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Cubs Minor League News: Madrigal raking, Caissie homers, Gallardo with 11 Ks, more
David Banks - USA Today Sports

Cubs Minor League News: Madrigal raking, Caissie homers, Gallardo with 11 Ks, more


by - Senior Writer -

This week may go down as one of the better weeks in the Cubs system, as all four teams took care of business. Sure, some teams struggled, but several teams had one of their best showings of the season this week, which bodes well for the rest of the way.

Overall, the Cubs closed out this week of competition with a good 3-2 record and will now enter the end of May, Early June riding some confidence. Hopefully, that confidence translates into wins as even more Minor League action will be on the horizon.

IOWA CUBS 14 - NASHVILLE SOUNDS 9

After their pitching set the tone for the past few days, the Cubs' offense got back to work on Sunday as they massacred the Sounds' pitching. A lot of the Cubs' damage came late in the game, which was good after what transpired in the sixth inning.

Following another strong start from Caleb Kilian, who gave the Cubs five innings of three-run ball, Keegan Thompson was called on to pitch the sixth and hoped for a better showing this time out. Instead, Thompson struggled to allow four runs in less than an inning as his ERA ballooned to 54.00. Apart from that, the Cub's bullpen was ok, as the offense did what they needed to do late.

Most of the damage off of Kilian came in the early innings, with Luke Voit picking up an RBI single in the first and Eddy Alvarez adding a sacrifice fly in the second to put the Sounds up 2-0. Once the third inning arrived, the Cubs were putting together their first of three massive innings, with Darius Hill putting them on the board with a single. Following a sacrifice fly by Jared Young that tied the game, Nelson Velazquez came through with an RBI single to put Iowa in front 4-2.

Another RBI single from Nick Madrigal in the fifth had the Cubs in front 5-2 before taking a 5-3 lead into the sixth when Thompson entered the game. As mentioned, Thompson couldn't even make it out of that inning as Voit and Cam Devanney picked up RBI hits while Luis Urias and Michael Reed added RBI groundouts to push four runs across and put the Sounds back in front 7-5.

Their lead didn't last long, with the Cubs responding for four more runs in the top half of the seventh. Once again, an RBI single from Hill got things started before the Velazquez RBI tied things up 7-7.

Jake Slaughter delivered the decisive blow in that inning as his RBI double not only put the Cubs in front 9-7 but gave them the lead for good.

The very next inning saw the Cubs add to their lead by pushing across four more runs. Yonathan Perlaza started things off with a double, while a wild pitch made things 11-8. Throw in a Madrigal triple and a Young double, and the Cubs were up 13-8, with Perlaza adding a homer in the eighth to finish them off 14-9.

Hill led the way with four hits and raised his average to .303. Velazquez led the team with three RBIs.

BIRMINGHAM BARONS 9 - TENNESSEE SMOKIES 5

Led by a trio of multi-run innings, the Barons took the series finale over Tennessee and knocked them off 9-5. Walker Powell was on the mound and struggled to get the job done, as he allowed four runs in four innings. That makes things extremely difficult when your opposing pitcher, Tommy Sommers, only allows two runs in five innings while also striking out seven.

Despite the Smokies grabbing a 1-0 lead in the first off of Owen Caissie's 10th homer, the Barons battled back in the second as all four runs surrendered by Powell came in this frame.

Luis Mieses tied things up with a solo shot while Moises Castillo gave the Barons the 2-1 lead. Later in the inning, it was Jose Rodriguez busting things open as his two-run single gave the Barons a 4-1 lead.

After Nelson Maldonado pulled the Smokies within 4-2 with a second-inning RBI double, both offenses went quiet until the Barons offense came to life in the later innings. Over the sixth and seventh innings, Birmingham essentially put the game away as they scored five times off the Smokies pen to take a 9-2 lead.

Tennessee wouldn't go away quietly and began to make things interesting in the bottom of the eighth, with Caleb Knight connecting for a solo shot paired with two bases-loaded walks to make things 9-5.

The Smokies would lose by that score as they couldn't generate enough offense to come back late.

DAYTON DRAGONS 2 - SOUTH BEND CUBS 1

The Cub's dreadful week mercifully ended with the Dragons knocking them off 2-1. That makes five straight losses after taking the series opener, as the Cub's offense was nowhere to be found all week. Richard Gallardo deserved much better than his fate on Sunday.

The right-hander gave the Cubs five innings of one-run, three-hit ball and struck out a career-high 11 batters as the Dragons had no answers for him.

Unfortunately for South Bend, Thomas Farr was just as good as he got through 5 2/3 innings and allowed just one unearned run while the bullpen silenced the Cubs late.

Hayden James provided all the offense the Dragons would need as he connected for a solo shot in the second and then delivered the game-winning fielder's choice in the seventh. Scott McKeon delivered the only run of the game for South Bend, using a sixth-inning single to pick up the run.

MYRTLE BEACH PELICANS 2 - FAYETTEVILLE WOOD PECKERS 0

It is amazing what happens when you get great starting pitching which the Pelicans are right now. Nick Hull struggled with his command but gave the Birds 3 2/3 innings of scoreless ball before a trio of relievers followed suit.

The only run the Pelicans would need came in the third inning when Reivaj Garcia delivered the game-winning single to make things 1-0.

Jefferson Encarnacion added a huge insurance run in the fifth inning with an RBI groundout, but the pitching took care of the rest and led the Pelicans to a game-one win.

MYRTLE BEACH PELICANS 3 - FAYETTEVILLE WOOD PECKERS 1

This could come down as a season-changing week for the Birds as they capped off a doubleheader sweep to move to a season-high five games above .500. Not only that, but they completed the six-game sweep of the Woodpeckers and are riding high right now.

Once again, the pitching helped set the tone as Brody McCullough continued to work his magic. He got through five innings to qualify for the win and allowed just one hit with eight strikeouts, as his ERA sits at 2.36.

Regarding the Pelicans offense, it took four innings for them to get going, with Yeison Santana putting them in front for good with an RBI triple to make things 1-0.

The Pelicans continued to build on that lead in the fifth when Andy Gariola delivered the game-winning single to make things 2-0, while the Rafael Morel ground out put the birds up 3-0. The lone run of the day for Fayetteville came off of Koen Moreno in the sixth as Ricardo Balogh picked up an RBI groundout in the 3-1 Pelicans win.

The sweep moves the Pelicans into second place and puts them within three games of the division-leading Columbia Fireflies.

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