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Cubs Minor League News: Madrigal on fire, Perlaza raking, Noland pitches gem, more

Cubs Minor League News: Madrigal on fire, Perlaza raking, Noland pitches gem, more


by - Senior Writer -

All I do is win, win, win, no matter what. That was the mindset the Cubs had last night, as their Minor League system had a very strong showing last night. Despite one game getting suspended, which we will get to in a minute, three games remained on the docket, and all three games were decided by one run.

That is all you can ask for as a baseball fan, as the games were fun, exciting, and, most importantly, action-packed. All that put together saw the Cubs post a 3-0 mark, but I'm going to go on a limb and say they finish 4-0 when you look at the situation of the suspended game once that resumes Friday.

IOWA CUBS 8 - COLUMBUS CLIPPERS 8 (Suspended in the 10th)

When did you last have two suspended games in the same week? That is what Iowa is dealing with right now as they saw their game with the Clippers get suspended in the bottom of the 10th after some strong pop-up showers and storms rolled through.

Before the suspension, you had a game that started slowly, with half of the runs coming in the final two frames. Nick Niedert was on the mound for Iowa, and after a scoreless first three frames, he started to get hit and allowed three runs in five innings. Niedert was backed by a Jake Slaughter double in the first and a bloop single from Miguel Amaya in the third that brought home a pair as the Cubs held a 3-0 lead early.

Still scoreless entering the fifth, you could see Niedert starting to tire, and Columbus made sure to make him pay for his fatigue. Raynel Delgado got Columbus on the board for the first time with an RBI double, while Richie Palacious pulled the Clippers to within 3-2 with a groundout. Later in the frame, it was Brayan Rocchio tying things up as his RBI single brought things to 3-3, and Niedert was done after that inning lifted for Anthony Kay.

Kay has been struggling during his recent outings, but after a pair of scoreless frames in this one, he put himself and Iowa in a position to win as the scorching-hot Nick Madrigal put the Cubs back in front with a sixth-inning RBI triple.

Madrigal wasn't quite done as he added a game-tying RBI double in the bottom of the eighth to bring the game to 5-5 after Columbus took the lead with a single earlier in the frame.

It was the ninth inning when the excitement started to happen as Manny Rodriguez was called on to pitch that inning. Rodriguez has been mostly good this season, but he didn't have one of his better showings on Thursday, and the Clippers capitalized. Doubles from Bo Naylor and Oscar Gonzalez brought home two runs, while a single from Jhonkensy Noel had Iowa trailing 8-5 with three outs to go.

Down to their final three outs, Amaya and Chase Strumpf kept the Cub's hopes alive as they worked walks to begin the frame, only to have a pair of strikeouts put the Cubs in a desperate situation. Darius Hill continued the inning for the Cubs with an infield single, only to have Yonathan Perlaza clear the bases with an RBI double to bring the game back to even 8-8 and send the game into extras.

This is where things will pick up on Friday as the Cubs have the bases loaded with one out in the bottom of the 10th.

TENNESSEE SMOKIES 5 - CHATTANOOGA LOOKOUTS 4

It wasn't easy, but the Smokies fought back and defeated the Lookouts. DJ Herz continued to go through some early season growing pains and allowed three runs in three innings before the bullpen pitched near lights out the rest of the way. Connor Phillips got the ball for Chattanooga, and despite his eight strikeouts in 4 2/3, was roughed up and allowed four runs.

Not only did the Lookouts offense strike first with the Rece Hinds RBI single in the first, but they scored in each of the first three frames to take an early 3-0 lead. Eric Yang picked up an RBI double in the second, while a wild pitch from Herz in the third allowed for the third run to score. It may have taken four innings for Tennessee to score, but once Cole Roederer left the yard to make things 3-1, it seemed to awaken the offense.

Chattanooga continued to produce in the early innings, with Allan Cerda adding an RBI single in the fifth to push the lead back to 4-1, which happened to be the final run of the night for the Lookouts. Once the bottom half of the fifth rolled around, you could see all the momentum shift the Smokies way with Haydn McGeary picking up an RBI single ahead of the two-run BJ Murray Jr double to bring things to even 4-4.

One inning later saw Andy Weber deliver the decisive blow as his solo shot was the difference in the Smokies 5-4 win. Weber was one of three players to record multiple hits joining McGeary and Roederer as the Smokies put up 10 hits as a team.

The trio of Blake Whitney, Hunter Bigge, and Riley Martin allowed one run on three hits during their six innings of work to go with nine strikeouts. Martin continued his domination at the back end, recording five strikeouts in two innings to notch his third save.

SOUTH BEND CUBS 1 - FORT WAYNE TIN CAPS 0

Given the way baseball has been geared to benefit the offense, 1-0 games are rare, but when they do happen, you appreciate them. Connor Noland got the start and continues to put together an impressive season. Although he only struck out two batters in six innings, he also allowed just four hits and lowered his ERA to 2.11. He was followed by Chase Watkins, Frank Scalzo Jr, and Eduarniel Nunez as all three of them continued to keep the Tin Caps offense in check.

Along with a strong pitching performance by South Bend, Fort Wayne had great pitching of their own, started by Adam Mazur. Practically an identical line to Noland, Mazur had one more strikeout and one fewer hit allowed in his six innings as this game remained scoreless entering the ninth. In that inning, the lone run came across as Bryce Ball delivered the game-winning RBI single to get the Cubs back in the win column.

MYRTLE BEACH PELICANS 7 - SALEM RED SOX 6 (F/10)

With things looking bleak for the Pelicans most of the game, they got their offense going in the later innings and used it to fuel a nice comeback. That was a massive victory for them after the first two games in this series didn't go as planned.

Marino Santy continues to make his starts, and although they continue to have mixed reviews, he is battling. The right Hander pitched into the fourth inning and was removed with a final line of three runs allowed on five hits. With Bradley Blalock striking out seven in four innings and allowing just one run, things were not looking good for the Pelicans, as their offense was quiet early.

For the third time in this series, it was the Red Sox striking first as Enderso Lira picked up a two-run single in the second to put the Red Sox in front 2-0. Andy Gariola cut the deficit in half in the bottom of the second with a homer, only to see Lira add a second RBI hit in his next at-bat to make things 3-1.

The Red Sox continued to build on their lead in the fifth as Ahbram Liendo added another RBi single to put the Birds in a 4-1 hole. With Blalock out of the game to begin the fifth, that was the boost the Pelicans offense needed as they came away with a three-run inning to tie things up 4-4.

Reivaj Garcia started the big inning with a sacrifice fly, but the Juan Mora sacrifice fly pulled the Cubs to within 4-3 and tied the game as a throwing error on the play allowed for a second run to score.

That score would remain the same until the bottom of the eighth inning when Felix Stevens gave the Birds their first lead of the night with a solo shot to make things 5-4.

Looking to close things out in the ninth was Johzan Oquendo, who inherited a two-on-one out situation. Oquendo didn't pitch poorly but didn't throw great, either. Luis Ravelo tied things up with an RBI single before a wild pitch put the Red Sox back in front 6-5 and had the Pelicans down to their final three outs.

Fortunately, the Pelicans have a flare for the dramatics as Moises Ballesteros delivered an RBI single in the bottom of the ninth to tie things up and helped send the game into extras. After working out of a bases-loaded jam in the top half of the 10th, Miguel Pabon played hero in the bottom half as his sacrifice fly scored the game-winning run and led the Pelicans to the 7-6 walk-off win.

Myrtle Beach had 10 hits in the win, with Ismael Mena going a perfect 4-4 from the No. 9 spot.

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