Cubs Minor League News: Kilian tops 100 MPH, Murray and Alcantara homer, McGeary raking
Kilian struck out two batters in a rehab stint (Joe Camporeale - USA Today Sports)

Cubs Minor League News: Kilian tops 100 MPH, Murray and Alcantara homer, McGeary raking

by - Senior Writer -

What looked like another busy night on the diamond turned a bit lighter as both DSL teams were rained out on Tuesday. Still, there were five other affiliated games to watch and some Independent League baseball being played in the Chicago area. Once again, the results weren't great, with the Cubs affiliation going 2-3 while the Independent teams went 0-3.


It didn't come easy, but the Cubs did manage to take down the Omaha Storm Chasers in a tight 4-3 contest. At long last, right-hander Dan Straily picked up his first win since returning to the organization when he gave the Cubs five innings of shutout baseball. He allowed just one hit, walked three, and struck out a season-high eight while the offense took care of the rest for him.

Pitching was nearly as good as Jeff Hoffman, who also went five innings and struck out eight, but did allow two runs, which was too big of a deficit to overcome. BJ Murray Jr. got the scoring started in the second inning off an RBI double before the Bryce Windham grounder extended the lead to 2-0. That would be their only offense until the sixth inning when Matt Mervis left the building to make things 3-0.

With just one swing of the bat off Edwin Escobar, this was a one-run game as Nick Pratto took him deep for his 11th bomb of the season as the Storm Chasers were mounting a rally. Despite some command issues from Daniel Palencia and Michael Arias in the later innings, they managed to keep the Storm Chasers bats in check, while the Murray Jr homer in the ninth was the winning run in a 4-3 Cubs win.

Murray Jr paced the offense with two hits and two RBIs as the Cubs came away with seven hits in the game. Although he did allow a John Rave homer in the ninth, Hunter Bigge locked things down again, as his ERA is sitting at 0.84 in AAA.


If the Smokies want to overtake the Birmingham Barons and even win the second half, they need to win the games they should win, and the Lookouts are some of those games. Backed by an offensive attack that continued to be relentless and another strong Antonio Santos start, the Smokies took care of business 7-2.

It took Santos a little while to settle in as he allowed two early runs off a Jose Torres second-inning homer, but after that, he was lights out as he gave the Smokies 5 2/3 innings of two-run ball, striking out seven and lowering his ERA to 2.84. Trailing 2-0 after that homer, the Smokies were going up against one of the league's worst starters in Thomas Farr, who came into the game with a 1-9 mark.

Farr allowed a Felix Stevens sacrifice fly in the second to put the Smokies on the board before a Haydn McGeary double-tied things up in the third.

McGeary would come around to score later in that inning off a balk as the Smokies took a 3-2 and never looked back. McGeary has been one of the team's best hitters over the past 10 games, and that continued in the fifth as he added an RBI single to his night.

That single followed an RBI single from Kevin Alcantara as the Smokies were now in front 5-1.

Hoping to start hitting for more power during the second half of the season, Alcantara ended a long homerless drought with his sixth bomb of the season in the seventh before a Christian Franklin RBI grounder ended the scoring for the Smokies in a 7-2 win.

Alcantara and McGeary paced the offense with two hits and two RBIs. Stevens and William Simoneit joined them as they also had two hits.


Things have gone south in a hurry for the Cubs' offense. They have scored a total of three runs in their last five games. That isn't going to win you a ton of games, as they dropped another game to the Chiefs on Tuesday, 7-0. Despite allowing three runs (2ER) in 4 1/3 innings, Nick Dean still pitched well enough to win as the right-hander dropped his first game of the season and still has an ERA of 2.84.

Those runs came off a first-inning sacrifice fly that put the Chiefs in front for good, while the two-run double off the bat of Miguel Villarroel was the knockout blow in the third to put the Chiefs in front 3-0. That would be all the offense they would need, as Darlin Saladin was lights out. Despite making 13 starts this season, Saladin has only come away with two decisions, as he is now 2-0 with a microscopic 0.77 ERA. He did allow seven hits in 6 2/3, but he struck out eight as the Cubs couldn't capitalize on their chances.

