Cubs Minors Daily: Brennen Davis homers again, Canario homers in comeback win for SB, more


by - Senior Writer -
Davis is an elite prospect for the Cubs (Photo via Iowa Cubs)
Davis is an elite prospect for the Cubs (Photo via Iowa Cubs)

It has been a while since the Chicago Cubs haven't seen the postseason ball in some regard within their organization. That is indeed going to be the case this year, as not only will the MLB miss out on the playoffs for just the second time in seven seasons, but all their minor league teams will be sitting home preparing for the 2022 season.

However, until that happens, there are still games that need to be played, and all seven teams will lay it on the line across their final games of the season. This is the time for some of these lesser-known prospects to leave their mark heading into next season and give the organization something to think about as they begin planning their rosters for the future.

IOWA CUBS 8 – OMAHA STORM CHASERS 5

After struggling to find wins against Omaha much of this season, the Cubs have appeared to solve them, taking the first three of this six-game series. With Matt Swarmer on the mound, the Cubs continued to see a vast improvement on the hill as he gave the Cubs five innings of three-run ball with eight punchouts in a no-decision effort.

After his big game on Wednesday, Johneshwy Fargas continued his hot hitting picking up an RBI single in the first to give the Cubs a 1-0 lead. That lead didn't last long as most of Swarmer's trouble came in the first two innings, especially the first when Omaha had the bases loaded. After walking Ryan McBroom to push in a run, MJ Melendrez added a sacrifice fly to give the Storm Chasers a 2-1 lead. Nate Esposito followed that up with a solo homer in the second as Omaha was in front 3-1 at that point.

Once the game moved to third, it seemed as if the Iowa offense was ready to erupt, with Brennen Davis picking up an RBI single ahead of the Tyler Ladendorf two-run single to give the Cubs a 4-3 lead. That score held until the sixth when Esposito tied things with an RBI single, but the Cubs got things going again in the seventh.

Not only did the Abiatal Avelino homer give the Cubs the lead for good, but Davis homered for the third time in as many AAA games providing the winning run in the process.

Clearly, the highest level of minor league pitching is no match for him at this point. The homer barrage continued for the Cubs in the eight, with Ladendorf going deep for his sixth of the season. Erick Castillo added a sacrifice fly to make things 8-4 before Bobby Witt capped off the scoring with a solo homer in the Cubs 8-5 win.

Ladendorf was one of several players with multiple hits as he led the way with three RBIs. Castillo, Avelino, and Davis all added multi-hit efforts as Davis continues to hit the cover off the ball.

TENNESSEE SMOKIES 6 – BILOXI SHUCKERS 4

The last few weeks have been rough for the Smokies as they have had a total of eight games canceled. That included the first two in this week's set with Biloxi as the Smokies returned to the diamond to win 6-4. Backed by plenty of early offense was a strong pitching performance from Ryan Jensen as he earned his first AA win.

The hard-throwing righty was impressive in his five innings, allowing just one run on four hits to go with two strikeouts as he lowered his ERA to 3.00. Jensen was backed by Nelson Velazquez and his two-run first-inning homer as that was his eighth AA homer and 21st homer of the season. Velazquez may be closing in on the organizational player of the year award after his impressive 2021 season concludes.

Two innings later saw the Smokies bust things wide open using a four-spot to extend the lead to 6-0. Christopher Morel got things started with an RBI single before Grayson Byrd followed up with a single to make things 4-0. What looked to be a harmless RBI groundout by Bradlee Beesley turned into a nightmare as a throwing error pushed across two more runs and gave Tennessee the 6-0 lead.

That error was incredibly costly as that was the difference in the game. It took five innings for Biloxi to get on the board, with Alexander Palma taking Jensen deep to make things 6-1. One inning later saw the Shuckers make things interesting as they touched up Javier Assad. Not only did Korey Howell pick up an RBI single, but Mitch Longo added a two-run shot to pull within 6-4. That would be as close as things would get as the Smokies picked up the win.

Velazquez continues his scorching season with three hits to go with his two RBIs and is hitting .298 since his promotion to AA. Morel and Byrd added multi-hit efforts to go with RBIs while Beesley, Tim Susnara, and Luis Vazquez all had hits.

SOUTH BEND CUBS 5 – QUAD CITIES RIVER BANDITS 4

It took long enough, but the Cubs finally found a way to win at Quad Cities, topping the River Bandits 5-4. Things didn't come easy as the Cubs trailed until late, scoring three runs in the ninth to make things happen. All DavidJohn Herz has done this year has been impressive, and that has continued with South Bend.

Making another start for the Cubs, Herz continues to show why he is a top 30 prospect allowing just one run on four hits in five innings while walking two and striking out nine. Herz ERA fell to 2.81 and has earned consideration for the organizational pitcher of the year honors.

Offensively speaking, Alexander Canario got things started using a two-run homer in the third to put the Cubs in front 2-0. Canario went through a bit of lull for a few weeks, but has started to heat back up in the leadoff role.

His homer provided all the offense until the fifth when Maikel Garcia doubled home the River Bandits first run to make things 2-1. With Bailey Reid now on in place of Herz, Quad Cities immediately made things happen using a Logan Porter double and Kale Emshoff single to give the River Bandits a 3-2 lead before the Jake Means double in the eighth extended the lead to 4-2.

In the ninth, the Cubs started to make their run, with Yonathan Perlaza unloading for his 14th homer to tie things up 4-4. After singles by Bryce Ball and Tyler Durna kept the inning alive, a costly wild pitch brought home the winning run as Tanner Jesson-Dalton finished things off from there. Canario and Perlaza led the way on offense with two-run homers as they were joined by Yohendrick Pinango, Ball, Durna, Jake Slaughter, and Bryce Windham.

