Cubs Minors Daily: Cubs teams score 33 runs, Wisdom with grand slam, Ed Howard impressive


by - Staff Writer -
Ed Howard with three hits last night (Kim Klement - USA Today Sports)
Ed Howard with three hits last night (Kim Klement - USA Today Sports)

For the second time this week, the offense was the story of the night for the Cubs system as the four levels combined for 33 runs scored across three games. While some of those high-scoring affairs resulted in losses, it was still good to see the organization go 2-2 on the evening as things are coming together.

With a lot of rough weather heading through the Midwest this weekend, it will be interesting to see how many games get played throughout Saturday and Sunday. Until that bridge is crossed, the Cubs system is putting up impressive numbers right now, which is a pleasant sight to see when you look at how many teams struggled this year.

IOWA CUBS 9 – OMAHA STORM CHASERS 8

Despite the Cubs nearly giving things away, allowing five runs in the ninth, their offense gifted them five runs in the eight as they managed to pick up a 9-8 win and move to 9-5 on the season. Shelby Miller continues to do well in his rehab stint, getting the start and going four innings. Although he only allowed one hit, he was charged for three runs with only two earned as he is nearing the end of his rehab stint, and the Cubs will be forced to make a decision.

Two players who remain hot in the Cubs lineup are Sergio Alcantara, who led the game off with a solo homer, and Taylor Gushue, who added a bases-loaded walk in the first to give Iowa a 2-0 lead. Alcantara would add a bases-loaded walk of his own in the second as Iowa raced out to a 3-0 lead early. After a third-inning error gave Omaha their first run, Miller served up a two-run shot to Emmanuel Rivera in the fourth as the Storm Chasers tied things up 3-3.

That tie didn't last long, with Gushue connecting for a double in the sixth to make things 4-3, and the Cubs didn't look back. The seventh inning is when Iowa put the game away, or so they thought, with Rafael Ortega working the second bases-loaded walk of the night to make things 5-3. After an ice-cold start to his season, Patrick Wisdom is heating up in a big way, connecting for his third homer in three days with a grand slam, and the Cubs soared in front 9-3.

Give credit to Omaha, however, as they refused to go down without a fight. After pitching two scoreless innings to start his night, Adrian Sampson ran into a whole lot of ninth-inning trouble, yielding four homers in the ninth, which accounted for five runs. Thankfully Ryan Meisinger was able to come in and save the day as Iowa survived 9-8.

Gushue was the lone Cub to pick up multiple hits as he drove in two runs to go with his two hits. Alcantara, Ortega, Wisdom, and Ian Miller all landed in the hit column, with Wisdom delivering the big blow in the win. Trayce Thompson saw his average fall to 258 following a hitless night.

BILOXI SHUCKERS 8 – TENNESSEE SMOKIES 6

Speaking of offense, there was plenty to be found in AA, with the Smokies falling 8-6. Luis Lugo got the start and is hoping things get better the rest of the way. Unfortunately, he lasted just 2 1/3 inning, but he was charged with seven earned runs as Biloxi was off and running early. Scott Effross, Ryan Kellogg, and Cayne Ueckert held the Shuckers at bay the rest of the game, but it was a little too late in the defeat.

Following a Brice Turang first-inning triple that got the scoring started, Alexander Palma singled him home before a Tristan Lutz RBI double in the second gave Biloxi the 3-0 lead. Then with one swing, the Shuckers busted things wide open as David Fry took Lugo deep in the third for a Grand Slam, putting Tennessee in a massive 7-0 hole. From that point on, it was all catchup mode for the Smokies as they almost completed the comeback attempt.

Across the next three innings, the Smokies climbed within one run, which all started with a Levi Jordan RBI single in the third to bring home a pair. Erick Castillo doubled in the fourth to make it a 7-3 ball game before the Smokies climbed back into it in the fifth. Christopher Morel continues to play a significant role in the offense as his RBI triple brought home a pair to make things 7-5. Morel would then come home to score on a Grayson Byrd single, making things 7-6.

