Mervis continues to rake this season (Photo via Iowa Cubs)
Mervis continues to rake this season (Photo via Iowa Cubs)

Cubs Minor League News: Mervis raking, Palencia dominant, Chavers homers, more


by - Senior Writer -

Sunday was rough for the Cubs minor league system, as Monday will be used as a reset. Not only did the MLB team get shutout by the Marlins 3-0, but losses can be contagious, as the minor league system posted an 0-4 record. That was the first winless night in a long time, especially when you have three teams fighting for playoff positioning.

TOLEDO MUD HENS 10 - IOWA CUBS 6

It was a rough go of things for Iowa, who fell behind 8-0 after just two innings. Credit them for battling back as they outscored the Mud Hens 6-2 the rest of the way, but still lost by a 10-6 score. Hayden Wesneski had a day to forget as his Cubs debut went terribly.

Not only did he fail to make it out of the second inning, but he was charged with eight earned runs as he was saddled with the loss. Apart from that, the Cubs pitching was outstanding, including Jeremiah Estrada, who made his Iowa debut with a scoreless outing out of the pen.

Wesneski fell behind the eight ball early, allowing four runs in the first inning. Down 1-0 after a sacrifice fly, Brendon Davis doubled that lead with an RBI single before the John Valente double made things 4-0. One inning later, the same issue as Toledo continued to hammer the new Cubs right-hander.

Unlike the first inning, where it was a series of hits that got the offense rolling, Kerry Carpenter needed just one swing as his Grand Slam took the 4-0 lead and made things 8-0. Facing a massive deficit at this point, the Cubs pen did their job to keep the Toledo offense quiet as they managed to score just two more times, with both those runs coming off the Josh Lester eighth-inning homer to make things 10-0.

It may have taken the Cubs eight innings to score, but their offense got rolling in a big way as all six of their runs came in the bottom of the eighth. Trent Giambrone started the scoring binge with an RBI double, followed by a Levi Jordan single and Narcisco Crook single to make things 10-3. Later in that inning, Matt Mervis delivered the big swing as his three-run shot brought the Cubs within 10-6 before falling by that score.

Mervis led the offense with two hits and three RBIs, with Crook joining in with two hits.

ROCKET CITY TRASH PANDAS 4 - TENNESSEE SMOKIES 3

A promising start to the week ended with missed opportunities as the Smokies dropped their series finale to Rocket City 4-3. Despite the loss, they remain in first place, but they could have separated themselves a little for the division lead.

Jordan Wicks continues to show that AA can be just as easy as High-A. The left-hander gave the Smokies four shutout innings on the mound as he walked two and struck out seven. He handed things off to Max Bain, who struggled before Peyton Remy took the loss in the eighth.

Not only was Wicks on top of his game, but the Tennessee offense gave him some early run support with Yonathan Perlaza going deep in the first inning for the 1-0 lead and adding the Jake Washer single in the second to make things 2-0. That score would hold until the fifth inning when Rocket City decided to play long ball off Bain.

Jose Gomez struck first to put the Trash Pandas on the board before Livan Soto added a solo shot to tie things up. One inning later saw Torii Hunter Jr put Rocket City in front 3-2 as his ground-rule double stunned the Smokies. Looking to rally late, Perlaza was aided by an error that brought home the tying run, but the Trash Pandas laughed last as Hunter Jr took a bases-loaded walk in the bottom of the eighth, which proved to be the winning run.

The Smokies had just five hits in the game, with Luis Vazquez leading the way with two. Perlaza, Washer, and Andy Weber picked up the remaining hits.

FORT WAYNE TIN CAPS 7 - SOUTH BEND CUBS 5 (F/8)

Despite holding a comfortable lead in their division, South Bend has not played well in recent weeks. That continued against the Tin Caps this week as a five-run inning, and mother nature aided to a 7-5 rain-shortened loss.

Daniel Palencia was on the mound for the Cubs and, despite going just three innings, was great. Palencia didn't allow a hit and struck out seven of a possible nine hitters in his outing.

Following Palencia's strong outing, Fort Wayne took the lead in the fourth off a sacrifice fly, only to have Pablo Aliendo rip an RBI single in the fifth to tie things up.

Trailing again after Oliver Basabe picked up an RBI single in the fifth, South Bend took their first and only lead in the top of the sixth when Jordan Nwogu connected for an RBI double that put the Cubs in front 3-2. Things went completely south for the Cubs in the bottom of the sixth as RBI singles from Lucas Dunn and Joshua Mears started a five-run inning as Augustin Ruiz delivered the massive bases-loaded double to cap off the scoring with Fort Wayne leading 7-3.

The Cubs did a great job of battling back, with Aliendo adding a solo shot in the seventh and an error leading to another run in the eighth to pull the Cubs within 7-5. That would be as close as they could get as mother nature forced the game to be called in the eighth, with the Cubs falling 7-5.

LYNCHBURG HILLCATS 3 - MYRTLE BEACH PELICANS 2

It has been long since the Pelicans could say they lost a series. Well, that happened on Sunday as the Hillcats picked up a rare 3-2 win for the 4-2 series win. Chase Watkins got his first start in a long time, and despite allowing just one run in 3 2/3, he took the loss. Command was an issue all day as the right-hander walked five men compared to just four strikeouts.

The lone run he allowed came in the first inning when Dayan Frias connected for the solo shot to put the Hillcats in front for good 1-0. That score would hold until the fifth, when Lynchburg doubled their lead courtesy of the Richard Paz RBI single.

After being held scoreless through four, Myrtle Beach finally got on the board in the bottom half of the fifth when Parker Chavers went deep for the first time this season to make things 2-1.

Frias put his team in front in the first inning, and he delivered the game-winning RBI in the seventh off a sacrifice fly as Lynchburg held a 3-1 lead.

Looking to battle back late, James Triantos pulled the Pelicans to within 3-2 with an eighth-inning sacrifice fly before Myrtle Beach had a chance to tie things up in the ninth. It was in that inning when Chavers came through with a two-out triple, only to be left stranded at third to end the game. Chavers led the way with two of the team's four hits as Kevin Alcantara and Moises Ballesteros had the remaining two.

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