Cubs Minor League News: Strumpf stays hot, Triantos raking, Vazquez and Rojas homers, more
Strumph had two hits including a homer (Photo courtesy: I-Cubs)

Cubs Minor League News: Strumpf stays hot, Triantos raking, Vazquez and Rojas homers, more


by - Senior Writer -

This was an extremely difficult week regarding wins and losses, and that continued to be the case on Saturday. With the team posting a 1-4 record overall with one postponement, the Cubs will now enjoy an extra day off as they try to regain the momentum they had.

IOWA CUBS 6 - OMAHA STORM CHASERS 5

Once again, things didn't come easy, but the lone win for the Cubs and their system came in AAA Iowa. Trey Supak wasn't as sharp as he has been, but with six innings of three-run, four-hit ball, he continues to pitch well as his ERA sits at 2.74 since joining AAA.

Supak was backed by a pair of first-inning runs as Chase Strumpf took Anthony Veneziano deep for the early 2-0 lead.

Apart from that, Veneziano was excellent as he went pitch for pitch with Supak. Home runs were the name of the game early for both sides, with Brian O'Keefe and Luis Vazquez connecting for solo shots in the second and fourth innings and Nick Pratto tying things up with a two-run shot in the sixth.

In what was turning into another back-and-forth affair, the Cubs retook the lead for good in the seventh off a pair of RBI singles from Jake Hager and Bryce Windham to put the Cubs back in front by two 5-3. The long ball continued to be the only source of offense for Omaha, with Pratto adding his second homer in the eighth and CJ Alexander adding one in the ninth. Still, it wasn't quite enough as the Cole Roederer single in the eighth brought home the winning run in the Cubs 6-5 win.

Strumpf and Roederer had the hot hand with two hits as Strumpf has suddenly gotten. On a side note, hard-throwing Hunter Bigge is heading to the majors as he has been called up ahead of Sunday's game.

CHATTANOOGA LOOKOUTS 4 - TENNESSEE SMOKIES 3

Looking to complete a six-game sweep of the Lookouts on Saturday, the Smokies offense stalled out as a three-run inning was all the Lookouts would need to grab the win. Alex Troop got the start and lasted just 3 2/3 as he wasn't as sharp as he has been. He gave way to a quartet of relievers who no-hit the Lookouts in the final 4 1/3 innings.

With Troop struggling to get guys out, Kevin Abel took it upon himself to deliver for the Lookouts as he overcame some command issues to finish with three runs allowed in 6 1/3. It took three innings for either team to cash in, with the James Triantos double making things 1-0 in the third. In the fourth, the Lookouts put the game away as they scored four times over the next two innings with three runs coming in the fourth.

Nicholas Northcut did the heavy lifting with a two-run shot to put the Lookouts in front for good, while the Miguel Hernandez single gave the Lookouts a 3-1 advantage. Chattanooga tacked on another in the bottom half of the fifth off an error as Tennessee found themselves in a rare 4-1 hole.

Still trailing by that score in the seventh, the Smokies offense started to show signs of life as the Josh Rivera single cut the deficit to 4-2. Triantos added to that with his second RBI double of the night to make things 4-3, but the Smokies would fall by that score.

Triantos and Rivera were responsible for four of the team's six hits, as Triantos is hitting .308 for the season.

PEORIA CHIEFS 5 - SOUTH BEND CUBS 2

A rough series ended with another sour note for the Cubs, who fell to the Chiefs 5-2. The difference in the game was a three-run first inning from Peoria that set the tone, as their pitching took care of the rest. Drew Gray continues to struggle with his command and after allowing three runs in one inning you have to wonder if a mental reset is needed.

Gray didn't give his team much of a chance to win, and with Pete Hansen going six innings and striking out eight runs, the Cubs were going to have trouble. Most of the Chiefs' damage came on one swing, and it came after Gray put some runners on base with walks. Leonardo Bernai saw a rare strike from Gray in the first and promptly hit it over the fence for a three-run shot to put the Chiefs in front 3-0.

