Down on Cubs Farm: Cole Hamels' rehab, Ian Happ stays on fire, AZL 2 wins late, more


by - Staff Writer -
Isaiah Downing - USA Today Sports
Isaiah Downing - USA Today Sports

With eight games going on Tuesday night, plenty of action was available for all fans to witness. With most of the attention focused on Iowa with the Cole Hamels rehab start, the Cubs managed to go 3-5 on the night as there was not very much offense to go around.

IOWA CUBS 3 San Antonio Missions 4: Much of the Cubs organizational eyes were watching Iowa on Monday as Cole Hamels took to the mound for what he hopes to be a short rehab assignment. Given his career and whatnot, these types of outings are never about results but more of how you feel when done. Hamels battled through some rust to walk three batters in 2 1/3 inning but did not allow a single run as the Cubs fell to 56-46 with a 4-3 walk-off loss.

Johnny Field has returned to Iowa from an injury and has been on fire ever since. After putting the Cubs up 1-0 in the second with his eighth homer of the year, Field doubled that lead in the fourth with his 18th double as the Cubs were in front 2-0. Field continued to be the center of attention later that inning as he was able to trot home on a wild pitch to make things a 3-0 game.

Hernan Perez was able to put the Missions on the board in the bottom of the fourth with his second homer of the season to make things a 3-1 game. That was the last of the offense until the ninth inning as James Norwood looked to lock down a 3-1 win. Norwood had a night to forget on the hill, as he not only blew the save but suffered the loss in the process allowing three ninth-inning runs to the Missions to hand the Cubs a 4-3 loss. Trent Grisham delivered the game-winner with a hustling fielder’s choice.

Field was the offense in this one, collecting two hits with both team’s RBI’s. Ian Happ continues to hit especially in July as another multi-hit effort from him pushes his average to 239 on the season but 314 for July. Jim Adduci and Taylor Davis combined to go 0-7 with 1BB. The Cubs bullpen was solid for the most part as Craig Brooks, Danny Hultzen and Duane Underwood combined for 5 1/3 scoreless frames before Norwood struggled late.

TENNESSEE SMOKIES 1 – Montgomery Biscuits 2: The tough luck continued for the Smokies as they fell to 43-57 with a 2-1 loss despite another excellent outing from starter Cory Abbott. In five innings, Abbott allowed 2ER to keep things close, but the Smokies lack of offense prevented him from getting a win to suffer a 2-1 defeat.

The lone run for Tennessee came in the second inning as they managed to grab the early lead. With speedster Zach Davis standing on third, Gioskar Amaya did what he needed to do to get a run home picking up an RBI groundout for the quick 1-0 lead. That lead wouldn’t hold up that long as Vidal Brujan connected for his second homer of the season in the third giving the Biscuits a 2-1 lead.

Those would be the only two runs Montgomery would need as they were held to just two hits in the win. Down by one in the fifth Tennessee did their best to take the lead as an Amaya single and Connor Myers double had two men on with one out. However, a double play off the bat of Christian Donahue ended that threat with the score still 2-1. That was the final runner in scoring position on the night for Tennessee as they fall to Montgomery 2-1.

Tennessee tallied just five hits of their own with Davis, Nico Hoerner and Vimael Machin adding the other three in the game. Both Luis Lugo and Michael Rucker were impressive in relief, but it was the three scoreless frames from Lugo that gave the rest of the pen a break as he remains strong in AA.

MYRTLE BEACH PELICANS 2 – Frederick Keys 3: In a battle of two of the worst teams in the Carolina League, it was Frederick taking game one as they sent the Pelicans to 38-62 with the 3-2 win. Jack Patterson continues to do his thing for High A, going 4 1/3 innings again allowing just one unearned run to keep his ERA at 0.00 with the Pels. It was a late letdown from the bullpen in the seventh that sealed their fate as they were not able to rally late.

Down 1-0 in the sixth after the fifth inning Robbie Thorburn RBI, Myrtle Beach was able to grab the lead in the sixth as their offense finally got things going. Without the strength of a hit, the Pelicans had the bases loaded with one out as two walks, and a hit by pitch had them set up nicely. Their patience at the plate continued when Grant Fennell took another walk to tie the game 1-1, keeping the bases loaded in the process. An Aramis Ademan RBI groundout followed that and just like that it was 2-1 without a hit.

Looking to hold the Keys off late, Manuel Rodriguez was touched up in the seventh for a pair of runs as Zach Jarrett rolled a single past third to plate a pair and once again the Keys were in front 3-2 with just two innings to go. Needing some late-game magic to force extras, the Pelicans went down in order quietly the next two innings to fall 3-2 on the road.

Fennell continues to see the ball well, picking up two of the teams five hits in the win to go with one RBI. Ademan added a single to go with his RBI while Kevonte Mitchell and Jose Gutierrez added the final two hits. Miguel Amaya had the night off. Ryan Lawlor continues to throw well in the pen lasting 1 2/3 innings allowing just 1H to go with 4K as his ERA is down to 2.60.

SOUTH BEND CUBS: Off Travel Day

EUGENE EMERALDS 0 – Boise Hawks 3: For the second night in a row, the offense was nowhere to be found for Eugene as they were shutout once again 3-0. Despite another strong outing from both Kohl Franklin and Alex Whitney, Franklin suffered his second loss of the season despite a 1.52 ERA as the Ems couldn’t get anything going offensively despite seven hits.

