Down on Cubs Farm: Happ homers in loss, Marquez impressive, Roederer's two homers, more
Cole Roederer smacked his first two homers of July (Photo credit: Dustin Riese)

Down on Cubs Farm: Happ homers in loss, Marquez impressive, Roederer's two homers, more

by - Senior Writer -

It was once again a night of mixed reviews for the Cubs on the farm as they played to a 2-2 record with one of their five games suspended.

IOWA CUBS 5 – Oklahoma City Dodgers 18: There weren’t many positive things to say following this loss as Tyson Miller continues to struggle in AAA. As if allowing 9ER in the first seven innings of the game wasn’t enough, Oklahoma City pushed across nine more in the ninth off Dakota Mekkes, and Taylor Davis as the Dodgers were led by Gavin Lux for an 18-5 beatdown of Iowa.

Things were looking bleak early as a first-inning homer from Edwin Rios put the Dodgers up 2-0 as they never looked back. Add a pair of runs in the second, and you had a 4-0 lead before the Cubs did their best to chip away. Phillip Evans got the Cubs on the board in the second with his 12th homer of the season to cut the deficit in half 4-2.

The Dodgers continued to wallop Miller in the third as a pair of homers from Kyle Garlick, and DJ Peeters pushed the lead to 7-2 as Miller was done following this inning. Once again, it was the Cubs storming back in the bottom of the third as their offense was just as hot as OKC. Ian Happ continued his recent hot stretch by picking up his 16th homer of the season to cut things to 7-4. P.J. Higgins added an RBI groundout later that inning as the Cubs were now two yet again 7-5.

That was as close as the Cubs would get the rest of the game as they not only failed to score another run but allowed five more homers to go with several other RBI hits to hand OKC a convincing 18-5 win. Iowa is 55-43 but has run into a rough patch of late in terms of their pitching.

Iowa mustered just six hits in the loss with Evans leading the way with a pair. Happ stayed hot with his HR and two RBIs while Davis picked up a hit off the bench. Mark Zagunis and Jim Adduci were both held hitless on the night. Dillon Maples provided the lone bright spot out of the pen providing a scoreless inning of work with a pair of K’s.

TENNESSEE SMOKIES 2 – Birmingham Barons 1: In desperate need of a win, Luis Lugo took the ball for the Smokies in hopes of staying strong at AA. Although Lugo only lasted four innings, he kept the Smokies in the game allowing just an ER in the first inning while the bullpen held steady for the final five frames. That allowed the offense to be patient as they pushed across a pair of ninth-inning runs to pick up a 2-1 win.

The Barons were able to strike first in the bottom of the first when Blake Rutherford took Lugo deep for his sixth homer of the season and 1-0 lead. At the time, one run certainly didn’t seem like it would be enough offensively, but the Smokies' pitching staff was sharp after that allowing nothing the rest of the way. The Smokies appeared to be in position to tie things up in the second as Jhonny Pereda and Jared Young led the inning off with consecutive singles. However, a double-play ball ended that threat with the score still 1-0.

Lugo managed to escape some trouble in the third as he allowed a leadoff double to Nick Madrigal before a wild pitch moved him to third with no one out. Somehow Lugo was able to keep him stranded as that appeared to be the turning point in the game.

In the ninth with one down, Roberto Caro reached base taking one for the team to put the tying run on. Nico Hoerner followed that with a walk before the bases were loaded with an intentional walk to Vimael Machin. Now down to their last out, Danny Dopico uncorked a wild pitch allowing Caro to score and suddenly it was a 1-1 game. Young came through with a huge single immediately after to put the Smokies up 2-1 as Wyatt Short worked around a bases-loaded jam in the bottom of the ninth to hold the Barons off 2-1.

It was a big win for Tennessee as they are a long way from where they want to be sitting at 43-53. The Smokies collected just four hits in the game with Young grabbing two of them including the game-winner. Pereda and Gioskar Amaya added the other two while Caro, Hoerner, and Machin combined to go 0-9 with 2BB and 3K. Allen Webster continued his rehab assignment with a scoreless frame while Short improved to 4-1 with a 1.79 ERA.

MYRTLE BEACH PELICANS: Suspended. The Pelicans held a 5-1 lead over the Mudcats in the top of the fourth inning when the game was suspended due to weather. Teams will resume play today and finish that game up before their scheduled Friday night contest.

SOUTH BEND CUBS 4 – Wisconsin Timber Rattlers 5: What started as a positive night with flame-throwing Brailyn Marquez on the mound ended in defeat as Peyton Remy couldn’t hold a 4-2 lead giving Wisconsin a 5-4 win. Marquez did his part in another ND effort, getting through five innings of 2R 1ER ball with seven K’s as his fastball was sitting at 97-99 consistently all night.

After a Luke Reynolds double play killed a first-inning Cubs rally, Cole Roederer put South Bend on top in the second inning as he lined one over the right-field fence for a quick 2-0 lead. Later, that inning Rafael Narea ripped a single to left field to score Marcus Mastrobuoni but was thrown out trying to advance to second as the inning ended with South Bend on top 3-0.