AUGUSTA GREENJACKETS 3 – MYRTLE BEACH PELICANS 2

The final homestand of the season for the Pelicans hasn't gone as planned as they fell to 0-3 in the series with a 3-2 loss. Manuel Espinoza continues to pitch well, going five innings and allowing just one run, but a lack of offense dropped his record to 4-9 on the season.

The lone run charged to Espinoza came in the first inning when Bryson Horne ripped an RBI double to make things 1-0 Augusta. Outside of that, Espinoza was solid, allowing three hits and striking out six in his outing. 2021 sixth-round pick Riley Martin was called on to pitch the sixth inning, and he too was victimized by Horne. This time it was a two-run shot that provided the winning run and put the Greenjackets on top 3-0.

Needing runs in a hurry, the Pelicans began to rally in the seventh, with Josue Huma putting them on the board with an RBI groundout. Later that inning saw Christian Franklin hustle to first and induced a throwing error which made things 3-2. That was as close as they would get as Jonathan Sierra picked up the Pelicans final hit in the eighth.

Franklin and Ed Howard led the way on offense as both of them tallied two hits. Casey Opitz, Jordan Nwogu, Sierra, and Jacob Wetzel all had hits, with Huma adding the lone RBI.

ACL CUBS 13 – ACL RANGERS 12

Offense was plentiful down in the desert on Thursday as the Cubs outslugged the Rangers 13-12. With just two games remaining on the season, the Cubs have played well, especially this last week to run their record to 33-25.

The Cubs wasted no time grabbing a big lead in the first inning when Kevin Alcantara ripped an RBI single to give the Cubs the lead before the Juan Mora two-run shot had the Cubs up 3-0. Much like the Cubs in their half of the first, the Rangers had plenty of offense of their own, with Yosy Galan going deep for a two-run shot ahead of the two-run Antonio Cabello single to give them a 4-3 lead. The Rangers added to that lead in the second with Galan picking up an RBI triple to go a Tucker Mitchell, and just like that, it was a 6-3 game.

Once the third inning began, the Cubs offense took center stage using a wild pitch to make things 6-4 before the BJ Murray Jr single tied things up 6-6. One inning later saw the Cubs retake the lead with James Triantos connecting for a two-run double ahead of another wild pitch, and just like that, it was 9-6. The back-and-forth affair continued in the bottom of the fifth, with Cameron Cauley adding an RBI double mixed in with the Jojo Blackmon and Marcus Smith picking up RBIs to give the Rangers a 10-9 lead.

Trailing 11-10 in the eighth, Ismael Mena cashed in with a clutch RBI single to tie things back up 11-11. That set the stage for Alcantara, whose RBI single proved to be the game-winner in what was a 13-12 cubs win. Triantos had a great day at the plate picking up four hits to go with two RBIs, and is now hitting .309 on the season. Alcantara and Murray Jr added three hits to go with six combined RBIs in the win.

DSL CUBS RED 9 – DSL GIANTS 4

For the most part, the 2021 season has been a rough go for DSL Red, but they have played well the last two weeks, adding another win on Thursday. In the first inning, Brayan Altuve opened the scoring with a two-run shot as the Cubs led 2-0 early. After waiting nearly all season to hit his first homer, Moises Ballesteros has suddenly found his power stroke, hitting his second homer of the week to extend the lead to 3-0.

Unfortunately for the Cubs, the Giants had answers in the bottom of the first, with Elian Rayo connecting for an RBI single to make things 3-1 before the Brayan Ferrer double tied things up 3-3. The remainder of the game was all Cubs as they outscored the Giants 6-1 the rest of the way. Two of those runs came in the third when Altuve gave the Cubs the lead for good with an RBI single ahead of the Raino Coran RBI groundout.

Andrews Cruz extended that lead to 6-3 with an RBI single in the sixth ahead of the Elias Fabian single in the seventh mixed with a wild pitch to make things 8-3. Cristian More capped off the scoring for the Cubs with an eighth-inning RBI double as they picked up the convincing 9-4 win. Not only did Altuve lead the way with three hits, but he paced the offense with three RBIs in the win. Cruz and More joined him with three hits as they were the spark plugs on offense.

DSL PIRATES 9 – DSL CUBS BLUE 2

The Pirates used a massive fourth inning to take a close game and turn it into a one-sided blowout. Scoring early was the story for the Pirates as they got things rolling in the first inning. However, the Cubs' gift-wrapped their first two runs as a pair of costly first-inning errors gave the Pirates a quick 2-0 lead.

Looking to get back into the game or perhaps take the lead in the second, the Cubs had the bases loaded only to come away with the Leonel Espinoza walk to close the deficit to 2-1. An Isaias Dipre RBI double and the Ruben Vizcaya sacrifice had the Pirates rolling as they held a 4-1 lead at this point. Not ready to pack things in quite yet, Lizardo Ruiz closed the deficit in half once again as his RBI single made things 4-2.

That was as close as the Cubs would get with the Pirates using a five-run fourth anchored by Dipre, Vizcaya, and Kelvin Diaz to put the game away and win 9-2. The Cubs managed just four hits with Ruiz, Carlos Ramos, Espinoza, and Frank Hernandez with hits. Cristian Hernandez moved up to the leadoff role and, despite going hitless, managed to pick up two walks. He is now hitting .299 for the season.

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