MINORS NEWS

Cubs Minor League News: Davis raking, Slaughter crushes homer, Arias impressive, more
Davis is still a promising prospect for the Cubs (Photo courtesy: I-Cubs)

Cubs Minor League News: Davis raking, Slaughter crushes homer, Arias impressive, more


by - Senior Writer -

Friday was a very busy night on the diamond. The Cubs Minor Affiliations saw all five teams hit the diamond, with six total games to be played. Throw in a pair of Chicago-based Independent League teams, and eight games took place, as this is the peak of the baseball season.

The end result was a very positive showing.

The Cubs posted a 4-1 Minor League record, with one game getting suspended while also going 1-1 in the Independent Leagues. That is all you can ask for, as their system would love to pick up more wins.

IOWA CUBS 11 - COLUMBUS CLIPPERS 9

This has been a strange series between these two, and that continued with the Cubs outslugging the Clippers 11-9. What stood out the most about this game is that the two teams combined for more runs than hits, which is telling. Cade Horton was back on the mound, and you could make a case that this was one of the worst starts of his young career.

Horton labored through three innings and was tagged for six earned runs, as his AAA journey hasn't looked great so far. Horton was bitten by a pair of homers as Juan Brito opened the scoring with a two-run shot while Jhonkensy Noel touched him up for a grand slam.

Homers were also a massive part of the Cubs game, with Jake Slaughter connecting for a three-run shot in the second inning, which followed a Brennen Davis two-run single that put the Cubs in front 5-2 before falling behind 6-5 on that grand slam.

Iowa responded from that grand slam with a Curt Casali double to tie things up, while an RBI groundout and the Alexander Canario double made things 8-6.

Davis capped off the Cubs' offense with a three-run shot later in the game, putting the Cubs in front 11-6, but the Cubs' pitching held off the Clippers late.

Sam McWilliams dominated in his two innings with four strikeouts, while Edwin Escobar and Luke Little also had scoreless outings.

TENNESSEE SMOKIES 3 - CHATTANOOGA LOOKOUTS 2

Mother Nature hasn't been too kind for the Smokies this week, as this was the second doubleheader they had been a part of. Unlike the first one, where they were swept away, the Smokies turned the tables and took games one and two for the sweep.

In game one, the Smokies relied on Brody McCullough, who made his season debut with AA and dominated the mound. McCullough gave the Smokies four innings of one-run ball, walking one and striking out seven. Michael Arias took over from there, with the recently demoted Cam Sanders closing things out.

McCullough fell behind early as Mat Nelson connected for a solo shot to put the Lookouts up 1-0 in the second. It was a lead that didn't last long as Matt Shaw tied things up with an RBI triple in the third before coming home on a Kevin Alcantara grounder to take the lead. The Smokies maintained that lead until the fifth when Tyler Callihan doubled home the tying run.

One inning later, James Triantos capped off the scoring with his RBI single, making things 3-2, which was the final score. Triantos and Shaw led the offense with two hits as Shaw finally seems to be coming back around.

TENNESSEE SMOKIES 5 - CHATTANOOGA LOOKOUTS 1

Looking for the sweep in game two, the Smokies again received strong starting pitching while the offense took care of the rest. Recently signed Kyle McGowin was immediately inserted and looked great as he lasted 4 1/3, striking out eight and allowing one run.

He took a no-decision as the early sacrifice fly from Callihan was holding up as the lone run until the fifth inning. At that time, the Smokies offense came to life in a big way, scoring four times as Jordan Nwogu tied things up with a single. The big blow came from Moises Ballesteros, whose double-loaded bases made things 4-1. Hayden Cantrelle closed out the scoring with an RBI double in the seventh as the Smokies picked up two big wins.

SOUTH BEND CUBS 7 - CEDAR RAPIDS KERNELS 6

You never want to play from behind, as a pair of three-run innings saw the Cubs behind big early. Then came a furious rally that saw South Bend end the game with six unanswered runs, including four in the seventh to pick up the win. Drew Gray continues to take his bumps this season as he was charged with three runs (2ER) in four innings while also picking up five strikeouts.