The Smokies had a chance to tie things up or take the lead in the seventh as they managed to load the bases off of some careless miscues by the Shuckers. Unfortunately, that was their last gasp with no runs coming across. That lead to Turang adding a crucial insurance run in the eighth with a single, and the Smokies fell 8-6.

Once again, the Smokies had no trouble making contact with Jordan, connecting for two hits to lead the way. Darius Hill, Andy Weber, Morel, Christian Donahue, Byrd, and Castillo rounded out the eight hits for the Smokies as their offense continues to play well. Miguel Amaya and Nelson Maldonado combined to go 0-7 in the game with two walks and three punchouts.

SOUTH BEND CUBS 5 – DAYTON DRAGONS 0

While the offense was undoubtedly the story all night, it was nice to see pitching steal the show in at least one game, with South Bend taking that honor. Making another impressive start was Ryan Jensen as he held the Dragons to one hit in five innings to go with no walks and four strikeouts. Jensen has been outstanding all season long as a quartet of Cubs arms held Dayton to just four hits in a 5-0 win.

The Cubs did most of their damage in one inning, pushing across four runs in the bottom of the third. That all started with a Tyler Durna groundout which proved to be the difference-making RBI. Following that run, you had Nelson Velazquez continuing to come through as his RBI single doubled the Cubs lead 2-0. Yonathan Perlaza capped off the big inning by belting his first homer of the season as South Bend led 4-0 and never looked back.

With the game fully in hand, it was nice to see Cole Roederer come through with an RBI knock in the seventh as his single capped off the scoring in what was a 5-0 win. South Bend picked up nine hits in the game, with three players responsible for two each. Delvin Zinn, Roederer, and Velazquez were those players as they paced the offense. Perlaza, Jake Slaughter, and Jake Washer picked up the final three hits for the Cubs, with Chase Strumpf going 0-3 with a pair of strikeouts.

LYNCHBURG HILLCATS 14 – MYRTLE BEACH PELICANS 13 (13 innings)

The extra-inning rule indeed came into play in this win with both the Pelicans and Hillcats plating plenty of runs in the extra frames. Not only did each team score in the first three of the extra frames after tying 10-10 in regulation, but Lynchburg added the game-winning run in the 13th to pick up the 14-13 win.

There wasn't much pitching to talk about in this one, as practically everyone got lit up at some point. We can talk about the offense, though, where the Pelicans got off to the best start they could imagine. With a bases-loaded hit by pitch to Luis Verdugo getting things started, the Pelicans continued to tack on the runs. A Jacob Wetzel RBI double followed that before both Ethan Hearn and Edmond Americaan added RBI singles to give the Pelicans a 6-0 lead after one.

A 6-0 game turned into a 9-0 lead in the fourth when Yohendrick Pinango doubled home a pair before coming home on an error. Sitting with a lead that many would think would hold up, the Hillcats had none of it and scored four runs in the bottom of the fourth to make things a 9-4 game. A homer by Jhonkensy Noel in the sixth made things a 9-6 game as the Hillcats were trending in the right direction.

The Hillcats rally continued into the eighth as a bunch of sloppy play led to three more runs, and suddenly, we had a 9-9 game. Fortunately, Pinango took matters into his own hands as his RBI single in the 9th put the Pelicans back in front 10-9. Hoping to close things out in the bottom, Noel homered for a second time to bring things even, and just like that, it was 10-10 and heading to extras.

Over the next three innings, both teams exchanged runs, with Reivaj Garcia, Pinango, and Hearn picking RBIs for the Pelicans and Johnathan Rodriguez, Micah Pries, and a wild pitch aiding Lynchburg to keep things tied 13-13. However, Rainer Diaz provided the difference-making run in the bottom of the 14th as his single gave the Hillcats a 14-13 comeback win.

The Pelicans had plenty of production from the top of the lineup, with Americaan and Ed Howard collecting three hits each. They were joined by Garcia, Pinango, and Hearn, who had multi-hit games of their own, with Hearn picking up his first multi-hit effort of the season. Pinango led the way with four RBIs, with Wetzel and Hearn adding three and two apiece.

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