Cubs Minor League News: Velazquez raking, Brown impressive, Triantos homers again, more
Kamil Krzaczynski - USA Today Sports

Cubs Minor League News: Velazquez raking, Brown impressive, Triantos homers again, more

by - Senior Writer -

You have to love Minor League Baseball, don't you? Especially with the Chicago Cubs struggling and virtually every one of the Cubs affiliates posting a .500 record or better right now, the action across the Cubs system has been exciting, which bodes well for the team's future.

One day after coming away with a perfect 6-0 record, the Cubs saw all four affiliates back on the diamond as they looked to close out another week of competition on a high note. Instead, the results were not great as the offense struggled across the board, which led to an 0-4 record to end the week.


Despite what this score says, this game was much closer than that, as the Indians used a three-run eighth inning to pull away. Ben Brown is the tough luck loser in this one, as he struck out six in four innings and allowed one run on two hits. He had the most success for the Cubs staff on Sunday, along with Codi Heuer, who tossed a scoreless frame.

Their efforts didn't seem to matter as Quinn Priester set the tone with five scoreless innings of five-hit ball as the Cubs offense struggled throughout. The lone run off of Brown came in the second inning on a bases-loaded walk. The Cubs challenged the strike call on the play, but it was upheld, which put the Cubs behind for good.

The Indians added to their lead in the fifth when Vinny Nittoli surrendered Canaan Smith-Njigba's double to make things 2-0. That score held until the eighth when the Cubs clawed a bit closer using a wild pitch to pull within 2-1. That was it in terms of their offense as the Indians put the game away with three runs in the bottom of the eighth as Malcolm Nunez connected for the three-run shot. Despite one run, the Cubs did outhit the Indians as Nelson Velazquez led the way with three hits.

Yonathan Perlaza and Jared Young also added multi-hit games.


Even though the losses piled up on Sunday, it was great to have excellent pitching across the board. Porter Hodge was another one who gave a great effort but was given a limited amount of support. Through his 4 1/3, Hodge allowed two runs as he walked two and struck out seven. He yielded to Luke Little, who gave up a rare run with Hunter Bigge and Carlos Guzman tossing three scoreless frames.

On the flip side, MD Johnson gave the Blue Wahoos his second strong start of the series as he allowed the only run in four innings to go with five strikeouts. That run came in the first when Cole Roederer put the Smokies in front 1-0 with an RBI single. However, that lead didn't last long, as Pensacola tied things up in the bottom of the first on a Dane Myers triple.

With the score still tied in the fifth, the Blue Wahoos went with a patient approach to take the lead for good. A bases-loaded walk to Victor Mesa Jr was the winning run, while a bases-loaded hit by pitch made things 3-1 as that was the final score.

Bradlee Beesley led the way for the Smokies with three hits, while Roederer added two with the RBI. BJ Murray Jr also saw his on-base streak end at 28 consecutive games.


or the most part, the Cubs had a good week against Beloit, but it didn't end the way they wanted. Like most games, most of the Beloit damage came late, as they scored three times in the eighth to pull away. That took away another great effort from Brandon Birdsell, who continues to pitch well.

Although he only lasted four innings and gave up two runs, he struck out six as his ERA is 1.26 this season. Once he left, the bullpen struggled while the offense was handcuffed by Zach King, who tossed six scoreless frames. Beloit wasted no time grabbing the lead as Kahlil Watson homered in the first to make things 1-0, and the Sky Carp never looked back.

A Kyler Castillo sacrifice fly in the fourth made things 2-0, with Joe Mack pushing the lead to 3-0 with an RBI single in the sixth. It may have taken the Cubs seven innings to crack the Sky Carp pitching staff, but they did a great job battling back. Scott McKeon had a great series this week and used an RBI single to put the Cubs on the board in the seventh.

Speaking of players who had a great week, James Triantos has come into his own since returning from the IL and added his second homer of the season in the eighth to put the Cubs within 3-2.

That was as close as things would get as the Sky Carp benefitted from a pair of wild pitches and a Mack double in the eighth to push across three runs and pull away for the 6-2 win. Triantos led the way with two hits and an RBI as he was joined by Ezequiel Pagan and his two hits.


Given how the week started, the Pelicans have to be fortunate to win three games this week, but they still lost the series 4-3. Sunday was all about the pitching, which was something the Pelicans dominated with on Saturday.

Brody McCullough has been the most consistent starter in the rotation all season, which is why his ERA is 2.76. Sunday saw McCullough continue his outstanding season by striking out eight in 4 2/3 and allowing one run. The problem was a lack of offense by the Pelicans as McCullough suffered his first loss of the season.

Credit the Greenjackets pitching staff for that one, as five pitchers combined to allow one run on seven hits with nine strikeouts. That includes four scoreless frames from their starter, 17-year-old Didier Fuentes. The lone run off of McCullough came in his final inning of work when Dawson Dimon used a sacrifice fly to put the Greenjackets up 1-0. They never looked back and added to their lead later.

Still holding that 1-0 lead in the seventh, it was Augusta cashing in on the bird's pen with EJ Exposito using a sacrifice fly to double the lead and Dimon coming through with an RBI single to push things to 3-0. For Dimon, it was his second RBI of the night in what was a great week of games. It took the Pelicans seven innings to crack the scoreboard as they were gifted a run via a wild pitch. Apart from that, they couldn't get much of anything going and fell 3-1.

Jefferson Encarnacion had a great game from the bottom of the lineup as he led the Pelicans with three hits. You also had Reivaj Garcia pick up two hits from the leadoff spot, as they were responsible for five of the team's seven hits.

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