Cubs Minors Daily: Ballesteros with five RBIs in win, Quintero impressive, more


by - Senior Writer -
Charles LeClaire - USA Today Sports
Charles LeClaire - USA Today Sports

Tuesday marked the final day where the DSL would be at the center of attention. With Wednesday being the last off day for DSL and the rest of the week having to share the spotlight with AAA Iowa, it was nice for them to have one more day to themselves where they were the center of attention.

Wins haven't come easy for either squad this season, but lately, that has not been the case as both DSL Red and Blue are playing their best ball of the year. DSL Red has especially been on a tear lately as they have a chance to finish at or above .500 this season, depending on how the rest of the week plays out. That would be huge for an organization that only saw their ACL team finish with a winning record thus far.

DSL CUBS RED 6 – DSL PHILLIES 4

Led by some late-game offense which included a four-run seventh inning, the Cubs were able to erase an early deficit by the Phillies and prevailed 6-4. The Cubs saw five pitchers take the mound, with four tossing at least two innings, including Jose Lopez. Making his 10th appearance of the season, the right-hander allowed just one hit in two innings of work to go with two strikeouts as he has posted a 1.50 ERA across 18 innings so far.

Offensively, it took the Cubs a little while to get going, which was a problem early on with the Phillies grabbing an early lead. Aided by a Joel Jimenez wild pitch in the first, Erick Brito added an RBI double as the Phillies jumped out to a 2-0 lead. It took five innings for the Cubs to finally score as Moises Ballesteros cashed in with a two-run single to make things 2-2. Ballesteros was just getting started as he had a big night.

After squandering their lead, the Phillies responded with a run in the sixth and a run in the seventh to take a 4-2 lead, but once again, it was the Cubs turn to answer. Geuri Lubo did his best to lead a comeback as his sacrifice fly made things 4-3 in the bottom of the seventh. With a pair of runners still on base, Ballesteros capped off his five-RBI night with a three-run shot as the Cubs stormed in front 6-4 before winning by that score.

It took Ballesteros nearly the entire season to hit his first homer, but now he has three homers in the last two weeks as he led the way with two hits and five RBIs. Pedro Ramirez joined him with a multi-hit effort as he pushed his average to .359 on the season. Raino Coran, Elias Fabian, Samuel Duarte, and Andrews Cruz tallied the remaining hits.

DSL RAYS 6- DSL CUBS BLUE 4

Unlike DSL Red, who was rallying late, the DSL Blue team dug themselves a big early hole, and that was too much to overcome in the loss. While the first two pitchers for DSL Blue didn't do well, the Cubs did get a pair of good outings, including Jose Romero lowering his ERA to 2.89 following a couple of scoreless innings.

Scoreless heading into the bottom of the second, not only did the Rays offense get going, but they scored six runs across the next three frames to bust things open. An Adrian Martinez wild pitch opened the scoring in the second inning before the Rhoniel Rodriguez RBI groundout doubled the lead at 2-0. Another wild pitch in the third pushed things to 3-0 as the Rays offense was just getting started.

Holding that 3-0 lead in the fourth, the Rays benefitted from an error, and a passed ball as two more runs came across, extending the lead to 5-0. Add in the Wilmer De La Cruz single later in the inning, and the Rays opened a 6-0 lead with the game completely in control. In the fifth, the Cubs offense started to get going, and they eventually made a game out of it.

Led by an error, hit by a pitch and a single, the Cubs had the bases loaded with one out with Wilmer Bolivar pushing across the Cubs first run with an RBI fielder's choice. Fortunately for them, there was an error on the play allowing a second run to score and closing the gap to 6-2. Still trailing by four in the seventh, the Cubs used a two-out rally to pull closer as they now had the momentum.

Dilan Granadillo got the rally started with a two-out double before coming home on the Offerman Hernandez RBI double that pulled the Cubs within 6-3. One pitch later, Lizardo Ruiz got one to his liking and drove it up the middle for an RBI single to pull the Cubs within 6-4. Unfortunately, the Cubs couldn't get any closer, stranding a pair of runners in the eighth before going down in order in the ninth to fall 6-4.

Ruiz led the way on offense, collecting two of the team's five hits from the ninth spot in the order while driving in a run. German Hernandez, Granadillo, and Ferreira added the remaining hits in the Cubs loss as they will hit their final off-day looking to finish out the season strong.

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