All of the damage off him came in the fourth inning when Misael Urbina connected for a two-run shot to make things 2-0, while a sacrifice fly pushed the lead to 3-0. Following a fourth inning Yohendrick Pinango homer to make things 3-1, the Cedar Rapids offense erupted for three more runs. Danny De Andrade drove in two with a double before an error led to the final run.

That would be it offensively for the Kernels, as the South Bend offense was about to go to work against the Kernels pen. That all started with a pair of RBI singles from Rafael Morel and Jefferson Rojas in the fifth to pull the Cubs within 6-3. Then came the seventh when the Cubs offense stormed in front. That all started with a Rojas single while an Ethan Hearn sacrifice fly made things 6-5.

Following an error that allowed the tying run to score, Brian Kalmer cashed in with arguably his biggest hit of the season as his double put the Cubs in front 7-6 before winning by that score. Following Gray's start, Luis Devers came on in relief and struck out three in three innings.

Rojas paced the offense with three hits and two RBIs, with Morel and Pinango adding two hits.

AUGUSTA GREENJACKETS 2 - MYRTLE BEACH PELICANS 0 (Suspended)

The only game not to go final came in Myrtle Beach, where the Pelicans and Greenjackets made it to the second inning. The Jacob Godman second-inning single provided both runs, as this game will resume on Saturday with this same score.

ACL GUARDIANS 9 - ACL CUBS 3

It took the Cubs four games to lose their first, as a five-run third inning did them in. Jaxson Wiggins was on the mound, and although he didn't get through two innings, his velocity was great, and he showed the potential the Cubs were banking on when they drafted him last season.

Wiggins was bitten by a Yanki Baptiste homer in the second that put the Guardians in front 1-0, but the third inning put the game away. A wild pitch and a ground led to two runs, with the other three coming off RBI singles from Luis Merejo and Jeffrey Mercedes to put the Guardians in front 6-0.

That lead would eventually grow to 7-0 before the Cubs cashed in on a wild pitch to make it 7-1. Trailing 9-1 in the sixth, Anderson Suriel continued his hot start to the season as he closed out the scoring with a two-run double as the Cubs fell 9-3. Yahil Melendez was the only Cub seeing the ball well, as he had three hits in the game.

INDEPENDENT LEAGUES

TRI-COUNTY VALLEYCATS 11 - WINDY CITY THUNDERBOLTS 7

Although the Indy Leagues are not affiliated with Minor Leagues, they are run under the guidance of the MLB and MILB. With that comes two Chicago-based teams as the Thunderbolts fell to 1-1 on the season. Joe Johnson opened the scoring for Windy City with a two-run shot in the third to pull the Thunderbolts to within 3-2.

That was as close as they would get as Tri-County opened up a 7-2 lead before a fifth-inning double from Ethan Lopez, followed by the Christian Kuzemka grounder, made it 7-4. Alejandro Lara kept the line moving with a fifth-inning single to cut the deficit to 7-5, only to have the Valleycats respond with four runs in the eighth. Oscar Campos delivered the big blow with a two-run single, as the other two were gift runs. Windy City tried to keep things close in the eighth as the Cam Phelts RBI fielders choice led to two runs, but the Thunderbolts still fell 11-7.

CHICAGO DOGS 3 - GARY SOUTHSHORE RAILCATS 0

The Dogs couldn't have asked for a better start to their season as they shut out the Railcats 3-0. Jason Builos was on the mound for Chicago, giving the Dogs six scoreless innings and allowing three hits. He walked one and struck out nine as the offense took care of the rest.

The only offense the Dogs would need came in the bottom of the first when former Chicago Cub Narcisco Crook delivered the sacrifice fly. It was a score that held until the fourth when Pavin Parks connected for an RBI double to make things 4-0. Chicago closed out the scoring in the bottom of the eighth when Jacob Teter delivered an RBI single for the Dogs opening day win.

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