Cubs Minor League News: PCA raking, Caissie homers, Franklin impressive, more

Cubs Minor League News: PCA raking, Caissie homers, Franklin impressive, more

by - Senior Writer -

Typically, Monday would mean the start of a new Minor League baseball week while also serving as the universal off day for all affiliations. However, this was no ordinary Monday as the Tennessee Smokies and Chatanooga Lookouts took the field for some Memorial Day action leaving Tuesday as their off day this week.

Another thing that stands out about his game is that from now until the middle of September, there will be no more minor league off days as the Rookie League teams get set to take the field next week. That means today's game served as the appetizer for what is to come as the Smokies dominated the Lookouts 10-1 for the win.

The more Kohl Franklin gets used to AA, the better he gets as he continues to put on a show for Tennessee. The hard-throwing right-hander was very good during his five innings on Monday, as he allowed just one hit while striking out five. He handed things over to a quartet of relievers who allowed one unearned run in four innings while striking out eight.

Not only did Franklin set the tone for the Smokies on the mound, but the offense made life a whole lot easier, as their relentless offense made things difficult for Christian Roa and the rest of the Lookouts staff. It only took the Smokies one inning to take the lead as BJ Murray Jr looked to cap off his fantastic month of May in style and used a two-RBI double to put the Smokies in front for good 2-0.

Considering how good Franklin was on the mound, those two runs would have been enough, but the Smokies kept the mindset of needing more offense to get the job done. They added to their lead in the third with a solo shot from Owen Caissie before busting the game wide open with a three-run fourth.

Unlike most innings where the Smokies would need to string a few hits together to drive in multiple runs, it was one swing by Pete Crow-Armstrong that did the damage as his bases-clearing RBI double put the Smokies up 6-0 in the fourth and had them in cruise control the rest of the way.

The lone run of the game for Chatanooga came in the sixth, ironically the first inning where Franklin was not on the mound. With Luke Little continuing to pitch well, the Lookouts benefitted from a costly error in the field that allowed a run to score and pulled the Lookouts within 6-1. Not only would that be as close as they would get, but the Smokies offense was about to heat up again as it became the Chase Strumpf show later in the game.

Not only did Strumpf connect for a bases-loaded RBI double in the sixth to push the lead to 9-1, but he added a sacrifice fly in the eighth to cap off the scoring with the Smokies taking game one from their in-state rivals 10-1.

Murray Jr continues to do his thing at the plate as he led the offense with three hits while driving in two. Andy Weber and Crow-Armstrong picked up multi-hit games, with Armstrong adding three RBIs. Strumpf only had one hit, but he made it count and led the team with four RBIs in the win.

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