Wick had a tough outing on Friday
Wick had a tough outing on Friday

Cubs Minor League News: Wicks has tough outing, Gallardo impressive, PCA perfect, more


by - Senior Writer -

INDIANAPOLIS INDIANS 6 - IOWA CUBS 2

The Cubs continue to play .500 ball in AAA, at least over the last few weeks, as they fell to the Indians 6-2 on Saturday. Matt Swarmer took the loss as he battled through some command issues to go three innings, but allowed four runs. His ERA is still. 2.89 for the season, but he has struggled since his return to Iowa.

After Swarmer, the Cubs went through four bullpen arms, but Manny Rodriguez had the best outing picking up three strikeouts in his inning of work. Most of the damage off Swarmer came in the third inning when the Indians broke a scoreless tie with three runs. Ji-Hwan Bae connected for a two-run triple to give Indianapolis the lead before the Jack Suwinski sacrifice fly made things 3-0.

Bote of the Iowa runs came in the fifth inning as the Cubs started to battle back. David Bote started things with an RBI groundout, but the Alfonso Rivas RBI single made things 3-2. That was as close as things would get as the Indians responded for a pair of runs in the bottom of the fifth while Cal Mitchell picked up an RBI single in the sixth for the game's final run. Six players had a hit for the Cubs, with Rivas, Bote, Darius Hill, Narcisco Crook, and Matt Mervis among those guys.

BIRMINGHAM BARONS 14 - TENNESSEE SMOKIES 3

The magnitude of the Smokies win on Friday can't be overlooked, but the Barons went out and sent a message on Saturday, scoring nine times in the first two innings and ending the game with nine unanswered runs. Jordan Wicks had a rough go of things as the left-hander allowed five earned runs in just one inning of work.

That was only the beginning of a long night as Bailey Horn was the only pitcher who didn't allow a run in his outing. Tennessee took an early lead when Andy Weber picked up the bases-loaded walk in the first for the 1-0 lead. That was very short-lived, with the Barons responding for five runs in the first, and they didn't look back.

Two of those runs came on a bases-loaded walk and hit by pitch, while the RBI single by DJ Burt mixed with an error made things 5-1. The Smokies tried to keep things close in the second, with Jake Slaughter picking up an RBI triple to make things 5-2, but four more runs from Birmingham buried the Smokies at that point as Jose Rodriguez and Raudy Read connected for homers to help push the lead to 9-2.

Things only got worse from there as Moises Castillo connected for the three-run shot in the fourth while the Ian Dawkins single in the fifth made things 13-2. The Smokies capped off their scoring with a Zach Davis single in the sixth, but that would be it in an ugly 14-3 loss. Davis and Slaughter led the Tennessee offense with two hits while four others had a hit.

SOUTH BEND CUBS 4 - BELOIT SKY CARP 3

Four straight wins, and just like that, the Cubs have a four-game lead in the division as they walked off the Sky Carp 4-3 on Saturday. Richard Gallardo is slowly starting to adjust to High-A pitching and put together his best start since arriving. He allowed one run in five innings before the bullpen took over.

Gallardo allowed his only run in the second inning when the Jan Mercado RBI single put Beloit in front 1-0. South Bend responded in the third with the Pete Crow-Armstrong single to tie things up, while BJ Murray Jr connected for a go-ahead homer in the fourth to make things 2-1.

Leading by that 2-1 score in the seventh, Riley Martin allowed the go-ahead run as he served up a two-run shot to Tevin Mitchell to make things 3-2 in favor of Beloit. Fortunately for the Cubs, not only did Fabian Pertuz tie things up with a double in the seventh, but Luis Verdugo cashed in with a walk-off single in the ninth to lift the Cubs to a 4-3 win.

Crow-Armstrong had a massive night at the plate, going 4-4 to bring his average to .275.

Verdugo and Yeison Santana added a pair of hits for South Bend.

DOWN EAST WOOD DUCKS 6 - MYRTLE BEACH PELICANS 5

Despite a much better showing on Saturday, which included a three-run inning, second-half wins continue to be a struggle for this team as they fell again 6-5. Grant Kipp made his second start for the Pelicans and gave them four innings of four-run (three earned) baseball to go with a career-high six strikeouts.

Ironically, all the runs scored off of him came in the first inning as he was excellent from that point on. Yosy Galan picked up an RBI double that put the Wood Ducks in front 2-0 ahead of the Marcus Smith double to extend the lead to 3-0. Down East added another run with a wild pitch as the Pelicans were down 4-0 early.

Myrtle Beach would not let that rough first inning discourage them as they chipped away at the lead in the second inning. Juan More put the Pelicans on the board with a two-run double before the Liam Spence single made things 4-3. That was just the beginning as Kevin Alcantara brought things back to even in the fourth using a sacrifice fly to make things 4-4 and got Kipp off the hook.

That score would hold until the seventh, when the Wood Ducks took the lead on a wild pitch only to see James Triantos tie things up in the eighth with an RBI single. Unfortunately, that would be the last run for the Pelicans as the Wood Ducks used a bases-loaded walk by Miguel Villarroel in the eighth to pick up the 6-5 win. Triantos led the way with two hits joining Moises Ballesteros.

While the full-season leagues struggled, the rookie leagues are down to their final three games, with the ACL Cubs taking care of the ACL Athletics 3-1. Kenyi Valdez gave the Cubs three scoreless frames on the mound, while 2022 10th-round pick Brody McCullough picked up the win with three strikeouts in two scoreless frames of work.

All three of the Cubs came in the second inning when an error put the Cubs on the board while the Miguel Pabon sacrifice fly doubled the lead ahead of the Reggie Preciado single to make things 3-0. The long run for the Athletics came in the sixth inning off a wild pitch, but that was it in the Cubs 3-1 win.

Rookie League

In the DSL League, you had the Cubs split a pair of games, with DSL Red picking up the 9-4 win over the Pirates and DSL Blue falling to the Pirates 2-1. All three of these teams have two games left as their season is coming to a close.

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