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Cubs Minor League News: Perlaza raking, Verdugo with 11-game hitting streak, more
Perlaza had an impressive game (Photo courtesy: I-Cubs)

Cubs Minor League News: Perlaza raking, Verdugo with 11-game hitting streak, more


by - Senior Writer -

It was nice to have all four Cubs affiliates on the diamond on Thursday as the Cubs enjoyed a much-needed day off. The problem was the overall results, as the Cubs posted just a 1-3 record on the farm, which has become too much of a current theme in recent weeks.

IOWA CUBS 10 - TOLEDO MUD HENS 7

The lone team to win their game on Thursday was the Iowa Cubs, and oddly enough, they had the biggest storyline associated with it. Prior to their game, it was announced that Shane Greene would be making a start in Cincinnati as part of the Chicago Cubs doubleheader, while budding OF prospect Alexander Canario would also get the call as part of the September roster expansion.

Congrats to those guys, but Iowa still has a loaded roster that is more than capable of doing great things. The Cubs showed how explosive they can be as all 10 runs came in three innings as they erased an early deficit for the win. Caleb Kilian continues to be an issue as his future with this organization and his role is starting to get cloudy. Kilian gave the Cubs 4 1/3, but was charged with seven runs on eight hits.

Following him, a quartet of relievers kept the Mud Hens off the board, including two impressive innings from Tyler Duffey, who struck out four. The Cubs fell behind immediately in the first as Andre Lipcius connected for a two-run shot off Kilian to make things 2-0 early. A Wanceel Perez single in the second extended the lead to 3-0 before the Cubs offense finally started to get rolling in the middle innings.

It may have taken four innings, but once their offense got rolling, they were tough to stop as PJ Higgins delivered an RBI double to put the Cubs on the board and made things 3-1. Later in the inning, I saw Chase Strumpf connect for his 11th homer, and just like that, it was a 3-3 game.

Toledo instantly responded with a Ryan Kreider homer in the bottom of the fourth to retake the lead, only to have the Cubs offense get rolling again in the fifth.

Matt Mervis started things off with a two-run double to give the Cubs the lead, while a double off of the bat of David Bote made things 6-4. Like in the previous inning, Toledo had all of the answers for the Iowa offense, and with a pair of homers from Justyn Henry-Malloy and Colt Keith, it was the Mud Hens back in front 7-6 as the back-in-fort affair continued.

That was the last lead the Mud Hens would have as the Cubs offense continued to hit the ball hard and pushed across four more runs in the sixth. Pete Crow-Armstrong tied the game with an RBI single while a single from Yonathan Perlaza put the Cubs in front for good 9-7. You also had a bases-loaded walk from Strumpf lead to the final run as the Cubs won 10-7.

BILOXI SHUCKERS 3 - TENNESSEE SMOKIES 2

This has been a miserable week for the Smokies thus far, as they have now dropped all three games in their series with Biloxi. Thursday was all about the pitching as both teams put together terrific showings on the mound.

Brandon Birdsell got the ball for the Smokies and tossed five innings, allowing just three runs on eight hits. The problem was the Smokies offense as Adam Seminaris and company held the high-powered Smokies to just two runs before picking up the win. Early on, it was all Tennessee as a pair of RBI doubles gave them a quick 2-0 lead.

Nelson Maldonado struck first with an RBI double in the first, while the scorching hot Matt Shaw added one in the second for the 2-0 lead.

Regarding Shaw, no one in Minor League baseball is rising through the rankings faster than him, as he is already a top 100 prospect just two months after being drafted.

Despite their early 2-0 lead, that would be all the offense on the night for the Smokies as the Biloxi pitching shut them down. That gave their offense a chance to come back, and with one swing from Jackson Chourio, the Shuckers tied things up 2-2 in the third as he joined the 20 Hr/20 SB club with that swing.

The lone ball continued to bite Birdsell in the fourth as Zavier Warren took him deep to put the Shuckers in front 3-2, which would be the final score.

FORT WAYNE TIN CAPS 8 - SOUTH BEND CUBS 5

Sparked by a pair of three-run innings, the Tin Caps withstood a tough South Bend club and have now taken the series lead. Grant Kipp got the start for the Cubs as his struggles in High-A have continued. Across his 4 1/3, Kipp was hit hard as he allowed five earned runs to see his ERA rise north of 8.00. Had it not been for one rough inning by Michael McAvene, the Cubs may have won this game, but the result was another loss.

With just one swing of the bat, Griffin Doersching gave the Tin Caps a 2-0 lead with a homer in the second. Fort Wayne made that lead hold until the fourth as the Cubs offense got rolling in a big way. With a wild pitch gifting South Bend their first run, Christian Franklin came through with an RBI single to tie things up ahead of the go-ahead Luis Verdugo single that gave the Cubs a 4-2 lead.

Kipp continued to struggle in the bottom half of the fourth as an RBI groundout and wild pitch led to two runs, while the RBI single Colton Bender brought home another to put Fort Wayne back in front 5-4. The back-and-forth game continued into the fifth, Kevin Alcantara picking up an RBI groundout to bring things back to even 5-5.

That score would remain until late in the game as McAvene was called on to pitch the final few innings. Hoping to turn his season around, McAvene allowed the game-winning single to Kervin Pichardo and a two-run blast from Bender as the three-run eighth was the difference in the Cubs' 8-5 loss.

James Triantos and Felix Stevens led the offense with two hits, while Verdugo picked up two RBIs.

CHARLESTON RIVERDOGS 6 - MYRTLE BEACH PELICANS 2

With the after-effects of the hurricane no longer in the area, it was time for baseball in Sought Carolina, where the Pelicans fell to Charleston 6-2. A lot of the Riverdogs damage came early in the game, as Jackson Ferris didn't have it at this start.

Despite striking out six, Ferris walked three and only lasted three innings as he surrendered four runs. That was more than enough as Jonny Cuevas and company struck out 12 in the game and allowed just two runs in the win. Not only did a pair of RBI singles from Ryan Cermak and Cooper Kinney give the Riverdogs a 2-0 lead in the first, but another single from Braydon Taylor mixed with the Cristopher Barete double had the Pelicans in a massive 4-0 hole two innings in.

Had the Riverdogs not scored the rest of the way, it would have been enough, but a wild pitch from Angel Hernandez, who did have seven strikeouts in three innings, led to another run as the Riverdogs extended their lead to 5-0 in the fourth. All of the Pelicans offense came in the fifth as Brian Kalmer came through with another RBI single to make things 5-2. Ryan Spikes closed out the scoring with an RBI double in the seventh as the Riverdogs evened things up with the Birds.

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