Hermosillo continues to hit well (Photo courtesy: Iowa Cubs)
Hermosillo continues to hit well (Photo courtesy: Iowa Cubs)

Cubs Minor League News: I-Cubs lose in extras, Hermosillo impressive, Nwogu with 3 RBI, mo

by - Senior Writer -

Now that the Rookie Leagues are underway with the Dominican Complex League not far behind, things are about to get very busy on the farm. The Cubs are about to get a crash course in how busy things will be as they not only have five teams playing games right now, but several teams having to make up postponed contests.

Things didn't go as planned for the Cubs system last night as they limped to a 1-4 record with one team being postponed. The only positive to take away from the rough night on the farm was the competitiveness of all the games, with none of the teams getting blown out.


For the second night in a row, the Iowa Cubs were victims of a walk-off, with this one coming in extras. Top 15 prospect Cory Abbott got the start in this one and is starting to look like the 2019 version of himself. After struggling to open the season, Abbott made a couple of major league appearances last month before getting sent back down.

Since his return, he is looking more like the pitcher of old as he struck out 10 hitters in five innings, which overshadows his three runs allowed.

Michael Rucker followed up his outstanding performance, who allowed one unearned run in two innings of relief to go with five punchouts. Iowa has had no issues scoring first in this series, which was the case once again Thursday. With the bases loaded in the first, Alfonso Rivas lofted one to center field for a single, pushing home a pair for the early 2-0 lead.

The Indians answered that inning by pulling within one on the Kevin Kramer double in the third before taking the lead in the fourth off a Hunter Owen single and double-play ball that brought home a run to give the Indians a 3-2 lead. With that score still holding and the game becoming a battle of the bullpens, Michael Hermosillo tied things up in the seventh with an RBI double. Hermosillo was thrown out trying to reach third on the play.

Like earlier in the game, the Indians always seemed to have an answer for the Cubs, and Bligh Madris had another one as his single at the bottom of the seventh gave the Indians the lead again 4-3. Down to their last at-bats and still trailing, Abiatal Avelino came through with a huge single in the ninth inning to not only tie things up 4-4, but to send the game to extras.

In the 10th, the Cubs retook the lead, using a Hermosillo single to jump in front 5-4. Unfortunately, Christian Bethancourt had a response of his own as his sacrifice fly tied things up 5-5 and kept the game going. Two innings later saw Dee Strange-Gordon put the Cubs in front again, with an RBI single as they took a 6-5 lead to the bottom of the 12th. However, once again, Bethancourt had the answer as he played hero with a walk-off two-run single to give Indianapolis the 7-6 win.

Hermosillo continues to swing a red-hot bat, picking up three more hits to go with his two RBIs, and is now hitting 351 on the season. Tony Wolters and Tyler Ladendorf added two hits, with four other players picking up one. Nico Hoerner went 1-4 from the leadoff spot and may be called up this weekend.



In what was game one of what will be a highly stressful weekend, Lake County used a four-run fourth inning to jump in front of South Bend before holding on 5-4 game one. Max Bain got the ball in game one and lasted just 3 2/3 innings, surrendering five runs on seven hits.

Bain got off to a strong start, only allowing a Jose Tena homer in the second to face a 1-0 deficit. South Bend was able to tie things up in the top of the fourth, with Grayson Byrd picking up his first RBI double of the season. The bottom of the fourth is when Lake County took overusing a Victor Nova homer to retake the lead for good, before Tena added a Two-RBI single to provide the game-winning run with the Captains now leading 5-1.

South Bend did their best to rally in the fifth using solo homers by Bradlee Beesley and Jake Washer to close within 5-3. Speaking of homers, Byrd connected for his first homer of the season in the sixth as his solo shot made things 5-4. That would be as close as the Cubs could get as they couldn't come through in the seventh.


After dropping game one 5-4, the Cubs were hoping to salvage a split. Instead, South Bend blew a 2-0 lead and saw Lake County push across three runs in the sixth to pick up the 3-2 win. Matteo Bocchi gave the Cubs an impressive start in his five innings as he allowed just one hit to go with four strikeouts.

