Cubs Minor League News: Stevens homers, McGeary stays hot, Garcia with five hits, more

Cubs Minor League News: Stevens homers, McGeary stays hot, Garcia with five hits, more

by - Senior Writer -

At some point, you have to think the Cubs' luck will change, as this week hasn't been too kind. Not only have the Chicago Cubs struggled to win games, but so has their Minor League System, and that just isn't a great feeling to have.

After going 2-6 on Monday and then 2-4 on Tuesday, the Cubs were hoping their fortunes would change on Wednesday on what was Fourth of July eve. Granted, there were plenty of fireworks inside the ballpark, but there wasn't much to get excited about again as the Cubs went 1-3 on the night for another losing mark.


With expected trades at the deadline, Iowa will be the team to watch, as several of their players may see time in the MLB this season. Who those players are remains to be seen, as the Cubs fell to the Storm Chasers 7-3. Chris Clarke made his first start in a while and gave the Cubs two innings before Riley Thompson took over.

Those two combined to allow six of the seven runs on the evening, which was more than enough support for Jonathan Bowlan, who improved to 7-4 on the season after striking out six and allowing two runs in six innings. It seems like every day, new players get an opportunity and instantly contribute, which happened again here with Jake Hager going deep in the second to put the Cubs up 2-0.

It was a short-lived lead as Cam Devanney took over from there. Not only did he connect for an RBI double to make things 2-1 in the second, but in his next at-bat, he took Thompson deep for a three-run shot as Omaha was in front 4-2 after four. They extended their lead to 5-2 on a Nick Pratto homer in the fifth before watching Austin Nola add another solo shot and an RBI single late to take a 7-2 lead.

The Cubs did manage to push another run across in the ninth off a Caleb Knight double to make things 7-3, but that was all they could do as they fell by that score. Hager led the Cubs with two hits and two RBIs as Luis Vazquez and his two hits joined him.


The lone win of the night came in AA as the Smokies picked up an 8-6 win. It's not how you start a game, but how you finish it as the Smokies erased an early deficit by scoring seven runs late to pick up the win. Matt Thompson was on the mound for the Smokies as he continued his strong season.

Thompson was sometimes dominant with eight strikeouts in five innings, but he also gave up three runs. Thompson was backed by a Haydn McGeary RBI single in the first to open the scoring, as he has been the hottest hitter in the Southern League the past two weeks.

The Smokies held that lead until the third when a Bubba Thompson single tied things up only to have Ivan Johnson double home a pair to put the Lookouts in front 3-1.

That lead held until the fifth when McGeary came through again with an RBI single to tie things back up before he came in to score on a passed ball to put the Smokies on top 4-3.

Once again, the Smokies lead didn't last long as Nicholas Northcut immediately tied things up with a homer in the sixth while Miguel Hernandez added an RBI single to give them the lead. You also had Johnson add a solo shot in the seventh for the Lookouts final run as they held a 6-4 lead late.

All it took for the Smokies to emerge victorious was one big inning, but in particular one big swing from Felix Stevens who crushed a three-run shot as part of the Smokies four-run seventh inning to put them back in front 7-6.

Stevens is starting to come on after struggling his first few weeks in AA as James Triantos capped off the scoring with a sacrifice fly.

Stevens was one of four players with multiple hits, joining McGeary, Christian Franklin, and Kevin Alcantara. McGeary and Stevens also provided most of the damage, combining for six of the seven RBIs in the win.


No one likes to lose, as the Cubs have now lost six straight, but it was nice to see the offense show some signs of life last night, even if Tyler Schlaffer and the pitching weren't good. The only pitcher who had a good night was Marino Santy, who took over for Schlaffer after he allowed eight runs and gave up just one run in 3 2/3 for his best High-A outing yet.