Wisconsin began to chip away in both the bottom of the third and fourth innings as a David Fry sacrifice fly in the third put the Timber Rattlers on the board. Kekai Rios made things a 3-2 game with his fourth-inning RBI groundout. With the Cubs still holding onto the 3-2 lead in the sixth, it was Roederer once again coming through with a huge hit crushing his second homer of the game into the right-center field bullpen for his fifth of the season as the Cubs were now in front 4-2.

That is when things began to change in Wisconsin’s favor as Remy entered the game in the sixth. A mix of not finding the strike zone and poor play on defense did South Bend in during the sixth inning as Leugim Castillo tied the game up 4-4 before advancing to third on a throwing error on the same play. Fortunately for South Bend, they were able to strand him at third keeping things tied 4-4. The Timber Rattlers took the lead for good in the seventh as Brent Diaz flared a two-out single to center to give Wisconsin their first lead late 5-4.

South Bend was unable to get anything going the rest of the way as their final six hitters were retired in order dropping the series to Wisconsin with a 5-4 defeat. The Cubs are starting to fade a little of late as a combination of promotions and injuries are standing to add up for the 49-45 club. South Bend had a trio of hot hitters as Roederer, Yonathan Perlaza and Clayton Daniel all had two-hit nights. Rising prospect Brennan Davis had the night off again as the team is closely monitoring his wrist injury.

EUGENE EMERALDS 2 – Lynchburg Hillcats 1: To be the best, you must beat the best, and that is precisely what Eugene has done the past two days. Facing off against the first place Hillcats was the Cubs top pick from this year’s draft in Ryan Jensen was strong in his two-shutout innings allowing just 1H to go with 4K’s. The bullpen and offense took care of the rest as two runs would be all the Ems would need in a tight 2-1 victory over Lynchburg.

It took four innings for someone to bust through, and it was Jake Slaughter putting the Emeralds in front first with his third homer of the season as he continues to hit the ball well. That lead was short-lived as Lynchburg responded in the top of the fifth inning on a Jesus Merriaga single and just like that things were even once again 1-1.

Now in the seventh, it was up to who wants it more at this point as the game was in the hands of the bullpens. Fortunately for Eugene, Luis Vazquez has ice water in his veins connecting for a ground-rule double to put the Ems back on top 2-1. Chris Kachmar and Riley McCauley finished things from there as Kachmar improved to 3-0 and has yet to allow an ER while McCauley tallied his fifth save while sporting a 1.17 ERA.

Eugene is starting to play some of their best baseball as they are sitting at 16-18 for the year. Despite only two in hits in the game, the Emeralds made them count as each of them brought home runs in the game. The Emeralds also added six walks with Fernando Kelli grabbing one of those despite no hits at the plate.

DSL CUBS (2) 9 – DSL Brewers 10: The DSL Cubs 2 fell to 24-16 as they dropped a tight 10-9 contest to the Brewers. The Cubs were done in early as the Brewers plated five runs in the second before adding four more in the fourth. The Cubs managed to make things a game in the fifth as they brought home five runs of their own in the six with Felix Stevens delivering a three-run shot in that inning.

The homer from Stevens was one of his two hits in the game as he ended up 2-4 with those three RBI’s. Rafael Herrera and Lizardo Ruiz each added two RBI’s of their own as the Cubs continue to hit the ball hard. Willians Vazquez was a bright spot on the mound, lasting 4 2/3 innings and allowing 0ER on 3H to go with 4K in the loss.

DSL CUBS (1) 4 – DSL RAYS 2: The DSL Cubs 1 were able to get back to 500 at 20-20 for the season following a 4-2 win over the Rays. Tied 1-1 heading to the bottom of the seventh, the Cubs were able to take the lead on a bases-loaded walk from Rafael Morel before, and error pushed the lead to 4-1 to cap off the three-run seventh for the win.

Not one single player had a multi-hit effort, but it was Yohendrick Pinango leading the way with Two RBI’s in the win. All three pitchers pitched well in the game, but it was starter Andricson Salvador setting the tone with five shutout innings of one-hit ball in the win.

AZL CUBS (2) 14 – AZL Reds 6: The Cubs broke out the bats Thursday night as they improved to 10-15 with a 14-6 beatdown of the Reds. The Cubs made things count when they did score using a pair of four-run innings in the fourth and eighth and then a three-run fifth to bust things open in the victory.

Kevin Moreno had the hot hand offensively, going 2-4 with 4 RBI’s in the win. Abraham Rodriguez also had a good night with a pair of hits and 3 RBI’s while D.J. Artis went 0-3 with a walk. Carlos Ocampo improved to 2-1 on the mound allowing 1 ER in five innings as the offense gave him plenty of support.

AZL CUBS (1) 6 – AZL Athletics (Green) 7: AZL Cubs 1 fell to 13-12 on the season allowing a pair of three-run innings early in the game before a late-game rally fell short 7-6. Down 7-2 in the sixth, the Cubs made things interesting by pushing across four runs in the bottom of the sixth on four RBI singles before sputtering out the final three frames in the loss.

Ezequiel Pagan set the tone from the leadoff spot, collecting a pair of hits to go with 3 RBI’s. Carlos Pacheco added a two-hit night of his own with two walks while sixth-round pick Ethan Hearn reached base twice via the walk. Emilio Ferrebus did an excellent job of keeping things close in relief going four innings and allowing just 1ER on 2H.

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