That would be all the offense they would need as the Cubs' offense has continued to be an issue the past few weeks. Rafael Morel did manage to get one of those runs back with a solo shot in the third, but with the Chiefs responding with a Chris Rotonodo single in the third and a sacrifice fly in the fourth, the Cubs were down 5-1 and searching for answers offensively.

Those answers came in the form of home runs, with Jefferson Rojas going deep later in the game.

However, with both homers coming as solo shots, the Cubs' offense was once again held in check in a 5-2 loss. Rojas has gone through some struggles lately, but with two hits in this one, he led the way for the Cubs.

CHARLESTON RIVERDOGS 11 - MYRTLE BEACH PELICANS 10 (F/10)

When things aren't going your way, everything is magnified far more quickly than normal. With the Pelicans trying to avoid a six-game sweep at the hands of the Riverdogs, their offense finally started to show signs of life as they pushed across 10 runs at the plate.

That offensive outburst was more than they have scored all week, as runs have been at a premium for this team. Even with their effort, the pitching struggled to get the job done. The Riverdogs managed to battle back late before walking the Pelicans off 11-10, extending their losing streak to eight straight games.

After a rough first inning from JP Wheat, the Pelicans did settle in for a bit, only to have the back end of the pen get lit up. The same can be said about Santiago Suarez, who allowed three first-innings runs, and three second-innings runs before not allowing another run the rest of his start. Trailing 3-0 after the bases-loaded double from Raudelis Martinez in the first, the Pelicans battled back as they scored three times in the second to tie things up.

Drew Bowser and Christian Olivo played a part in that with RBI singles, while the Alexis Hernandez grounder brought things back to even 3-3. Not to be outdone, the Riverdogs answered in the bottom of the second, with Adrian Santana singling home a pair to retake the lead 5-3. That was only the beginning for the Riverdogs as that score remained intact until they added four runs in the sixth, anchored by the Enderson Delgado double to take a 9-3 lead.

It was at this point when the Pelicans finally showed the life they were lacking all weeks as the Pelicans offense had another big inning up their sleeve. Backed by a two-run Cristian Hernandez double to make things 9-5, the Pelicans scored four runs in the top half of the seventh as they pulled within 9-7. Then came the eighth inning when Alfonsin Rosario kept the comeback bid alive as his two-run double tied things up 9-9 and helped send the game into extras.

In the extra frame, the Pelicans struck first as a wild pitch gave them their first lead of the night at 10-9 and had them within three outs of picking up a huge win. Unfortunately, the Riverdogs would have the last laugh as Delgado tied things up with a single before Ricardo Gonzalez cashed in with a game-winning walk-off single to give the Riverdogs an 11-10 win.

Jacob Wetzel had a good night at the plate and was one of three players to record two hits. He was joined by Frank Hernandez and Alexis Hernandez, with Rosario leading the way with three RBIs.

DSL CUBS RED vs DSL BREWERS (Postponed)

DSL DODGERS 11 - DSL CUBS BLUE 0

KANE COUNTY COUGARS 7 - CHICAGO DOGS 3

One night after a massive offensive explosion, the Dogs bats were much quieter as they fell to Kane County 7-3. Most of the Cougars damage came on their four-run first inning as the three-run blast from Jonah Davis broke things wide open.

It took the Dogs four innings to get on the board, but once they did, the runs kept coming, and all three of their runs scored in that fourth inning. Zion Pettigrew started things off with a double before Nick Novak and Gus Sosa added RBI singles to make things 4-3. That was as close as the Dogs would get as the Cougars ended the game with three more unanswered runs, with two coming in the fifth before adding a late run to win 7-3.

WASHINGTON WILD THINGS 7 - WINDY CITY THUNDERBOLTS 3

Like many of the Cubs system, wins have been hard to come by for Windy City as they have already dropped their weekend series with Washington. Trailing 3-0 after three innings, the Thunderbolts began to mount a comeback with an error leading to a pair of runs in the sixth to make things 3-2.

Unfortunately for them, that is as close as they would get as the Wild Things responded with four runs in the bottom of the seventh to break things open, three of them coming on a bases-loaded double from Carson Clowers to extend the lead to 7-2. Windy City managed to grab another run late on the Armando Albert single, but it wasn't enough, as they fell 7-3.

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