While the offense got off to a slow start, Beesley did his best to support Bocchi, picking up a clutch RBI single in the top of the fifth to back Bocchi and gave South Bend a 2-0 lead. Following the start by Bocchi, the Cubs turned to Burl Carraway in the sixth as he was given the task of holding onto the lead. Instead, not only did Carraway serve up a game-tying homer to Clark Scolmiero, but Raynel Delgado pushed across the winning run on a fielder's choice with Lake County up 3-2. Carraway was charged with all three of those runs as his command issues continue to pop up.

Hoping to tie things up and force extras, South Bend was retired in order in the seventh as the Captains picked up a doubleheader sweep. Both Nelson Velazquez and Jake Slaughter had a great game two, picking up two hits each, with Beesley adding a pair of RBIs to go with his hit. Beesley collected three RBIs across the two games.


After two heartbreaking losses to open the series with Down East, the Pelicans offense came to life, pushing across nine runs in the first four innings to take game three 9-4. At long last, Richard Gallardo picked up his second win of the season, going six innings and allowing four runs with three earned. He gave way to Jeremiah Estrada, who struck out five in two scoreless innings of relief as his ERA now sits at a 0.84 for the season.

Early on, it was all Down East as Gallardo was struggling through the first two innings. After Dustin Harris put the Wood Ducks on top 1-0 with an RBI double in the first, Alejandro Osuna took Gallardo deep in the second, extending the lead to 3-0. Jonathan Sierra picked up an RBI single in the second to pull within 3-1, but the next two innings changed the game.

After Ryan Reynolds pushed home a run with an RBI double, Ethan Hearn tied things up 3-3 with a sacrifice fly. That set the stage for Jordan Nwogu as his triple not only capped off a four-run third but gave Myrtle Beach a 5-3 lead. A Cristian Inoa homer in the fourth pulled the Wood Ducks within 5-4 before the Pelicans put the game away in the bottom half of that inning.

For the second straight inning, the Pelicans bats were working as they pushed across four more runs. The first two came benefit from terrific plate discipline, with Jacob Wetzel and Hearn taking bases-loaded walks. Nwogu extended the lead to 8-4 after getting hit by a pitch before a walk to Sierra made things 9-4. All four of the Pelicans runs that inning came without a hit, and that was all for the runs in the game, with Myrtle Beach picking up a 9-4 win.

Reynolds and Flemin Bautista paced the offense with four combined hits, but the rest of the lineup did the damage. Hearn, Sierra, and Nwogu combined for seven of the teams nine RBIs, with Nwogu picking up a career-high three RBIs. Kevin Made returned to the lineup and went 0-5.


After winning their first two games of the 2021 ACL season, the Cubs dropped their first game of the summer 7-4 to the Rockies. Most of the Rockies damage was done in the fifth inning when they pushed across four runs to take the lead. With these games being seven innings this season, it was too much for the Cubs to overcome.

Tyler Schlaffer made his first start of the season, and things didn't go as planned. Despite getting into the fifth, Schlaffer was tagged with five earned runs in 4 1/3 innings of work to take the loss. The struggles from Schlaffer were evident right from the start, with Jean Perez giving the Rockies a first-inning lead before a Juan Brito single and Juan Guerrero double put the Cubs in a 3-0 hole through three.

The Cubs were able to pull a bit closer in the top of the fourth when Yovanny Cuevas picked up his first double of the season before a Shendrik Apostel sacrifice fly closed the gap to 3-2. An Owen Caissie single in the top of the fifth tied things up 3-3, but that is when the wheels began to fall off. Walking Cabrera showed off the wheels with an RBI triple that not only put the Rockies back in front, but gave them the lead for good.

Ronaiker Palma brought Cabrera home with an RBI single before Cole Zabowski homer gave the Rockies a comfortable 7-3 lead, capping off a four-run frame. Cuevas was able to get one of those runs back with a sacrifice fly in the sixth, but that would be as close as the Cubs would get falling 7-4. One thing fans have noticed with this team is that it is an offensive prospect heavy, and that showed up again.

Ezequiel Pagan and Reginald Preciado did a phenomenal job in the lineup's top two spots, collecting two hits apiece. Felix Stevens added a pair of hits from the middle of the lineup, with Caissie and Cuevas adding the remaining hits. Rafael Morel and Ronnier Quintero were held hitless as Quintero is still searching for that first hit.

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