After wasting a golden opportunity to jump ahead in the second, Boise made them pay in the top of the third as they grabbed the lead for good on an Ezequiel Tovar sacrifice fly for the 1-0 advantage. Another wasted scoring chance went by the wayside in the third as the Hawks doubled their lead to 2-0 in the fifth courtesy of a Bladmir Restituyo homer.

Another sacrifice fly in the sixth, this time off the bat of Vladimir Dilone gave the Hawks a 3-0 lead as Eugene continued to search for answers. It appeared as if those answers were found in the eighth inning when a one-out Darius Hill walk ahead of the Nelson Maldonado double had a pair in scoring position with just one down. The Emeralds knew they needed to cash in but couldn’t find that critical hit as they were shut out for the second straight game 3-0.

Maldonado continues to hit everything in sight, collecting two more hits to bring his average to 432 on the season. Jake Slaughter joined him in the multi-hit party raising his average to .305 in the process with Chase Strumpf adding one hit of his own in the loss. Tanner Dalton fired another scoreless frame of relief as he has yet to allow a run in eight innings with Eugene.

DSL CUBS (1) 13 – DSL Indians/Brewers 4: The DSL 1 Cubs finally got back to 500 (22-22) as they pounded out 12 hits in a 13-4 victory. Leading the way on the mound was Alberto Sojo and Johan Lopez as the two combined to toss six shutout innings. The Cubs did most of their damage in both the fifth and seventh innings as a three-run fifth followed by a six-run seventh to open things up in the lopsided win.

Juan Vazquez was in the middle of the action all day, leading the team with three hits to go with three RBI’s as well. Cristian More added three more hits from the leadoff spot to bring his average to 316 with Yohendrick Pinango adding another multi-hit game. Nestor Heredia also had a nice day at the dish picking up two RBIs in the win.

DSL CUBS (2) 5 – DSL DBacks (2) 9: The DSL Cubs fell to 27-17 on Wednesday, as the DBacks 9-5 victimized them. Things were not all bad in the loss as both Yander Montero, and Ferrol Heredia were impressive on the mound, tossing six shut out innings before the pen yielding nine runs in the seventh and eighth innings to take the loss.

Things got off to an excellent start for the Cubs as they grabbed a 2-0 lead in the first off, a balk and a Ronny Simon steal of home. That lead grew to 3-0 in the second as Jose Lopez picked up a sacrifice fly. That was all the offense the Cubs could muster until the ninth inning as that score would hold up until the DBacks plated nine runs in the seventh and eighth innings to take a 9-3 lead.

DSL Cubs were able to push across a pair in the ninth on a Marco Valenzuela single and Flemin Bautista bases-loaded walk, but it was nowhere near enough to pull out the win. Despite five runs, the Cubs managed just three hits as the offense was silenced throughout. The Cubs did manage to take 16 walks, however, as they had plenty of traffic on the bases.

AZL CUBS (1) 2 – AZL Athletics (Green) 8: It was a rough day for AZL Cubs 1, as they fell to 15-14 on the season following an 8-2 loss to the A’s. After Joe Nahas opened the game with a scoreless first inning, the A’s managed to push across three runs in the second and two in the third to take a 5-1 lead as they never looked back.

The Cubs did manage to strike first in the top of the second, however, as Yovanny Cuevas singled home the games first run for the 1-0 lead. That lead was short-lived as the Cubs allowed three runs in the second before two more in the third to put themselves in a 5-1 hole. All five runs allowed came on doubles as Givaine Basilla connected for a bases-loaded double in the second, while Hansen Lopez brought home two with his double in the third.

Carlos Pacheco got the Cubs back on the board in the fifth with a sacrifice fly to make things 5-2, but that was all the offense they would have as the A’s responded with three more runs in the fifth and sixth innings to cruise 8-2. Cuevas led the way offensively, collecting three of the teams seven hits to go with his RBI. Elian Almanzar made his season debut with a scoreless inning of relief along with Aneuris Rosario who also debuted with a scoreless frame.

AZL CUBS (2) 5 – AZL Reds 3: It was better late than never for the AZL Cubs two, as a five-fun eighth inning proved to be the difference in the 5-3 victory as they improve to 14-15 on the season. The Cubs fell behind 2-0 in the second inning as a Jose Tello homer put the Reds up 1-0 before an error made things 2-0. That score would hold up until the top of the eighth inning when the Yassel Pino groundout pushed the lead to 3-0 before the fireworks started.

After looking lost for seven innings, the Cubs bats came to life in a big way as they looked to pull out the win. With the bases loaded, Carlos Morfa got the Cubs on the board with a walk ahead of Richard Nunez single to tie things up 3-3. Brandon Vicens was able to deliver the game-winning RBI with a sacrifice fly ahead of the Luis Verdugo single to put the Cubs in front 5-3 with just three outs to go. Jamie Galazin took care of things from there retiring the Reds in order in the ninth to preserve the comeback 5-3 win.

Both Nunez and Alexander Guerra had multi-hit nights, contributing for four of the Cubs five hits. Verdugo added the fifth and final hit in a pinch-hit role while picking up an RBI. 2019 eighth-round pick DavidJohn Herz made his season debut and tossed one scoreless frame to open the game before handing things to the pen. Galazin earned the win to improve to 3-0.

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Tags: Cole Hamels, James Norwood, Ian Happ, Jim Adduci, Taylor Davis, Craig Brooks, Duane Underwood, Cory Abbott, Zach Davis, Gioskar Amaya, Connor Myers, Christian Donahue, Vimael Machin, Luis Lugo, Michael Rucker, Aramis Ademan, Manuel Rodriguez, Kevonte Mitchell, Miguel Amaya, Ryan Lawlor, Alexander Guerra
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