Cubs Minors Daily: I-Cubs drop five straight, Rucker impressive, Amaya's patience, more


by - Senior Writer -
Miguel Amaya is one of the Cubs top prospects (Matt Kartozian - USA Today Sports)
Miguel Amaya is one of the Cubs top prospects (Matt Kartozian - USA Today Sports)

Sometimes you will have nights like you had last night in the minors as the Cubs went 0-4 on the evening. Some of those losses were late-game meltdowns that came from costly mistakes, where other ones saw mother nature play an essential role in the game's outcome.

Even with the winless night on the diamond, it was still great to see so many prospects continuing to make a name for themselves. That was undoubtedly missed last season when the minor league season was canceled, and hopefully, as the summer goes on, Fans will once again realize the importance of minor league ball.

SAINT PAUL SAINTS 4 – IOWA CUBS 2

After handling the Saints in Minnesota not that long ago, Saint Paul has turned the table on Iowa and has taken it to them at Principal Park. The Cubs wasted a great start from Adrian Sampson, who allowed just one run in 4 2/3 innings as the Saints rallied for three runs off Adam Morgan in the ninth inning to win 4-2.

The lone run Sampson allowed came in the top of the fifth when Tzu-Wei Lin singled on a line drive to right, giving the Saints a 1-0 lead. However, Iowa wasn't going to trail for long as they rallied in the bottom of the sixth to take the lead. Trayce Thompson ripped a single to left to bring home the tying run, but there was more offense to come. Vance Vizcaino followed that up with a single later in the inning as the Cubs led 2-1.

With Michael Rucker delivering his best appearance of the season out of the pen, striking out six in 2 1/3 innings of work.

Jake Jewell followed suit in the eighth, pitching around a scoreless jam to keep things 2-1 in the Cubs favor.

After posting a solid season until last night, Morgan was touched up a bit in the ninth inning serving up three runs. Lin tied things up with his second RBI single of the game to make things 2-2. However, Tomas Telis was gifted with the bases loaded by an Iowa error bringing home the winning runs as the Cubs fall 4-2.

Abiatal Avelino continues this recent hot stretch at the plate picking up two more hits to lead the team. Thompson and Vizcaino each added hits in the loss, while Sergio Alcantara took two walks despite going hitless in the loss.

CHATANOOGA LOOKOUTS 8 – TENNESSEE SMOKIES 7 (10 innings)

The Smokies have been a part of their fair share of extra-inning games so far this year, and Thursday was another one to add to the list. After racing out to a 7-3 lead to back Luis Lugo on the mound, the Smokies were held scoreless in the final four innings of regulation while the Lookouts rallied off Wyatt Short and Bryan Hudson.

Eventually, Chattanooga tied things up 7-7 as the game went into extra innings. Ben Leeper was charged with the loss allowing the game-winning run in the tenth as the Smokies fell to 8-12. It didn't take long for the Smokies to make their presence felt as Miguel Amaya connected for his first homer of the season to put Tennessee up 3-0. Nelson Maldonado added to that lead later in the first as his RBI double giving Tennessee a 4-0 lead early.

A TJ Hopkins single in the first and Alejo Lopez double in the second pulled the Lookouts within 4-2 before the Smokies were on the attack again in the third. Tyler Payne and Grayson Byrd ripped off consecutive RBI doubles as the Smokies padded their lead to 6-2. A Connor Myers sacrifice fly made things 7-2, but that would be the last run of the night for the Smokies as it was all Lookouts from there.

Down 7-3 in the sixth, the Lookouts pulled a bit closer as Brian Rey ripped an RBI double to left ahead of a Lorenzo Cedrola single, making things 7-5. Chattanooga capped off their comeback effort in the eighth as a wild pitch pulled them within one before Jay Schuyler doubled home the tying run sending things to extras 7-7.

Tennessee had a golden opportunity to bust things open in the 10th as Zach Davis singled ahead of an Alexis Diaz intentional walk to load the bases with one out. Unfortunately, it was nothing but a missed opportunity as the Smokies came away empty-handed and saw Wilson Garcia walk them off with a single of Leeper in the 10th.

