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Cubs Minor League News: Thompson struggling, Horton with 8 Ks, Vazquez raking, more
Gregory Fisher - USA Today Sports

Cubs Minor League News: Thompson struggling, Horton with 8 Ks, Vazquez raking, more


by - Senior Writer -

Unlike Tuesday, where the wins came a plenty, Wednesday was the exact opposite as the Cubs limped to a 1-3 finish on the evening. Two of the three losses were at least competitive, as their pitching kept them in most of the games, but one game was over almost as quickly as it began.

NASHVILLE SOUNDS 13 - IOWA CUBS 2

Wednesday was a night to forget for the Cubs in more ways than one, as this was one of their worst performances of the season. Not only did you have Riley Thompson make his first start in over a month and allow four runs in 1 2/3 innings, but you also had Keegan Thompson and Cam Sanders allow four runs in their appearances which make for tough sledding.

Keggan Thompson had the worst possible line in his first AAA appearance of the season as he didn't even give the Cubs an inning of work and was charged with four runs as he walked three and struck out none.

That was enough for the Sounds, as Pedro Fernandez was excellent on the mound. Across his six innings, Fernandez allowed two runs on eight hits while striking out three. His ERA fell to 2.97 as this game was over before it started. All four runs off of Riley Thompson came in the first inning, with Patrick Dorrian connecting for a three-run shot and Andruw Monasterio using a solo shot to make things 4-0.

Given the offensive struggles for Iowa, that would be all the offense they would need, although Iowa did chip away at things the next two frames.

David Bote put Iowa on the board with an RBI double in the second, while Jake Slaughter made things 4-2 in the third with his solo shot.

That would be as close as the Cubs would get as Nashville was set to push across four runs for the second time in the game. This time, those runs came off of Keegan Thompson, with Jon Singleton using a solo shot to drive in the fifth run before a bases-loaded walk made things 6-2. Throw in two RBI groundouts, and it was an 8-2 game after three before pushing the lead to 9-2 in the fourth.

Nashville capped off their scoring with their third four-run frame of the night in the seventh, as a wild pitch from Sanders aided in the first of those runs. That was followed by the Cam Devanney single and Singleton double as the Sounds made things look easy in a 13-2 win.

Slaughter led the way offensively with two hits as the Cubs had eight hits in the loss.

BIRMINGHAM BARONS 3 - TENNESSEE SMOKIES 1

Although the Smokies suffered a loss, they did get great pitching across the board, which is all you can ask for. Kohl Franklin was the tough-luck loser on this night despite one of his better showings on the season. Franklin gave the Smokies 5 2/3 innings of two-run, five-hit ball with three strikeouts.

Usually, an outing like that would be good enough to win, but when your counterpart Chase Solesky allows one run in five innings, you have to roll with the punches. The Smokies opened up the scoring in the bottom of the first as BJ Murray Jr smoked an RBI double to make things 1-0.

Given his body of work this month, Murray Jr. has put himself in a position to be the team's Minor League Player of the Month.

Unfortunately, that would be all the offense for the Smokies in this one, as things were a struggle afterward.

Xavier Fernandez tied things up in the second with a solo shot off of Franklin as Birmingham would end the game with three-unanswered runs. It took six innings for the Barons to grab the lead, but they never looked back once they did.

Alexander Womack was credited with the game-winning hit as his single in the sixth put the Barons up 2-1. Yoelqui Cespedes capped off the scoring with a seventh-inning solo shot as the Barons took care of the Smokies 3-1.

Tennessee had six hits in the game, with Luis Vazquez leading the way with two.

DAYTON DRAGONS 4 - SOUTH BEND CUBS 1

All eyes were on the South Bend Cubs on Wednesday as nearly 7000 people packed Four Winds Field to watch Cade Horton make his home debut. His first outing didn't go as planned, but that tends to happen when you jump from Low-A to High-A.

His second start was miles better than his first, even if he did take the loss. Horton gave the Cubs four strong innings of two runs and four-hit ball, but most importantly, he didn't walk a batter and struck out a career-high eight.

Had this been most games, Horton would have won his start, but the Dragons used five arms to hold the Cubs to five hits while striking out nine.

Both of the runs Horton allowed came in the second inning as he gifted them their first run with a wild pitch. Later in the inning, Michael Trautwein came through with an RBI single to make things 2-0. That score would hold until the sixth inning when Matheu Nelson took Jarod Wright deep for a two-run shot and pushed the Dragons lead to 4-0.

As expected, the Cubs would not go down without a fight and saw Ezequiel Pagan use an RBI single to put South Bend on the board as they trailed 4-1. The Cubs had a chance to make things interesting in the eighth when they put a pair of runners on base to lead things off, only to come away empty in a tough-luck loss.

MYRTLE BEACH PELICANS 6 - FAYETTEVILLE WOOD PECKERS 5 (F/10)

Although it looked like the Cubs system was set to go winless on Wednesday, it was the Pelicans who saved the day as they rallied late to earn an extra-inning win. Michael Arias got the start, and despite lasting just three innings, he tossed three shutout innings as he has now given the Birds two consecutive great starts.

Opposing him was Jose Guedez, who was about as good if not better than Arias. Guedez got through 4 2/3 innings, holding the Pelicans to just one run before the Fayetteville bullpen imploded late. It didn't take long for Myrtle Beach to grab the lead, with Moises Ballesteros doubling home a run in the first to make things 1-0.

That would be for their offense for quite a while, as it was the Wood Peckers' turn to get the bats going in the fourth.

Jackson Loftin delivered the big hit in that fourth inning as his RBI single pushed across a pair of runs to put the Wood Peckers in front 2-1 while a wild pitch extended the lead to 3-1. After Rafael Morel pulled the Pelicans within 3-2 with an RBI single, Myrtle Beach still trailed entering the seventh before they used their big inning to grab the lead.

Juan Mora started that inning with a sacrifice fly to pull the Pelicans within 4-3, while Andy Gariola tied things up with an RBI double. Gariola would come home later in the inning on the Felix Stevens double as Myrtle Beach now had a 5-4 lead. Their lead didn't last long, with Sandro Gaston using an RBI double in the bottom of the seventh to make things 5-5, which was the score after the ninth with extra baseball set to begin.

In the extra frame, the Pelicans picked up the game's final run as a Miguel Pabon double play brought Cristian Hernandez home as the winning run in a hard-fought 6-5 victory.

Myrtle Beach had 10 hits in the win, with Gariola, Stevens, and Reivaj Garcia all having multi-hit performances.

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