Cubs Minor League News: PCA crushes homer after being thrown out, Canario homers, more
Photo courtesy: Iowa Cubs

Cubs Minor League News: PCA crushes homer after being thrown out, Canario homers, more

by - Senior Writer -

It's another day and another strong showing for the Chicago Cubs Minor League system. That makes two winning efforts across the board in two days. The Cubs are starting to put things together this week after struggling to win games consistently for a month.

Once again, several strong pitching performances led the way, including a Major League Rehab Assignment. The offense was also on fire in two of the wins, as the Cubs system has shown a balanced attack the past two nights.


It was all Iowa on Friday night as they scored early before pouring it on late to shut out the Indians. Jordan Wicks took the ball for his first of what should be a few rehab starts as he went two innings and struck out three. He was relieved by Chris Clarke and his four shutout innings before Daniel Palencia and Riley Thompson finished things off.

Most of the Cubs' early offense came from players who have contributed at the MLB level. An RBI fielders choice and the David Bote sacrifice fly put the Cubs on top 2-0 in the first.

Darius Hill would add a sacrifice fly in the third, with Pete Crow-Armstrong unloading for another homer in the fourth to make things 4-0.

The Cubs' offense started to take off in the sixth inning, scoring three times and five more times in the seventh. Crow-Armstrong played a massive role in that, going a perfect 4-4 at the plate with four RBIs as he added to his game with an RBI double in the sixth. That was followed by a BJ Murray single and a Matt Mervis double as the Cubs opened up the 7-0 lead.

One inning later saw the Cubs offense at it once again, with Bryce Windham using a double to push the lead to 8-0 and PCA answered with his second RBI double to make this a 10-0 game. Like PCA, Alexander Canario has been on fire since returning to AAA, as he closed out scoring with another long homer when the Cubs rolled 12-0.


It only took two runs, but the Tennessee Smokies managed to pick up another win as they held off the Blue Wahoos 2-1. Connor Noland was on the bump for the Smokies and went five shutout innings, allowing just one hit. His ERA is now sitting at 3.40 for the season as he continues to be the stopper this team needs.

Noland gave way to a trio of relievers, including Frank Scalzo Jr, who picked up his sixth save and still has not allowed a run. While Noland was impressive, Evan Fitterer was equally as good, as he went six innings and allowed only two runs. Both runs came in the third inning as a pair of RBI doubles from Kevin Alcantara and Luis Verdugo provided the Smokies with all the runs they would need.

Pensacola needed seven innings to get on the scoreboard as the Cody Morisette ground rule double ended the shutout and pulled the Blue Wahoos within 2-1 before falling by that score. Alcantara had his best game of the season, going a perfect 4-4 at the plate with the RBI.


Don't look now, but the Cubs are starting to play some very good baseball, and it has come at the expense of the first-place Timber Rattlers. Backed by a strong pitching performance and a five-run third inning, the Cubs took care of business again 6-1.

Gray hasn't been great this season, but he has found a way to limit the damage more often than not. He gave the Cubs four innings with three strikeouts and allowed the lone run. From there, the Cubs bullpen took over, including Sam Armstrong and his four scoreless frames as he struck out three to lower his ERA to 1.83.

Most of the Cubs offense came in the third when they pushed across five of their six runs. Jefferson Rojas opened the scoring with a two-run double while the Felix Stevens single extended the lead to 3-0. Jonathon Long capped off the massive frame with a two-run blast, as it was all Cubs 5-0 at this point.

The main offensive threat for the Rattlers in this series is Jadher Areinamo, who continued with an RBI single in the fifth to pick up the Rattlers lone RBI. Pedro Ramirez would close out the scoring with an RBI single in the seventh as the Cubs picked up their third win of the week. Ramirez led the Cubs with two hits as he was joined by Rojas.


The lone loss among the full-season teams came in Low-A, where the Mudcats made quick work of the Pelicans. Ty Johnson got roughed up in his 2 2/3 innings, allowing six runs. He walked one and struck out five as he did have his moments on the mound. Giving up that many runs isn't a great situation to put your team in, especially when Josh Knoth only allowed two runs through seven innings with seven Ks.

Ironically, the Pelicans came out strong. Cristian Hernandez opened the scoring with an RBI triple in the first, while the Christopher Paciolla homer gave the Pelicans a 2-1 lead in the second.

It was in the third inning that everything began to change, as the Mudcats scored 10 times the next three innings, including six times in the third.

A bases-loaded hit by pitch tied things up while the David Garcia single put the Mudcats in front for good. Luis Castillo capped off the six-run third with a two-run blast as the Mudcats opened up a 7-2 lead. After Yophery Rodriguez extended the lead to 8-2 with a single in the fourth, Blayberg Diaz made it 10-2 in the fifth with a double before a sacrifice fly put the Pelicans in an 11-2 hole.

Trailing 12-2 in the ninth, Myrtle Beach, at the very least, ended the game with some momentum as an Alfonsin Rosario double and Ismael Mena single brought home the final two runs.

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