Amaya continues to see the ball exceptionally well, going 1-3 with a homer and three RBIs while also taking three walks. He did strikeout two times but continues to be patient at the plate.

Darius Hill and Payne each had two hits for the Smokies as they led the way for the 10-hit attack. Both Maldonado and Christopher Morel added hits, with Morel also earning a walk in the loss.

FORT WAYNE TIN CAPS 4 – SOUTH BEND CUBS 3 (6 innings)

The South Bend Cubs not only had to compete with the Tin Caps on Thursday, but mother nature also coming up short on both ends. After rallying from an early 4-0 deficit, the Cubs climbed within 4-3 before Mother nature said no more baseball tonight, forcing the game to end in six innings.

All eyes will be on Ryan Jensen after exiting his start after just 2/3 of an inning. The 2019 first-round pick has been impressive this season, but he struggled with his command on Thursday before being pulled in the first. It isn't clear whether it was injury-related or not but stay tuned for news on that.

Both of the runs Jensen allowed in the first came on one swing, with Augustin Ruiz cranking a two-run shot for the early 2-0 lead. Matt Bocci entered in relief of Jensen and, for the most part, threw very well in his 4 1/3 inning of work. After pushing home, a run in the third on a wild pitch, Fort Wayne stretched their lead to 4-0 in the fifth, with Ruiz coming through again with an RBI single.

Down but not out, the Cubs offense finally got rolling in the fifth after being one-hit the first four innings. With the bases loaded and looking for a knock, Bryce Windham came through with a single, cutting the deficit in half 4-2. The very next pitch saw Delvin Zinn drop down a perfectly executed bunt to push home Jake Slaughter, and suddenly we had a 4-3 game.

Fort Wayne was able to recover to retire the next three hitters as the teams moved to the sixth, with the Tin Caps leading 4-3. After going down in order to open the sixth, Fort Wayne saw the game delayed due to rain in the bottom of the sixth before getting called shortly after. It was a tough pill for South Bend to swallow especially coming on a five-game winning streak to lose it like that.

South Bend only managed four hits in the game, with Windham, Zinn, Chase Strumpf, and Brennan Davis collecting one hit apiece. Cole Roederer went hitless with a pair of strikeouts, while Nelson Velazquez suffered a rare hitless game himself to start the season.

SALEM RED SOX 4 – MYRTLE BEACH PELICANS 1

The Pelicans have had the Red Sox number to open the series, but it was time for Salem to return the favor on Thursday. With Manuel Espinoza on his game early, the Red Sox eventually broke through, tagging him for four earned runs in 5 1/3 innings. Three of those runs came in the third as that was more than enough for the Red Sox to secure the win.

You have to give the Salem staff some credit as they had a great game plan and executed. From Aldo Ramirez getting the start and allowing just one run in four innings to Robert Kwiatkowski and Ryan Fernandez pitching five shutout innings of relief, pitching certainly set the tone for Salem as the offense did just enough to win.

The lone run for Myrtle Beach came in the third inning when the suddenly hot Flemin Bautista singled to center, scoring Edmond Americaan and putting the Pelicans up 1-0. However, that lead didn't last long as Espinoza struggled in the bottom half of the inning, yielding three runs that proved to be more than enough for Salem.

The first of those runs came on a Matthew Lugo single to tie things up 1-1. Then it was Stephen Scott picking up the game-winning RBI with a groundout before Joe Davis added some insurance with an RBI groundout himself to extend the lead to 3-1. Moving to the sixth, Davis came through once again as his solo homer not only made things 4-1 but chased Espinoza in the process as the Pelicans had a lot of work to do.

Unfortunately for them, only two hits came in the final three innings, with Pablo Aliendo picking up both, ultimately giving Salem the 4-1 win. Not only did Aliendo pick up those two hits, but he led the way with three of the team's seven hits to move his average to 250 on the season. Bautista picked up a pair of hits to go with his RBI while Americaan and Reivaj Garcia added the remaining two hits. Ethan Hearn continues to struggle, going 0-4 with three K's joining Yohendrick Pinango, who also went hitless. Cubs fans also saw the debut of 2019 international pickup Kevin Made who went hitless in his debut.

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