Down on Cubs Farm: Cole Hamels' rehab start, Evan's five-hit game, Adduci impressive, more


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

The Cubs continue to play winning baseball on the farm despite not every team posting winning records. Sunday was another example of just that as the Cubs managed to 4-3 as an organization with only one of those games seen as a blowout.

IOWA CUBS 9 – Round Rock Express 13: The Cubs picked a bad time for their pitching to struggle as they fell to 57-50 after a 13-9 loss against Round Rock on Sunday. The loss meant the Cubs fifth defeat in not only last six games, but also a three-game sweep in the process at home.

In his second and possible final rehab outing of the season, Cole Hamels took the ball and got through three innings allowing 3ER in the process. Despite many command issues, Hamels walked away pain-free, which is a huge step going forward. All three runs Hamels allowed came in the first inning with Round Rock connecting for a pair of homers from Drew Ferguson (9) and Kyle Tucker (27) to take the 3-0 lead.

Iowa responded with a strong first inning of their own to back Hamels with Dixon Machado getting the party started with his 14th homer of the season. A Jim Adduci single and P.J. Higgins sacrifice fly later that inning capped off the scoring with the teams even 3-3 after one. Iowa was able to jump in front in the bottom of the third inning when Phillip Evans picked up an RBI double. A Mark Zagunis double and double play later in the inning pushed across two more with the Cubs now in front 6-3 after three.

Not to be outdone, Round Rock responded with five unanswered runs combined of their own in the fifth and sixth innings anchored by Austin Dennis and Ferguson to put the Express back in front 8-6. The back and forth affair continued in the bottom half with Machado leaving the yard for the second time to bring things even 8-8. Down 9-8 in the bottom of the eighth, Evans came through with his second RBI double of the night to even things up 9-9 heading into the ninth.

It was in that inning where the Express put things away getting to both Dillon Maples and Danny Hultzen early and often to push across four runs and take the 13-9 lead. Looking to rally in the bottom of the ninth, the Cubs had a pair of runners on base with two down and couldn’t cash in falling 13-9.

With 16 hits, there was plenty to go around, but it was Evans leading the way with a perfect 5-5 day and 2 RBI’s. Zagunis delivered a season-high four hits while Machado, Donnie Dewees, and Adduci all added multi-hit efforts in the loss. Taylor Davis was held hitless as he has cooled off late.

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TENNESSEE SMOKIES 4 – Chattanooga Lookouts 3 (10 Innings): With Cory Abbott gutting through five innings of unusual lack of command, the Smokies were able to rally late at Chattanooga to take down the Lookouts 4-3 in extras and move to 45-61. Abbott may have lasted only five innings walking five men but allowed just 1R on 2H keeping his team in the game throughout.

The lone run Abbott allowed came immediately in the first inning off a Taylor Trammell single and just like that it was 1-0 Lookouts. That advantage was short-lived as the Smokies responded in the second. With a man on base, it was Christian Donahue hitting his third homer of the season and ending a long homerless drought to put the Smokies in front 2-1.

That score would hold until the sixth inning as the Smokies pen was now in charge. With Jake Stinnett now on the hill, Chattanooga quickly greeted him with a pair of walks to go with the Brantley Bell single and just like that, things were tied 2-2. Nine innings were not enough for these teams as it was time for some free baseball on a Sunday afternoon.

Tennessee wasted no time getting things going in the top of the 10th with a pair of runners already on base. With Roberto Caro looking to deliver a clutch hit, he struck out for the teams second out. However, an error on the same play allowed two men to score with the Smokies up 4-2. Jordan Minch then entered in the bottom of the 10th, hoping to close things out. After allowing an RBI single to Stuart Fairchild to make things 4-3, Minch settled in to finish things off earning his third save in the win.

The Smokies managed just five hits in the win with Vimael Machin as the lone player to record more than one in the win. Caro, Nico Hoerner, and the Donahue homer rounded out the other three hits for Tennessee. Manuel Rondon earned the win in relief tossing two scoreless frames with 2BB and 2K.

MYRTLE BEACH PELICANS 6 – Salem Red Sox 4: Had the Pelicans played this type of baseball during the first half; they may be in contention for a playoff spot. However, at 41-64 that doesn’t appear possible but that hasn’t stopped them from winning games in the second half knocking off Salem 6-4 on Sunday.

Erich Uelmen continues to establish himself as a top of the rotation arm for High-A Myrtle Beach as he improved to 5-3 on the season with an impressive outing. Not only did Uelmen lower his ERA to 3.05 but he did so by giving the Pelicans his longest outing of the season tossing seven innings of 2ER ball striking out five with no walks.

Tyler Durna did his best to back his pitcher early putting the Pels in front 1-0 in the first with an RBI groundout. Salem responded in the bottom half of the inning when Pedro Castellanos went deep for his third homer of the series and fifth of the season to bring things to 1-1. It was in the fourth when the Pelicans took the lead for good as Wladimir Gallindo went deep for just his second homer of the season putting Myrtle Beach in front 4-1.

That lead continued to grow in the sixth as Tyler Payne got in on the long ball fun, connecting for his eight homers to extend the lead to 6-1 Pelicans. Castellanos picked up his second RBI of the night in the bottom of the sixth with a single as Salem now trailed 6-2. That score held up until the night when the Red Sox began to rally.

A Keith Curcio triple followed by a Victor Acosta double suddenly made things interesting late with the Pelicans only up two 6-4. Looking to finish the game on a positive note, Garrett Kelly managed to keep things right there striking out the side to preserve the 6-4 Myrtle Beach win.

