Cubs Minor League News: Davis with two hits, Kilian impressive, Horton unhittable, more

Cubs Minor League News: Davis with two hits, Kilian impressive, Horton unhittable, more

by - Senior Writer -

For the first time since last Friday, all four Cubs affiliates were on the field and looking to continue strong starts to their season. With the Big Club playing in the afternoon, fans had an opportunity to shift their focus to the farm and see some of the up-and-coming kids in the system.

In what has been a season primarily dominated by the offense, Wednesday gave fans a complete 180 as pitching stole the show and nearly had the Cubs post a 4-0 mark. However, some late runs by a pair of teams prevented that from happening as the Cubs managed to post a 2-2 mark.


For the first time in five days, the Iowa Cubs were back on the field and looking to pick up where they left off. This team has been crushing the ball offensively, but their pitching staff picked a perfect time to step up.

With unseasonably cold temperatures expected most of the weekend, look for some low-scoring games, as Caleb Kilian used that to his advantage. The right-hander cruised through five innings, allowing three hits and striking out four. Following him, you had a quartet of relievers with Ryan Borucki, Jeremiah Estrada, Tyler Duffey, and Manny Rodriguez working through command issues to cap off the shutout win.

While Kilian was good, you have to give credit where credit is due, and Casey Lawrence was flat-out dominant. Across six innings, Lawrence allowed one run on five hits, but managed to strike out 10 Cubs hitters. He was on the losing side of the tough luck loss as Jake Slaughter drove in the games lone run with an RBI single in the second. Brennen Davis finally showed signs of life offensively and led the way with two hits.


No one expected the Smokies to be under .500 or struggling much this season, but right now, they are. After falling behind early with Daniel Palencia giving the Smokies two innings, the offense stormed back as Walker Powell held down the fort with four strong innings.

His performance gave the offense the confidence to take the lead in the eighth inning, only to see the Lookouts rally off of Bailey Horn in the ninth for the win. While it is still unclear how cautious the Cubs will be with Palencia, you have to like what you have seen in the right-hander thus far. One of the hardest throwers in the Cubs system, Palencia didn't last long and surrendered a James Free homer in the first to put the Lookouts in front 2-0.

That lead grew to 3-0 in the third before the Tennessee offense started to wake up in the middle innings. After shutting out the Smokies through four innings, Andrew Abbott allowed his only two runs with Chase Strumpf connecting for an RBI double to make things 3-2. Abbott was impressive as he struck out 11 Tennessee hitters in five innings.

Still trailing by one in the eighth, the Smokies offense started to use some late-game magic, with Pablo Aliendo bringing things to even with a sacrifice fly.

Later in the frame, it was Luis Vazquez cashing in as his RBI double put the Smokies in front 4-3 and only three more outs to go.

Unfortunately, Horn couldn't hold that lead, with Allen Cerda driving in a pair with an RBI double and giving the Lookouts the 5-4 win. Tennessee had nine hits in the ball game, with Nelson Maldonado and Vazquez picking up two.


When you cap off the previous season as the Midwest League Champion, things will be challenging the following season as you go from the hunter to the hunted. Despite that, the Cubs continued to battle and picked up a 4-3 win over a solid Loons squad.

Richard Gallardo has had an up-and-down start to his season, but Wednesday saw him deliver an up performance. The right-hander picked up his first win of the season after going five innings and striking out two. He did allow two runs, but the Cubs gave him just enough support offensively while Brad Deppermann and Jarod Wright took care of the final four innings.

The 2022 season was the year of breakout performances by the Cubs as Alexander Canario and Matt Mervis took center stage. 2023 could be the year of the Jaguar, as Kevin Alcantara is on the verge of having a monster campaign. Not only did he put the Cubs in front with an RBI single in the third, but he added a crucial sacrifice fly in the fifth to make things 3-0. Scott McKeon picked up the second RBI of the game off his double in the fourth.

Typically a 3-0 lead wouldn't seem like much, but considering how Gallardo was cruising through four, you had to like the Cubs chances. Then came the fifth when the Loons offense finally got to the right-hander as Jake Vogel put the Loons on the board with an RBI double and then made things 3-2 after scoring on a sacrifice fly.

That score remained intact until the eighth inning when Josue Huma picked up a bases-loaded walk to extend the lead to 4-2. His walk was crucial as it not only put the Cubs back up two, but proved to be the game-winning RBI as Taylor Young made things 4-3 in the ninth before Wright slammed the door. South Bend had nine hits in their win as Alcantara, Fabian Perturz, and Haydn McGeary led the offense with two.


Losing a close game can be painful, but the Pelicans took a real gut punch on Wednesday. With their top pitching prospect Cade Horton on the mound, the Pelicans took a 1-0 lead and made that hold until the sixth inning before falling late.

Horton was phenomenal in what was just his second professional start as he tossed four no-hit innings of seven strikeout ball. He did walk three, as the command was sometimes an issue, but he looked great out there.

From an offensive side, runs were tough to come by as the Pelicans took a 1-0 lead in the fifth off a wild pitch.

That lead didn't last long, with the Greenjackets tying things up in the sixth off a bases-loaded walk and then taking the lead for good in the seventh with the Francisco Lloyd homer. With just three hits, the Pelicans didn't have many chances and dropped a tightly contested contest. Reivaj Garcia, Pedro Ramirez, and Felix Stevens had the hits for the Pelicans.

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