Down on Cubs Farm: Ben Zobrist playing update, Abbott sets career mark, Ems win again


by - Staff Writer -
Matt Marton - USA Today Sports
Matt Marton - USA Today Sports

The Cubs were busy on Thursday with all eyes on Iowa for the next stop of the Ben Zobrist rehab tour. Despite a hitless night and an overall disappointing game from Iowa, the Cubs still managed to go 3-2 on the farm as they came one inning away from making it a 4-1 night.

IOWA CUBS 0 – Memphis Redbirds 5: The Cubs bats were held in check on Thursday night, as they managed just three hits in a 5-0 shutout loss and falling to 66-56 on the season. Recently acquired Chih-Wei-HU got the start and lasted only three innings allowing four earned runs in the process. Trevor Clifton backed him up with 1ER in 3 2/3 innings before Wyatt Short took over for the final 1 1/3 striking out three of the four batters he faced.

All four runs HU allowed came via the long ball with a two-run shot in the first from Rangel Ravelo followed another two-run shot in the third by Harrison Bader who is down on a rehab assignment. Edmundo Sosa capped off the scoring for Memphis in the sixth with a sacrifice fly as the Redbirds made things look easy in the 5-0 win.

P.J. Higgins had the hot hand at the plate as he was responsible for two of the teams three total hits. Donnie Dewees picked up the other hit for the Cubs as the rest of the offense was held in check. Addison Russell, Robel Garcia, Mark Zagunis and Jim Adduci combined to go 0-13 with 1BB and 7K. Ben Zobrist made his AAA season debut and went 0-3 with 1BB and 1K.

TENNESSEE SMOKIES 5 – Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp 4 (12 innings): The Smokies treated the fans to some extra baseball on Thursday night, as they improved to 51-71 on the season following a 5-4 12 inning win. Cory Abbott stole the show in this one as he delivered his best outing of the season. Not only did he allow two unearned runs on just one hit in 6 2/3 innings, but Abbott also struck out a career-high 12 hitters before being hit with an ND.

It was Jacksonville getting on the board first in the third as a critical error earlier in the inning left the door wide open. A Lewin Diaz RBI groundout and Joe Dunand sacrifice followed that error with the Jumbo Shrimp up 2-0 early. The Tennessee offense was looking to bounce back after letting Abbott down in the third with Roberto Caro singling in the bottom half to make things a 2-1 game. Eddy Martinez added a single of his own in the fourth tying things up 2-2.

Not only did that score hold up for a while, but it was the last of the runs in regulation as the teams headed to extras. Still tied 2-2 in the 11th, Jacksonville was finally able to break through once again when Dunand got ahold of one for his fourth homer of the season to put the Jumbo Shrimp back up 4-2. Once again Tennessee refused to back down as the Jhonny Pereda grounder brought them within one before Christian Donahue sent the game to the 12th with an RBI knock.

It was in the 12th that saw Tennessee get the last laugh as Jared Young came through with a clutch single to deliver the winning run with the Smokies surviving 5-4 in walk-off fashion. Nico Hoerner remained hot at the plate, collecting two more hits to lead the way. Joining him with a multi-hit effort was Martinez while Caro, Donahue, and Young added the rest.

Despite taking two walks in the game, Vimael Machin was hitless in three official at-bats. Manuel Rondon and Jordan Minch were great in relief, as the duo combined for 3 1/3 scoreless frames allowing just two baserunners. Baily Clark earned the win despite allowing that homer in the 11th.

MYRTLE BEACH PELICANS 11 – Potomac Nationals 2: Sometimes a big inning is all you if you want to win a game. For Myrtle Beach, that was precisely the case as the Pelicans used an eight-run seventh to pull away 11-2 and move 48-72. Looking to bounce back from his previous rough outing, Brendon Little was sharp in this one earning his first High-A win. Little tossed six innings of 2ER ball to go with just 5H 0BB and 6K in his winning effort.

With Little taking care of things on the mound, it was up to the Pelicans offense to do their parts at the plate. That started in the third inning when

Zac Taylor gave them an early 1-0 lead with a double. That lead was short-lived as the Nationals responded with a pair of runs in the third on the Gilbert Lara triple and Jack Sundberg single to take the 2-1 lead. That was all Little allowed as the Pelicans took the lead for good in the fourth.

After Luke Reynolds put the Pelicans in front 3-2 with his fifth homer of the season in the fourth, Myrtle Beach was looking for some insurance runs late. That all changed in the seventh when the Pelicans busted things wide open. With Carlos Sepulveda opening the scoring with a double, five other players recorded RBI’s in this half-inning as the Pelicans pushed across eight runs to take the 11-2 lead.

