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Cubs Minor League News: Mervis mashing, Horton impressive, Pels game suspended, more
Photo courtesy: Iowa Cubs

Cubs Minor League News: Mervis mashing, Horton impressive, Pels game suspended, more


by - Senior Writer -

It has been a while since the Cubs Minor League system ended a day with a winning record, but that is what was accomplished on Sunday, as the Cubs posted a 4-0 record to end the week. That, at the very least, brought some positive vibes to an organization that saw its MLB team go 2-2 against the Miami Marlins. Hopefully, this is something to build on and a sign for things to come.

IOWA CUBS 11 - LOUISVILLE BATS 3

The start that Tommy Pannone has put together hasn't gone unnoticed as the left-hander improved to 3-0 on the season. After allowing three runs in five innings and striking out six, his ERA sits at 2.92 this season as the Iowa offense backed him with plenty of early runs.

Matt Mervis opened the scoring with his team-leading fifth homer in the first inning, but it was the third inning when Iowa put the pedal to the medal and broke the game open with an eight-run inning.

Jake Slaughter opened that big inning with a two-run homer, while the Owen Caissie double made things 4-0.

A BJ Murray Jr single made things 5-0, with a Darius Hill double stretching the lead to 7-0.

Throw in a wild pitch and another Ali Sanchez double, and Iowa opened up a 9-0 lead and never looked back. All three Louisville runs came in the fourth, with Austin Wynns ending the shutout with an RBI single. Hernan Perez closed out a massive series for him with a two-run double to pull Louisville within 9-3.

They wouldn't get any closer as the Cubs plated two more runs later in the game, with one coming off an error and the other on a Pete Crow-Armstrong single to close out the 11-3 win.

Iowa had 11 hits in the game, with Mervis, Murray Jr, and Sanchez all having multi-hit efforts.

TENNESSEE SMOKIES 4 - MONTGOMERY BISCUITS 1

It was another day and another dominating performance from Cade Horton, who continues to be a must-watch TV. The top pitching prospect in the Cubs system has picked up right where he left off in 2023 and has a 1.59 ERA so far this season. Although he only went 3 1/3 innings, Horton allowed one run on three hits, which is all you can ask for from him.

Horton set the tone for an impressive pitching performance by the Smokies as Blake Weiman and the rest of the pen tossed 5 2/3 scoreless frames with no walks and seven strikeouts. Any time you can give Horton an early lead, you have to like your chances, as the Smokies took a 2-0 lead in the first. The first run came home on a balk while Moises Ballesteros added an RBI single to make things 2-0.

Montgomery responded with a rare homer off Horton in the fourth as Dominic Keegan made things 2-1. That would be all the Biscuits could muster against the Smokies pitching staff as the Josh Rivera single and a wild pitch closed out the scoring in the Smokies 4-1 win.

Cole Roederer led the offense with two of the team's seven hits.

SOUTH BEND CUBS 8 - BELOIT SKY CARP 6 (F/10)

It took nearly a month into the season, but Beloit finally lost a home game. While it didn't come easy and needed to go to extras, the Cubs got the job done with an 8-6 win in 10. While the pitching may not have been the best from the bullpen, Tyler Schlaffer delivered a good outing, although it was only 3 2/3 innings. He allowed one run on three hits, one walk, and five strikeouts before the bullpen nearly let it get away.

Early offense wasn't an issue for the Cubs, as six of their eight runs came in the second inning. An RBI groundout from Reivaj Garcia led to the first run with an error, making things 2-0. A Brennen Davis single extended the lead to 3-0, with the Yohendrick Pinango triple making things 5-0. Brian Kalmer closed out the scoring with an RBI groundout, as it was all Cubs early on, 6-0.

It was all Beloit from there as they got on the board with a fourth-inning double from Torin Montgomery, while the Carlos Santiago homer and Johnny Olmsted doubled the Sky Carp within 6-3 in the sixth. Still trailing by three in the ninth, Beloit had one last rally in them, and it came against Yovanny Cabrera. What started with the Josh Zamora single to make things 6-4 turned into a 6-6 tie as the Jorge Caballero double tied things up and forced extras.

Typically, this was a game the Cubs would let get away, but they found a way to stay strong and battle back as the Kalmer double put the Cubs in front for good, with Parker Chavers capping off the scoring with an RBI single to lift the Cubs 8-6.

KANNAPOLIS CANNONBALLERS vs MYRTLE BEACH PELICANS (Postponed)

Although their second game was postponed, the Pelicans completed their suspended game from Saturday and won 4-3 in 12 innings.

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