His effort only goes down as a moral victory as Hancel Rincon was backed by plenty of offense as he earned the win after going 5 2/3 and allowing three runs. Two innings into the game the Cubs found themselves already down 3-0 as Darlin Moquete opened the scoring with a two-run shot in the first before tacking on a sacrifice fly late.

It was in the fourth inning when they broke the game wide open as they scored six times in that inning to make this a 9-0 game with all those runs coming off Schlaffer. Zach Levenson opened the scoring in that inning with a solo blast before a pair of RBI singles from Joshua Baez and Brody Moore extended the lead to 6-0. There was a sacrifice fly mixed into that inning, with Levenson coming through with a two-run single to cap off the massive inning.

David Avitia got the Cubs on the board with an RBI groundout in the bottom of the first, but with William Sullivan homering in the fifth, the Chiefs still led 10-1. Over the next two innings, the Cubs mounted a furious comeback, scoring five times in the sixth and seventh innings to pull within 10-6. Reivaj Garcia had a pair of RBI singles in those innings, and Avitia also grabbed a single.

That was as close as the Cubs would get as Peoria tacked on an RBI single in the eighth before watching Sullivan hit his second homer in the night to win 13-6. Garcia had a great day at the plate as he went a perfect 5-5 with three RBIs.

Jonathon Long added three hits for the Cubs, and Brian Kalmer and Jefferson Rojas adding two.


Although the Pelicans didn't get shut out, they have scored just one run in their last three games, which isn't going to get them through. This time, Luis Rujano took the loss, allowing four runs in 3 1/3 innings. After that, it was all about Nico Zeglin, who is starting to become a pitcher to watch.

Zeglin did more than enough to keep things close as he tossed 3 2/3 scoreless innings, striking out nine out of a possible 11. However, his effort was too little too late as the Riverdogs picked up another win. It took only one inning for the Riverdogs to get the scoring started as Narcisco Polanco opened the scoring with a solo blast before Angel Mateo delivered the game-winning hit with a double.

That score held until the fourth inning, when Ricardo Gonzalez doubled the Riverdogs' lead to put them in front 4-0. Myrtle Beach did manage to get on the board in the bottom of the fourth off the Carter Trice grounder, but that was all for their offense in a 4-1 loss.

Christian Olivo led the way with three hits for the Pelicans with Andy Garriola adding two.


After having their five-game winning streak come to an end on Tuesday, the Dogs got back to their winning ways with a 6-2 win on Wednesday. Brooks Gosswein not only won but also did so going the distance, as he struck out four and walked five in a complete game win.

He took on Tanner Brown, who was very good through 5 2/3, but a four-run seventh inning pushed the Dogs to the win. Jacob Teter opened the scoring in the first as the American Association RBI leader delivered a single to make things 1-0. That was the game's only run until the sixth when Nick Novak made this a 2-0 game with his RBI single.

Then came the seventh when the Dogs bats came to life to score four times and opened up a 6-0 lead. Narcisco Crook opened the scoring in that inning with a sacrifice fly, while Teter tacked on an RBI double to make this a 4-0 game. Johnny Turbo capped off the scoring with a two-run bomb as the Dogs were up big. Both of the Canaries' runs came in the ninth, but it was too late for them as the Dogs picked up the win.


This week hasn't gotten off to a great start for Windy City, as they dropped their second straight game to Lake Erie 6-0. Kevin Pindel got the start for the Bolts and didn't pitch poorly, going 6 1/3 innings and allowing two runs. The problem was an offense that couldn't get anything going, as Darrien Ragens improved to 5-0 on the season with six shutout innings.

Ragens was backed by a Vincent Byrd Jr. homer in the fourth, which was the only run of the game until the seventh. That is when the Crushers' bats exploded. They scored five times in the seventh, with a bases-loaded walk getting the scoring started ahead of the Ron Washington Grand Slam to close out the 6-0 win. Windy City was held to three hits, as Cam Phelts, Christian Kuzemka, and Kingston Liniak had the hits.

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