Both Carlos Sepulveda and Gallindo hot the hot hand in this one collecting two hits each. Gallindo added two RBI’s also. Cam Balego, Grant Fennell and Payne recorded the other three hits with Payne’s homer proving to be the difference. Miguel Amaya continues to receive days off as speculation is starting to swirl on whether he is being shopped on deadline day.

SOUTH BEND CUBS 13 – Lansing Lugnuts 4: South Bend continued to play inspired baseball on Sunday hammering the Lugnuts 13-4 to improve to 55-48. With Cam Sanders getting the start and allowing just 1ER in five innings, he didn’t need to be on top of his game as the offense made sure the Cubs were in control from the start.

After a scoreless first the Cubs opened the scoring in the second with a Cole Roederer sacrifice fly and D.J. Artis walk for the 2-0 lead. That lead grew to 4-0 in the third when an RBI groundout from Jonathan Sierra set things up for the Roederer double as the Cubs were off and running early. Otto Lopez was able to get Lansing on the board in the bottom of that inning with a grounder to close the gap to 4-1.

Still 4-1 and now in the sixth, South Bend busted the game wide open as their offense was relentless. With a wild pitch making things 5-1, both Andy Weber and Fidel Mejia connected for RBI hits as the Cubs pushed across five runs to stretch the lead to 9-1. Lansing added a pair of homers in both the seventh and eighth innings to close the deficit to 10-4, but the three-run ninth anchored by another Weber double gapped off the scoring with the Cubs rolling 13-4.

Weber certainly played a massive role in the win, collecting not only four more hits to bring his average to .267 but three RBI’s also. Mejia added three hits of his own to go with three RBI’s as those two stabilized the middle of the Cubs order. Clayton Daniel added a multi-hit game of his own with Roederer adding two more RBI’s. Artis was the lone starter without a hit in the win. With Derek Casey tossing four innings of relief.

EUGENE EMERALDS 1 – Salem – Keizer Volcanoes 8: After giving the first place Volcanoes two tough battles to open the series, things went south on Sunday as the Emeralds fell to 19-25 with an 8-1 defeat. Eduarniel Nunez continues to struggle on the mound, failing to make it out of the fourth inning before allowing five more earned runs. His ERA is now 7.03.

Kwan Adkins put the Volcanoes up 2-0 in the bottom of the second as single brought home a pair before he advanced to second on a throwing error. Eugene was able to claw within 2-1 in the top of the third when Edmond Americaan ripped an RBI single to right. That would not only be the lone run of the day for the Emeralds, but the closest they would get as the Volcanoes scored four times in the fourth before adding two more in the sixth to cruise 8-1. Atkins led the way for Salem as he tallied four RBI’s in the win.

Both Darius Hill and Greyson Byrd remained hot at the plate collecting two hits each on the day. Americaan added the teams fifth and final hit on his RBI single as Eugene was quiet throughout. Jake Slaughter and Fernando Kelli combined to go 0-8 in the loss.

DSL CUBS 1: Off, no Sunday league games

DSL CUBS 2: Off, no Sunday League Games.

AZL CUBS (1) 5 – AZL Angels 8: It was a tough day for AZL Cubs 1, as they fell to the league-worst AZL Angels 8-5 to bring their record to 17-16. Outside of the rough first inning that saw the Angels plate six runs to take command, the Cubs played well but couldn’t dig out of that early hole.

After Ethan Hearn gave the Cubs a 1-0 lead with an RBI groundout in the first, the Angels responded with a six-spot anchored by the Drevian Williams-Nelson two-run double and William Rivera two-run single to take the 6-1 lead. Williams-Nelson was not done as he added another RBI in the third helping the Angels take an 8-2 lead into the fourth.

From that point on the Cubs were in full blow catchup mode but did their best to rally back. An Ervis Marchan fifth inning single cut the lead to 8-3 before the offense went back to work in the sixth. Both Carlos Pacheco and Oswaldo Pina collected RBI singles in that inning to make things 8-5, but that would be all the Cubs could do, falling by that score.

It was Pina as the lone man with a multi-hit effort as he led the way for his team. Five other players recorded one hit with five players including Pina adding RBI’s. The combination of Shane Combs, Aneuris Rosario, and Elias Herrera allowed just one hit in four innings of relief to go with 1BB and 7K as they gave the Cubs a chance to rally.

AZL CUBS (2) 4 – AZL Dodgers 1: On the strength of a huge sixth inning, the 17-16 AZL Cubs 2 were able to down the AZL Dodgers 4-1. With Luis Ramos getting through five innings of 1ER ball, it was up to the offense to reward him as he earned the no-decision effort on the mound.

With the game scoreless through four, the Dodgers were finally able to break through against Ramos in the fifth on a Luis Yanel Diaz grounder for the 1-0 lead. Alexander Guerra continued to mash in the bottom of the fifth, tying things up 1-1 with his 10th homer of the season before the Cubs put things away in the sixth.

With their bullpen looking to hold tight, the Cubs offense responded with a huge sixth inning to not only take the lead but grab full control. Reivaj Garcia, who opened the season with Eugene, is now in Arizona as he looks to get more playing time. That appears to be the right move as he gave the Cubs the lead for good with an RBI double. Nelson Velazquez added to that with his second homer of the season to put AZL Cubs up 4-1 which was what the final line ended up being.

Carlos Morfa may not have had an RBI, but he was the lone Cubs player to record a multi-hit effort in the win. Five other players tallied one hit with Velazquez continuing his rehab assignment with that two-run shot. Scott Effross pitched the first game of his rehab assignment to earn the win with a scoreless inning while Omar Ventura tossed three perfect frames with 3k to earn his third save.

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