Cubs Minor League News: Perlaza and Slaughter homer, Nwogu hot, Shaw raking, more

Cubs Minor League News: Perlaza and Slaughter homer, Nwogu hot, Shaw raking, more

by - Senior Writer -

Another Sunday has come and gone, and so has another week of Minor League Baseball for the Cubs system. What looked to be a promising week in the first half turned into a nightmare finish, culminating with a 1-3 record on Sunday as the Cubs system seems to have hit a late-season rough patch.


If the Cubs want to make the playoffs, they need to win as many games as possible, and dropping a series to the Louisville Bats is not the way to go. That is bound to happen when a large portion of your starting rotation is filled with bullpen arms, as Iowa has some figuring out to do.

One of the guys that has been a mainstay in the rotation this season has been Nick Nidert, who wasn't great but wasn't terrible on Sunday. Niedert gave Iowa four innings of work, allowing three runs and striking out five before handing things off to the bullpen. After Keegan Thompson tossed a rare scoreless outing, the combination of Brian Boxberger, Richard Bleier, and Edwin Uceta struggled as they surrendered six runs in three innings.

Jason Vosler had a great series and opened the game with a solo homer in the top of the second to put the Cubs in an early 1-0 hole. Alejo Lopez added a single later in the inning as Louisville opened up a 3-0 lead. Iowa did a great job battling back, with Yonathan Perlaza picking up an RBI single in the third to put the Cubs on the board, while a bases-loaded walk from PJ Higgins made things 3-2.

Two innings later, Iowa grabbed a 4-3 as Jake Slaughter and Perlaza connected for a pair of solo shots.

Iowa kept things rolling, with Chase Strumpf adding an RBI double in the sixth to extend the lead to 5-3. Once the seventh inning rolled around, things went south in a hurry for Iowa as a Vosler single pulled Louisville to within 5-4.

The next inning saw Chuckie Robinson deliver the big blow as his three-run blast put the Bats in front 7-5 and gave them a lead they would never let go of. Strumpf did his part to keep things close as his homer in the eighth pulled the Cubs to within 7-6 before a pair of runs by the Bats in the top half of the ninth extended the lead to 9-6.

However, Iowa wouldn't go away quietly as they began to rally in the bottom of the ninth. With a pair of runners on base, Luis Vazquez came through with an RBI single, and suddenly, it was a 9-8 game. Unfortunately, that was close as Iowa would get as they couldn't cash in with the big hit.


The lone team to pick up a win on Sunday was the Smokies, as they finished another week of action with a 7.5-game lead. Anytime you score nine runs in three innings, you are doing something right, as their offense was off and running early.

Kohl Franklin gave the Smokies a great start, but after lasting just two innings had to settle for a no-decision. Franklin allowed two runs with six strikeouts in his start and is starting to turn things around down the stretch.

Regarding the offense, the Smokies came out on fire as a bases-loaded walk from BJ Murray Jr put the Smokies in front 1-0 in the first, with Cole Roederer adding a two-run single. You also had a Nelson Maldonado sacrifice fly as the Smokies raced out to a 4-0 lead.

One inning later saw, three more runs came across to score, with Haydn McGeary driving in one run with an RBI groundout and Murray Jr plating a pair with an RBi single as the Smokies were in front 7-0. Jordan Nwogu capped off the great start with a two-run shot in the third as they were up 9-0.

Any time you have a lead like that after three innings, it makes life very difficult for your opponent, and even after Rocket City scored a pair of runs in the fourth, this game never seemed out of their control.

McGeary extended the lead to 10-2 with a solo blast in the sixth, only to see the long ball pull Rocket City closer.

First, it was the Tyler Payne homer in the seventh to make things 10-3, while Sonny DiChiara left the building in the eighth to close the deficit to 10-5.

That was as close as they would get, with Murray Jr adding an RBI single in the eighth mixed with a wild pitch as the Smokies took care of business 12-5. Murray Jr had three hits and four RBIs to lead the way, as everyone on the roster had one hit.


Another miserable week of games has ended as the Cubs were blanked by the Whitecaps 5-0. Michael Arias was the losing pitcher after allowing two runs in 3 1/3 innings. Granted, his start could have been better, it wouldn't have mattered as the Cubs managed to grab just four hits against five West Michigan hurlers.

Arias did his part early by keeping the game scoreless through three, but in the fourth, he came unglued and gave the Whitecaps the lead for good. Esney Chacon opened the scoring with a sacrifice fly, while an Izaac Pacheco single pushed the lead to 3-0 in the fourth. They continued to build on their lead with a Gage Workman sacrifice fly in the fifth, while Austin Murr closed out the scoring with a solo shot in the sixth to cap off a 5-0 win.

Matt Shaw snapped out of a brief two-game slump as he paced the Cubs offense with two hits.

Ezequiel Pagan and James Triantos added the other two hits as all four hits came from the top of the Cubs lineup.


No team had it rougher than Myrtle Beach on Sunday as they fell behind by eight runs early and couldn't recover. Anytime you allow four innings of four runs, you ask for trouble, as the pitching was not at its best.

Marino Santy picked a horrible time to have his worst start of the season, as he was charged with eight runs in 1 2/3. However, with only four of those runs coming as earned runs, his final line is better than it looked. Four of those runs came in the first inning with an RBI groundout and wild pitch leading to two runs, while the Roger Leyton single made things 4-0.

The Columbia offense continued to do plenty of damage in the second, with a sacrifice fly extending the lead to 5-0. A Trevor Werner followed that double to push the lead to 7-0, while the Jared Dickey single made things 8-0 after two. That score would hold until the fifth when another four-run frame continued to blow things open.

A Carson Roccaforte double brought home one of those runs, but Brett Squires's three-run blast extended the lead to 12-0 as the Pelicans were searching for answers. Some of those answers came in the sixth when Brian Kalmer belted a two-run shot to make things 12-2 as he continues to prove he is the best player on the team right now.

Those two runs were a step in the right direction, but when you walk in three runs in the bottom of the sixth and allow an RBI groundout to make things 16-2, all that hard work goes to waste. Rafael Morel closed out the scoring for the Birds, as his solo shot made things 16-3 in the eighth before ending with that score.

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