Cubs Minors Daily: Abbott impressive, Pelicans with doubleheader sweep, I-Cubs lose, more


by - Staff Writer -
Abbott has a career-high 13 strikeouts on Sunday (Photo via Iowa Cubs)
Abbott has a career-high 13 strikeouts on Sunday (Photo via Iowa Cubs)

Overall, it was an excellent day for the Cubs as they went 3-2 on the day for Minor League action. A big reason for that was the Myrtle Beach Pelicans picking up a doubleheader sweep but take away one of those two wins, and they still played .500 ball.

SAINT PAUL SAINTS 7 – IOWA CUBS 3

The Cubs couldn't be happier to see the Saints leave town as they struggled all week long. That frustration started to show today as Cory Abbott pitched his best game of the season and still fell to 1-3. After Iowa gifted him with an early 3-1 lead, Abbott gave it all right back as he allowed four runs in six innings of work. However, Abbott did strike out a career-high 13 hitters as he finally looked like his 2019 version of himself.

The Saints grabbed the early lead with a Mark Contreras double in the first inning, but the Cubs seized the advantage in the fourth. Taylor Gushue was the first to get Iowa on the board as his RBI double brought home a pair to make things 2-1.

The suddenly scoring Abiatal Avelino added to that lead with a double of his own, giving Iowa the 3-1 lead. However, that would be the last of the runs for the Cubs, however, as Saint Paul was ready to pick up another win.

After dominating through four innings, Abbott started to lose it in the sixth, with JT Riddle tying things up with a two-run shot before a Brent Rooker solo shot put the Saints on top for good 4-3. Home runs continued to be Iowa's undoing later in the game, with Ryan Jeffers connecting for a solo shot off Michael Rucker in the eighth before Riddle added his second in the ninth to seal the deal in a 7-3 Saints win.

Iowa got five hits from five different players as Andrew Romine, Dee Strange-Gordan, and Trayce Thompson, adding the other three. Jose Lobaton saw the ball well all game long, taking three of the Cubs six walks while Tony Wolters returned to the Cubs organization going 0-4 with two punchouts.

CHATTANOOGA LOOKOUTS 7 – TENNESSEE SMOKIES 6 (11 innings)

This is starting to become a broken record for the Smokies as they not only saw another extra-inning game but got walked off for the second straight day. After Erich Uelmen turned out one of his better starts of the season, the Lookouts were able to rally late off a struggling Smokies pen to eventually pick up the win.

The Smokies wasted no time getting the offense going with Tyler Payne ripping a first-inning double to go in front 2-0. Chattanooga responded with a Yoel Yanqui single in the bottom of the first to close within 2-1, as the pitching was the story early. Looking to build on their early lead, Payne extended things to 3-1 in the fifth with an RBI groundout ahead of a Christopher Morel single making things 4-1.

Brian Rey was able to close the deficit within 4-2 in the bottom of the fifth, but once again, the Smokies were not backing down, taking a 5-2 lead in the seventh. From there, it was all Chattanooga as Wilson Garcia closed the gap within 5-3 in eighth on a sacrifice fly before Michael De Leon went deep for the first time in the ninth, sending things to extras tied 5-5.

In the 10th, Morel wasted no time giving the Smokies the lead with an RBI single, only to see the Lookouts respond with the Lorenzo Cedroria single in the bottom half of the inning. One inning later, De Leon broke the Smokies hearts again as his single capped off the comeback effort to deliver the walk-off win.

The Smokies offense was a two-man show, with Morel and Payne collecting four of the teams eight hits but driving in all five runs. Grayson Byrd also added a pair of hits, with Darius Hill and Miguel Amaya credited with the final two hits on the day. The recently promoted D.J. Artis went hitless in his AA debut.

SOUTH BEND CUBS 12 – FORT WAYNE TIN CAPS 2

The lone blowout on Sunday belonged to South Bend as they hammered the Tin Caps 12-2. Right from the opening inning, you could tell it would be a long night as Max Bain and Brad Deppermann set the tone on the mound allowing the offense to go to work.

