Cubs Minors Daily: Miller and Hermosillo homer, Wick impressive, Bote rehab, Davis homers


by - Staff Writer -
Hermosillo stays hot with a homer (Photo courtesy: Iowa Cubs)
Hermosillo stays hot with a homer (Photo courtesy: Iowa Cubs)

While playing the Diamondbacks has helped the Chicago Cubs get back on track, for now, the minor league system has gone about their business with a solid weekend thus far. After playing great baseball across the past three days, the system upped the ante last night, going 5-1 across the board and that lone loss coming in a doubleheader.

Add in both DSL teams playing against each other, and I guess you could say the organization went 6-1 on Saturday as they ended the weekend on a high note. As mentioned in previous installments, the system is starting to become fun to watch again, and fans are now getting a sense of how fun.

IOWA CUBS 3 – TOLEDO MUD HENS 2

Believe it or not, the Cubs can earn a series split this weekend following a 3-2 win on Saturday. Justin Steele continues to get stretched back out in the rotation with plans of him making some starts on the big-league roster come September. Although Steele only went three innings, he was solid again, allowing just one hit to go with a pair of walks and five strikeouts. Iowa also saw appearances from Dillon Maples and Tommy Nance in relief as the bullpen did enough to secure the win.

Offensively, the Cubs backed Steele with some early support as it was the long ball getting the job done. Ian Miller went deep in the first for his first homer of the season only to see Michael Hermosillo match him with a solo shot in the third to give Iowa a 2-0 lead. With Scott Effross now in relief of Steele, Toledo cut the deficit in half using a Cristian Stewart solo shot in the fifth to do just that.

Looking for a bit of insurance, Matt Duffy brought home the Cubs third run in the sixth as his double-play provided the game-winning run. Toledo tried to make things interesting in the ninth when Aderlin Rodriguez took Ben Leeper deep for his 15th of the season, but Leeper was able to settle in and notch his first save of the season.

With just six hits for Iowa, the Cubs did about all they could with them, and Nick Martini led the way with two. Erick Castillo, Miller, Hermosillo, and Duffy rounded out the hits category for Iowa. David Bote was also in action on Saturday, making his first rehab appearance of the season, and went 0-2 with a walk.

TENNESSEE SMOKIES 2 – MISSISSIPPI BRAVES 0

I got to give the Smokies some credit. Despite facing one of the better teams in AA, they are not giving up without a fight and secured a solid shutout win on Saturday. Luis Lugo was not only on top of his game but delivered what might have been his best start of the season. Not only did he go six shutout innings to earn the win, but Lugo surrendered just two hits to go with seven strikeouts before Erich Uelmen, and Ethan Roberts finished things off.

Runs were tough to come by in this game, but Brennen Davis provided the winning run belting his fifth homer of the season in the third with one swing. Three innings later saw the Braves gift wrap the Cubs their second run when Chase Strumpf reached on an error with another run coming across on that play.

That would be all the offense the Smokies would need as their pitching continues to improve as the season has gone on.

Not only did Davis have a homer, but he had two hits in the game, raising his average to 282. Tyler Payne joined him with a multi-hit effort with Jared Young, Strumpf, Carlos Sepulveda, and Levi Jordan rounding out the hits. Christopher Morel had a rough day, going hitless with three strikeouts.

SOUTH BEND CUBS 7 – CEDAR RAPIDS KERNELS 3

After dropping the series opener, the Cubs have responded by winning four straight, including a 7-3 win on Saturday. In the process, they showed they could beat Cedar Rapids without a walk-off and delivered a quality performance overall. Samuel Reyes started what was a bullpen game and gave the Cubs three solid innings of one-hit ball to go with three strikeouts.

The big story of the night was the return of Rowan Wick, who made his season debut on a rehab assignment with the Cubs. Not only was he perfect in his one inning of work, but Wick struck out the side and looked like he hasn't missed a beat. While most of the Cubs damage came in the eighth inning, they did have some early offense to help the pitching staff settle in.

The Cubs used a Nelson Velazquez double in the first to take a 1-0 lead, before a wild pitch in the second gave them a 2-0 cushion. That score held up until the fourth when Wander Javier put Cedar Rapids on the board with a solo shot. One inning later, Yeltsin Encarnacion came through as his sacrifice fly knotted things up 2-2.

