Cubs Minor League News: Bautista homers, Watkins impressive, Triantos and Stevens with dou
|Tuesday, August 31, 2021, 1:00 PM- -|
Mondays in Minor League Baseball continue to be Rookie League Monday except for a few AAA teams. For the Cubs, there is no exception as full-season leagues use Monday as a travel day before their six-game series' start. This gives fans an excellent opportunity to catch up on some unfamiliar players that will be making their way into full-season ball soon enough, even there is little to no media coverage on them.
For the Cubs, all three rookie league teams were in action on Monday as a total of four games were being played. Along with the three regularly scheduled contests, a continued game from an earlier suspended game led to the fourth game. In total, the Cubs played four competitive games across the board, but only came away with a 1-3 mark.
ACL DIAMONDBACKS 8 – ACL CUBS 6
Even though wins haven't been as frequent as earlier this year, the ACL Cubs continue to post the best Rookie League record in the system at 25-21. That 21st loss came Monday night when the Cubs fell to the Diamondbacks.
The first four innings didn't go as planned for the Cubs and their pitchers, but in reality, only two rough innings did them in. The first of those innings was the bottom of the first when the Diamondbacks raced out to a 2-0 lead courtesy of an RBI single from Angel Ortiz. Two innings later saw the Cubs respond and respond in a big way to take the lead.
Led by a Reggie Preciado double that put the Cubs on the board, the Cubs cashed in four times to take a 4-2 lead. James Triantos followed the Preciado double with one of his own to give the Cubs the lead before another double off the bat of Felix Stevens had them up 4-2. Flemin Bautista connected for his first homer in the fourth as the Cubs pushed their lead to 5-2.
At that point, the Diamondbacks began to take over, scoring six runs the next two innings, including five in the fourth to put them in front for good. A pair of wild pitches in the bottom of the fifth didn't help the Cubs all that much, but the Junior Franco double and Guzman single was the difference, with Guzman putting the Diamondbacks in front for good 6-5. The Shane Muntz double in the fifth capped off the scoring for the Diamondbacks as they were now up 8-5.
Looking to mount a late-game comeback, a costly error in the eighth inning brought home the Cubs sixth run, but that would be it in what was an 8-6 loss. The Cubs collected 10 hits in the loss, with Preciado leading the way with two. Triantos, Stevens, and Rafael Morel were just a few of the others who had a hit. Chase Watkins made his season debut on the mound after being taken in the ninth round this year. Watkins walked a batter and allowed a hit, but also struck out the side.
DSL INDIANS 5 – DSL CUBS BLUE 4 (10 innings)
This completed the August 5th suspended game, so we won't get into much detail. All the game stats reflect on what they were at the time of the game and not where they are now.
DSL CUBS BLUE 6 – DSL INDIANS 5 (8 innings)
After dropping their completed suspended game earlier, the Cubs turned the tables in game two, taking the Indians down 6-5 in extras. A big reason for that was the late-game offensive surge that saw the Cubs push across five runs from the sixth inning to secure the win.
As for the pitching, Marino Santy got the nod and, despite some command issues, pitched very well. Santy went 3 1/3 innings and allowed only an unearned run on two hits. He did walk three batters and struck out four, but this was a step in the right direction for him. The Cubs backed him with an early lead in the third off an error, but the Cubs returned that favor in the fourth with the Indians tying it up on an error 1-1.
In the sixth, Frank Hernandez continued to come up clutch as his RBI single gave the Cubs the 2-1 lead and the team in a great position to win. Unfortunately, not only did a costly balk push home the tying run in the sixth, but Junior Caminero put the Indians in front as his single had the Cubs trailing 3-2 with one at-bat left.
Looking to make some noise in the seventh, the Indians did themselves zero favors as a wild pitch not only allowed the Cubs to tie things up 3-3, but sent the game to extras, where the Cubs came out swinging. Cristian Hernandez then put the Cubs in front for good 4-3 with an RBI single before Frank Hernandez added his second RBI hit of the day. With the bases empty, Leonel Espinoza connected for his fourth homer of the season as the Cubs led 6-3.
Looking to finally put the Indians away, the Cubs made it tough on themselves as a wild pitched mixed with the Maikol Flores homer pulled the Indians within 6-5. Fortunately, that would be as close as things would get as Michael Arias struck out the next two hitters to secure the win. Frank Hernandez was a man on a mission in the win, collecting three hits to go with two RBIs. Esmarly Tatis, Cristian Hernandez, Espinoza, and Wally Soto all had hits in the win.
DSL METS 4 – DSL CUBS BLUE 3 (8 innings)
Extra innings was the theme for the Cubs DSL teams as all three games went into extras. Unfortunately, the Cubs walked away with two losses, including a 4-3 loss to the Mets. Emmanuel De La Cruz got the start and allowed one run on one hit in two innings, but he wasn't alone. Gabriel Agrazal and Albaro Santana followed him up with four scoreless innings of relief as that trio allowed one run through six innings with no walks and six strikeouts.
The lone run that group allowed came in the second inning when Lewis Castillo tripled home a run off De La Cruz to put the Mets up 1-0. That score surprisingly held up quite a while as the Cubs offense didn't score until the fifth when Andrews Cruz picked up an RBI fielders' choice to tie the game. Still tied in the seventh, Joel Flores came through as his RBI double gave the Mets a 2-1 lead. Looking to keep the Cubs alive, Cruz came through once again with another RBI as his single tied things up 2-2 and sent the game to extras.
In the extra frame, the Mets immediately pressured the Cubs and cashed in on a costly miscue as an error allowed for two runs to score with the Mets leading 4-2. Anderson Suriel was able to get one of those runs back as he too reached on an error in the bottom of the eight, but that was it with the Cubs falling 4-3.
Brayan Altuve led the offense in terms of hits as he collected two of the six hits in the loss. Cristian More, Suriel, Cruz, and Raino Coran had the rest of the hits, with Cruz responsible for the RBI. Pedro Ramirez suffered a rare hitless game, but is still batting a .376 on the season.