Singles from Grant Fennell, Aramis Ademan and Jose Gutierrez brought home three runs with the Cam Balego homer bringing home a pair. The Pelicans also benefitted from a couple of wild pitches in that inning which brought home the other two runs in the 11-2 win.

Sepulveda set the tone from the leadoff spot in this one, going 3-4 with that RBI in the win. Joining him in the multi-hit category was Delvin Zinn as he tallied a pair of hits to bring his average back to around 230. Miguel Amaya was one of three players without a hit in this one but did take 2BB to extend his on-base streak. Scott Effross and Jesus Camargo finished things off for Little on the mound.

SOUTH BEND CUBS 1 – Lake County Captains 2 (10 Innings): Talk about heartbreak for South Bend on Thursday, it was the Cubs falling to the Captains via the walk-off 2-1 in 10 and dropping their record to 65-55.

Since his return from Eugene, Mort has been on a mission, and that continued Thursday. In his five innings of work, Mort allowed just 1ER on 1H to go with a pair of K’s in an ND. His only downfall was lack of command as six walks got him out of the game sooner than he would have liked. Struggling with his control immediately in the first, a Bo Naylor RBI double was not only the only run he allowed but the only hit also as the Captains were up 1-0 after one.

That score remained intact until the middle stages of the game when the Cubs were finally able to cash in during the fifth. With a pair of runners on base, Clayton Daniel shocked the defense by dropping down a perfectly executed bunt. It was the right call as not only did Darius Hill move to second and Daniel to first, but the tying run scored making things 1-1 through five.

With Sean Barry tossing a scoreless outing of relief it was time for Brian Glowicki to enter the game and he too was able to throw some scoreless frames helping get the game to extras 1-1. However, luck would run out on Glowicki in the 10th as that pesky Naylor picked up another hit in the 11th as his single gave the Captains the 2-1 walk-off win.

With just seven hits in the game, South Bend never really had much going as Rafelin Lorenzo led the way with two. Jake Slaughter continued his hitting streak as his average is now 357 as four others joined him in the hit parade. Despite the trio of pitchers allowing just two hits in 10 2/3 innings, both those hits proved to be RBI knocks off the bat Naylor as he provided the Captains with all the offense they would need.

EUGENE EMERALDS 5 – Salem -Keizer Volcanoes 3: Like I mentioned yesterday, maybe their win against the Volcanoes would set them up for the run they have been waiting for all season. A four-run second inning certainly helped in this one as the Emeralds topped the Volcanoes yet again 5-3 to move to 28-31.

Making his first start of the season for Eugene, Yovanny Cruz pitched admirably lasting 4 1/3 innings and allowing 2ER on 4H. Fortunately for him, he was back by an Emerald offense that came to play early. Look no further than the second inning as the Emeralds never trailed in this contest.

Already with a runner on base, Jacob Olson put Eugene in front for good as his double made things 1-0. Pedro Martinez continued his red-hot hitting with an RBI single shortly after as Jake Washer doubled him home to make it 3-0. Still, in the second, it was Josue Huma providing the winning run as he forced a Salem throwing error to make it 4-0 after two.

The Emeralds returned the favor in the third as the Volcanoes got on the board with a fielding error to make things 4-1. The Salem comeback effort continued in the fifth as they were able to chase Cruz from the game following the Beicker Mendoza homer and Jairo Pomares single to make things a 4-3 game. Fortunately for the Emeralds, they were able to withstand that rally and keep the Volcanoes off the board the rest of the night with Fernando Kelli providing some insurance in the seventh with an RBI groundout giving Eugene the 5-3 win.

It was Washer’s night to step up as he was the lone player with multiple hits on his team. Six others picked up one hit including Kelli, Edmond Americaan, Grayson Byrd and Chase Strumpf as the Emerald offense recorded eight hits in the win. Despite just throwing 2/3 innings, Bryan King picked up the win in relief with Eduarniel Nunez and Riley McCauley taking care of the final four frames. It was McCauley’s sixth save as his ERA sits at 2.73.

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Tags: Ben Zobrist, Trevor Clifton, Wyatt Short, Addison Russell, Robel Garcia, Mark Zagunis, Jim Adduci, Cory Abbott, Roberto Caro, Eddy Martinez, Jhonny Pereda, Christian Donahue, Jared Young, Vimael Machin, Manuel Rondon, Jordan Minch, Luke Reynolds, Carlos Sepulveda, Aramis Ademan, Cam Balego, Delvin Zinn, Miguel Amaya, Scott Effross, Jesus Camargo, Clayton Daniel, Sean Barry, Brian Glowicki, Rafelin Lorenzo, Fernando Kelli, Riley McCauley
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