 for the season.


The DSL Red Cubs are getting on a bit of a groove, as they have now won three of their last four to move to 6-4 on the season. Not only did pitching set the tone early, but the offense erupted for six runs over the first two frames to put the game in hand early.

The Moises Ballesteros single in the first not only gave the Cubs an early 1-0 lead, but put them in front the rest of the game. In the second, the offense busted things wide open, pushing across five runs to take a 6-0 lead. A bases-loaded hit by pitch and walk to Andrews Cruz and Brayan Altuve helped set the tone while another Ballesteros hit kept the line moving. DSL also received RBIs from Cristian More and Anderson Suriel to open a 6-0 lead.

It took six innings for the Tigers to push across a run but used a wild pitch and an Abelaldo Lopez sacrifice fly to pull within 6-2. Add in a Jensy De Leon seventh-inning single and Abel Bastidas groundout in the eighth, and the Tigers were within 6-4, which is what the final score would end up.

Not only was Ballesteros responsible for two of the team's five hits, but he also drove in two runs as he continues to lead his team. More, Cruz and Wilmer Bolivar rounded out the hits for DSL as they didn't need a ton of hits to cash in.

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