Cubs Minors Daily: Balego homers, Preciado hitting .410 on season, Hernandez makes debut


by - Staff Writer -
Cristian Hernandez made his debut with the DSL Cubs on Monday
Cristian Hernandez made his debut with the DSL Cubs on Monday

Monday is typically the day when the Minor League circuit is quiet, as that is a travel day for most organizations. While that is the case for AAA, AA, High-A, and Low-A, three other teams took to the field yesterday as Monday is for Rookie League Ball.

With the Arizona Complex League continuing their summer season, we had a new League join the Party yesterday as the Dominican Summer League made their long-awaited return to the diamond. Unlike the ACL, the Cubs have two DSL teams that landed them with three teams on Monday. However, the results were not what the Cubs were hoping for as the Rookie League squads suffered an 0-3 night on the diamond.

ACL BREWERS BLUE 9 – ACL CUBS 4

Monday was not a good day for the ACL Cubs, as they blew an early lead and fell to the Brewers 9-4. Porter Hodge was on the mound for the Cubs and saw his start deliver mixed reviews. After tossing three scoreless frames to open the game, Hodge served up five runs in the fourth, with four of them earned as he took the loss.

With a scoreless game through two innings, the Cubs got on the board first in the bottom of the third. Levi Jordan continued his rehab assignment as he came through with another RBI hit to push home a pair to give the Cubs a 2-0 lead. That lead was short-lived as the Brewers began to tee off on Hodge the next inning.

Jefferson Quintero connected for an RBI ground-rule double to put the Brewers on the board before the Erys Bautista triple put the Brewers in front for good 3-2. Add in singles by Jeremy Vargas and Luis Medina, and the Brewers took what was a 2-0 game and turned it into a 5-2 lead. That lead continued to grow over the next two innings as two wild pitches in the fifth, coupled with an error in the sixth, saw the Brewers comfortably in front 8-2 at that point.

Not done helping the Brewers, the Cubs uncorked a third wild pitch in the top of the eighth, which put the Brewers up 9-2. Thankfully, the Cubs were finally able to end those nine unanswered runs, with Cam Balego connecting for his first homer of the season to make things 9-3. Reggie Preciado added an RBI single in the bottom of the ninth, but that was all the Cubs could do in what was a 9-4 loss.

Preciado continues to be the story so far for Arizona as he picked up three more hits and is hitting .410 on the season. Jordan and Balego collected two hits in the loss, with Ezequiel Pagan, Ismael Mena, Rafael Morel, and Miguel Fabrizio all adding hits. Yeison Santana came off the bench and went 0-2.

DSL INDIANS RED 3 – DSL CUBS BLUE 2 (10 innings)

In their first game of the 2021 summer campaign, the DSL Cubs Blue team was nearly no hit as they picked up just one hit in a 3-2 10 inning loss. Despite a lack of offense, the Cubs received strong pitching throughout, especially from Cristian Rojas and Jose Romero, who combined to toss five shutout innings on the mound.

Without the strength of a hit, the Cubs were able to not only take the lead in the first but pushed across two runs. Ezequiel Alvarez reached on an error to start the game before stealing second base. He would later score on a Raul Guzman sacrifice bunt as a throwing error allowed Alvarez to score from second. Even with Samuel Rodriguez serving up two of the three runs, he lasted four innings on the mound and struck out five Indians as he looked the best of anyone in the pen.

Guzman picked an excellent time to steal home with runners on the corner as the Cubs pulled off a double steal to bump their lead 2-0 without a hit. That score would hold up for quite some time as it took seven innings for the Indians to get on the board. Fran Alduey connected for a sacrifice fly to make things 2-1, but it was the ninth innings single by Alduey that evened things up 2-2 and sent the game to extras.

After the Cubs failed to cash in during the extra frame, it was the Indians turn to take their shot, and they cashed in on the opportunity. With the Indians helping the Cubs out in the first, it was time for the Cubs to return the favor as a wild pitch pushed home the game-winning run in a tough 3-2 loss. The lone hit came from the organization's No. 4 prospect as Cristian Hernandez made his much-anticipated debut going 1-4.

DSL METS 4 – DSL CUBS RED 2

Hoping to come away with one win in Dominican League play, the Cubs red team was doubled up by the Mets 4-2 with all the Cubs runs coming late in the game. Yohan Crispin took the ball for a start and was roughed up in two innings of work. Crispin allowed three runs on three hits in his two innings, but all those runs came in the first when Fabian Machado doubled home the first run before Dyron Campos connected for a two-run shot to make things 3-0 Mets.

He turned things over to Luis Reyes, who allowed a run in the third, making things 4-0 before the rest of the Cubs staff was lights out across the final four innings. Carlos Garcia gave the Cubs two shutout innings of work to go with three strikeouts, while Luis Valenzuela capped off the game with a shutout inning of his own.

Down 4-0 in the seventh, the Cubs used their final at bats to make things interesting as they were not going to go down without a fight. Esmarly, Tatis put an end to the shutout bid as his RBI double got the Cubs on the board. A few pitches later saw Raino Coran come home to score on a wild pitch, and just like that, it was a 4-2 game. That would be all the Cubs would get as Wilmer Bolivar flew out to end the game handing the Cubs a 4-2 loss.

Much like DSL Blue, hits were hard to come by with the Cubs held to three hits. Pedro Ramirez and Moises Ballesteros joined Tatis with the three hits on what was a quiet offensive day.

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