Still holding their 3-0 lead in the fifth, the Chiefs added to that lead with another sacrifice fly before breaking things open with a three-run seventh inning. A bases-loaded hit by pitch led to one of those runs, as did a fielder's choice, with Leonardo Bernai coming away with the lone RBI knock in that inning with a single. All those runs were charged to Caleb Kilian, who was making his first appearance since he injured his shoulder in the spring as the Cubs fell 7-0.

Pedro Ramirez has cooled off a bit in recent weeks, but with two hits in the game, he led the Cubs offense. South Bend also picked up two hits from Ethan Hearn but none of those hits did any damage in the Cubs loss.


Not only are the South Bend Cubs struggling to score runs, but so are the Pelicans as they were shut out for a second straight day 6-0. Yenrri Rojas was the tough luck loser in this one as he opened the game by retiring the first nine he faced before going six innings for the Birds.

Rojas struck out two but allowed five hits and one earned run, as the other two runs off of him were unearned. However, with Drew Dowd pitching seven innings of three-hit ball and striking out seven, Rojas's effort went to waste, as the Pelicans' offense couldn't get anything going.

This was a scoreless game until the fifth, when the Bryan Broecker sacrifice fly, mixed with an error, led to the game's first two runs and a 2-0 Riverdogs lead. Enderson Delgado followed that up with an RBI single in the sixth, as Charleston opened up a 3-0 lead. They would eventually double their lead in the eighth by pushing across three more runs, as the Adrian Santana single was followed by another sacrifice fly.

There was also a steal of home on a throwing error mixed in during that inning, as this has been a long last few days for the Birds. The Pelicans were held to four hits in the game, as Reggie Preciado was responsible for three of those from the leadoff spot. Cristian Hernandez had the only other hit for the Pelicans.


It has been a while since the ACL Cubs have won a game, as wins have been tough to come by. That continued on Tuesday, as the Cubs spotted the Royals three first-inning runs and five runs in the first few innings before falling 9-5. After Yahil Melendez opened the scoring for the Cubs with a first-inning RBI double, Ramon Ramirez flipped the score with one swing, and his three-run shot put the Royals in front for good, 3-1 after one.

The Cubs did their best to keep things close with an Eriandys Ramon double, making things 3-2 in the fourth, only to see Roni Cabrerra drive home two with the Royals' second homer of the night. The Cubs finally got in on the homer party with an Albert Gutierrez homer in the sixth to pull the Cubs within 5-3, but the four-run eighth inning by the Royals put the game away as they took a 9-3 lead late.

A wild pitch mixed with an error led to two runs in the eighth, with an Ivan Sosa double bringing home the other two. The Cubs did manage to pick up two runs of their own late off a wild pitch, and the Jose Escobar sacrifice fly, but it wasn't enough in a 9-5 loss.




Narcisco Crook had two RBIs for the Dogs in the loss, with Brantley Bell and Nick Dalesandro adding two hits to lead the team. John Baker got the start as he allowed three runs in four innings to take the loss.


The Canaries capped off a doubleheader sweep of the Dogs on Tuesday by shutting them out in game two. Former Cubs farmhand Liam Spence connected for his second homer of the season. It's good to see him back in pro ball after being released earlier this year.

Crook and Jacob Teter also continued to hit the ball well, but Zach Pettigrew led the Dogs offense with two hits in the loss. Neil Lang got the win for the Canaries, going the distance and striking out five. Aiden Kidd took the loss as he walked six in just 1 1/3.


It was a rough night for the Chicago Area Independent ball teams, who went 0-3. That included a loss by Windy City to the Crushers. A four-run fourth got their offense rolling before they added five runs late.

Michael Barker took the ball for Windy City and lasted six innings. He allowed four runs (3ER) and struck out six before the bullpen got lit up late. Barker was backed by an offense that gave him four runs of support early as the Henry Kusiak first inning sacrifice fly opened the scoring before the Joe Johnson single doubled the lead. The Thunderbolts added a run off a second-inning error before the JJ Figueroa double put them on top 4-0 in the third.

However, the four-run fourth from Lake Erie tied things up before their offense went on a late-game binge. Ron Washington delivered the big blow in the fourth with a three-run bomb while a wild pitch tied things up. Washington added an RBI double as part of the Crushers' three-run seventh as Lake Erie took a 7-4 lead. They pushed their lead out to 9-4 in the eighth before Windy City delivered a ninth-inning run off an Emmanuel Sanchez single for the 9-5 loss.

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