For the first time in the series, it was the Cubs who were able to score first, getting a pair of second-innings runs off a wild pitch and an error to take a 2-0 lead. That lead grew to 5-0 in the second, with Tyler Durna ripping an RBI single ahead of the Nelson Velazquez two-run shot. The lone runs of the game for Fort Wayne came in the fifth when Kelvin Alarcon singled ahead of a Jonny Homza double to close within 5-2.

South Bend put things away shortly after that ending the game with seven unanswered runs. Two of those runs came off the Durna fifth inning homer before the Chase Strumpf single made things 8-2 in the sixth. Bryce Windham connected for his first homer in the seventh to make things 9-2 before adding an RBI single one inning later. Then, Jake Slaughter got in on the fun with an eighth-inning error allowing him to reach base and brought home another run.

South Bend pounded 18 hits in the victory, with everyone in the lineup recording at least one hit. Durna had the biggest game of all, going 4-5 with three RBIs, as he was followed by Brennan Davis and his three-hit night, bringing his average up to 321. Strumpf, Windham, and Slaughter recorded two hits each in the win.

MYRTLE BEACH PELICANS 4 – SALEM RED SOX 0 (Game 1)

There have been a lot of postponements in the Cubs system so far, but this is the first doubleheader to be played. Led by the trio of Sam Thoresen, Scott Kobos, and Eduarnial Nunez, the Pelicans made quick work of the Red Sox, holding them to four hits to go with 10 combined strikeouts in a 4-0 win.

All four of the Pelicans runs came in two innings as they scored two in the third and sixth innings. The first two runs came from RBI singles from Fabian Pertuz and Flemin Bautista as they continued their strong week of play. Jordan Nwogu connected with a bang in the sixth for his first career homer, with Pertuz adding an RBI double to close out the 4-0 shutout win.

MYRTLE BEACH PELICANS 8 – SALEM RED SOX 4 (Game 2)

Don't look now, but the Pelicans are the hottest team in the Cubs system as they capped off the doubleheader sweep to move to 13-11 on the season. After Richard Gallardo delivered four strong innings, the Red Sox were able to rally off Bailey Reid tying things up 4-4 in the fifth. The Pelicans then took the momentum back in the seventh, pushing across four runs in the final inning to secure the sweep.

Just like in the first game, the Pelicans not only took an early lead but started with a bang grabbing a 3-0 lead in the second. Jacob Wetzel connected for the first RBI with a single left before Pertuz, and Bautista added RBIs again. It took 11 innings for the Red Sox to breakthrough using a Nick Yorke double and Wil Dalton groundout to close within 3-2 after four.

Yohendrick Pinango did his best to make sure the Pelicans would stay on top as his RBI double put the Pelicans back up two 4-2 in the fifth. However, with Reid now on the mound, Salem was able to tie the game with one swing of the bat, with Jaxx Groshans belting his second homer of the season to draw even 4-4 as the game dwindled to the final innings.

Down to their final at-bats before extras, the Pelicans wanted to make sure to finish this game sooner rather than later as they had some in-house issues to deal with. Matt Mervis delivered the game-winning hit as his single put the Pelicans in front 5-4. A Pablo Aliendo single extended the lead to 7-4 before Wetzel capped off the scoring with his second RBI hit, capping off an 8-4 win.

Of the 11 hits, Pinango, Mervis, and Wetzel contributed to six of them, with each player collecting two. Edmond Americaan, Bautista, Aliendo, Jonathan Sierra, and Pertuz added the remaining hits in the win. Kevin Made went 0-4 with a strikeout in the loss as Ed Howard, and Yeison Santana remain out of the lineup.

While the win was a great thing for Myrtle Beach, all wasn't great on the day. Following their sweep, the team was informed that the team hotel was overbooked, and some of them would not be able to stay at the hotel. That forced some of the team to spend the night in the locker room before traveling on Monday. It will be interesting to see how MILB handles this situation.

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