In the eighth inning, the Cubs put the game away as the offense erupted for five runs to take a 7-2 lead. The first of those runs came on a balk before Harrison Wenson provided the game-winning hit with an RBI double to stretch the lead to 5-2. Singles by Josue Huma and Delvin Zinn followed up that double, and just like the Cubs were up 7-2. The Rapids were able to get a run back in the ninth off a Kyle Schmidt single, but that was all they could do, falling 7-3.

COLUMBIA FIREFLIES 7 – MYRTLE BEACH PELICANS 0 (game 1)

In a makeup game from earlier this season, the Pelicans stood no chance falling 7-0. DavidJohn Herz was the tough-luck loser in this one, surrendering two runs on four hits in his four innings of work. As good as he has looked this season, the Fireflies is the one team that has given him fits as he has struggled in three outings against them.

Both runs Herz allowed came in the fourth inning when Juan Carlos Negret provided the game-winning run with his 16th homer of the season, which was followed up by a Felix Familia RBI single. One inning later saw the Fireflies start to pour it on as a Darryl Collins single made things 3-0 ahead of the Saul Garza double that busted things open 5-0.

Columbia added a pair of runs in the seventh off Negret's second homer of the day as they topped the Pelicans 7-0. Offensively, the Pelicans were held to just four hits, with Fabian Pertuz credited for two. Ed Howard and Yohendrick Pinango picked up the other two.

MYRTLE BEACH PELICANS 2 – COLUMBIA FIREFLIES 0 (game 2)

The second game of the day went a bit better as it was the Pelicans turn to deliver a shutout 2-0. Despite four shutout innings from Jeremiah Estrada, who got the start, he earned a no-decision as it took a while for the Pelicans offense to settle in as his ERA fell to 0.45. That didn't bother Myrtle Beach, as Jaret Wright was equally as good in his three innings of relief as he secured the win.

Scoreless through four, Pertuz put an end to that in the fifth, capping off what was an already good day. His RBI single to right not only gave Myrtle Beach the 1-0 lead, but it proved to be the game-winning run in the process. Pablo Aliendo added a huge insurance run in the sixth as his single made things 2-0 before Wright slammed the door in the seventh for the win. Myrtle Beach had six hits from six different players in game two including, Kevin Made, Jordan Nwogu, and Pinango.

ACL CUBS 2 – ACL ATHLETICS 1

After having Friday's night game suspended, the Cubs got back to their winning ways topping the Athletics 2-1. Yovanny Cabrera got the start and gave the Cubs three solid innings of work, allowing a Jose Mujica RBI single in the bottom of the third as his lone blemish. Fortunately for the Cubs, Rony Baez and Andricson Salvador were more than up to the task to hold the Athletics right there as they gave up just one hit across the game's final four innings.

With the game still 1-0 in the Athletics favor, the Cubs waited until the final inning to breakthrough. Better late than never, I guess, as Yovanny Cuevas reached on a fielding error before being thrown out at second on the play. That didn't matter as two runs came across to score, giving the Cubs a 2-1 win. The Cubs were held to just three hits as Ismael Mena, Flemin Bautista, and Reivaj Garcia had the hits.

DSL CUBS RED 6 – DSL CUBS BLUE 2

In a battle of DSL Cubs supremacy, the Red team proved to be the better of the two clubs topping blue 6-2. While Blue didn't have the greatest in terms of pitching, Red certainly did ok as Carlos Garcia started what was a solid team effort on the mound for Red.

Offensively, both teams came out hot, with Moises Ballesteros give Red the lead with an RBI single in the first. Blue was able to tie things up in the bottom of the first off a wild pitch, but Red managed to score one run in each of the first four innings to take command. After an error put Red in front for good 2-1 in the second, they stretched their lead to 4-1 as Anderson Suriel picked up an RBI fielder's choice in the third ahead of the Pedro Ramirez RBI single in the fourth.

Holding that 4-1 lead in the seventh, Starlin Mateo delivered the backbreaking hit as his RBI single pushed across two runs to give Red a commanding 6-1 lead. Blue wasn't going to go down without a fight as Carlos Ramos added an RBI single in the bottom of the seventh to pull within 6-2. That would be as close as things would get as DSL Red improves to 3-2 on the season while Blue falls to 1-4 after the first week of competition.

Mateo not only delivered the knockout blow, but led all hitters with three hits in the game while both Ramirez and Brayan Altuve had multi-hit days for Red. Blue was led by Leonel Espinoza, who was responsible for two of the team's five hits while Christian Hernandez suffered a hitless day.

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