Down on Cubs Farm: D.J. Wilson homers again, SB continues home cooking, Pelicans fall late


by - Staff Writer -
D.J. Wilson homers for the third time in four games (Photo Credit: MB Pelicans)
D.J. Wilson homers for the third time in four games (Photo Credit: MB Pelicans)

Sunday was a tough day on the farm for the Cubs as they limped to a 1-4 record with only South Bend picking up the win.

IOWA CUBS 2 – San Antonio Missions 10: Looking to build off his strong outing from last time out, the Cubs turned to Matt Swarmer as he was faced with stopping a robust San Antonio lineup. Swarmer indeed gutted it out going six innings but was far from his best as he allowed 7ER in the game as the Missions disposed of the Cubs 10-2.

Iowa did manage to strike first in the game grabbing the early lead in the first inning. One out singles from Trent Giambrone and Jim Adduci put runners on the corners as the Cubs had something going. Phillip Evans made sure to keep the line moving with a third straight single giving the Cubs an early 1-0 lead. The Cubs loaded the bases with two outs after Robel Garcia took one for the team but couldn’t push across any more runs.

The Cubs maintained that lead until the bottom of the third when the Missions offense finally went to work on Swarmer. Troy Stokes led the inning off with a walk before putting himself in scoring position with his sixth steal. With one out, Thomas Jenkins tied things up 1-1 with a single to right ahead of another single from Trent Grisham putting a pair of runners on base. With two down, Cory Spangenberg came through with his 19th double of the season as the Missions stormed in front for good 3-1.

Iowa continued to battle back in the top of the fourth with Jacob Hannemann extending the inning with a two-out triple. One pitch later it was time for Francisco Arcia to get in on the fun as his single cut things to one at 3-2. Swarmer followed that up with a single of his own ahead of a Donnie Dewees walk as the Cubs had the bases loaded for the second time in the game, but once again couldn’t push more runs across.

That proved to be extremely costly for the Cubs as they were unable to score the rest of the game leaving the door open for the Missions who pushed across seven unanswered runs to finish off Iowa 10-2. The Missions received four home runs off the bats of Spangenberg, Lucas Erceg, Mauricio Dubon, and Blake Allemand as they teed off on both Swarmer and Craig Brooks in this one.

Iowa continues to play great ball despite the loss as they are still in first at 47-36 for the season. Iowa received multi-hit games from Adduci and Arcia as they paced the offense for the day. Five other players managed to pick up a hit with Ian Happ once again going hitless at 0-4. Dewees may have been 0-2 on the day but did take three walks at the plate. Junichi Tazawa tossed his first scoreless inning of relief in quite some time in the eighth.

TENNESSEE SMOKIES 2 – Birmingham Barons 6 (10 innings): Looking at the scoreboard, you would think that the Barons had this game in hand start to finish. That is certainly not the case as the Smokies dropped a hard-fought game in extras conceding four runs in the 10th inning.

Tyson Miller took the ball and continued to do what he has done all season. In his 6 2/3 innings of work, Miller kept the Barons bats at bay, for the most part, allowing 2ER on just 4H to go with 6K in a no-decision effort. His ERA is now 2.56 for the season as he remains in the top 10 in that category.

Tennessee needed just four batters to take the lead as the top of their order pushed across the games first run in the first. Roberto Caro continued to thrive in the leadoff role, picking up a leadoff single before stealing second base for his 24th of the season. Still standing on second following a pair of strikeouts, P.J. Higgins came through with a single to put the Smokies in front 1-0. That lead was short-lived, however, as the Barons tied things up 1-1 on the Gavin Shorts second-inning homer for his ninth of the season.

With Miller doing his part on the mound through four, it was up to the offense to back him which is what they did once again in the fourth. With two down, Vimael Machin kept the inning alive as he came through with a solid single up the middle. Wynton Bernard followed that up with a walk and just like that the Smokies had a pair of runners on base. Jhonny Pereda capped off a solid month of June with another RBI hit as his single put Tennessee back in front 2-1.

Just like in their previous lead, the Smokies were not on top for very long as the Barons came storming back in the fifth. It was the long ball that once again bit Miller as Nate Nolan took him deep for his third homer of the season to tie things up 2-2. That would be all Miller would allow as he turned things over to Oscar De La Cruz in the seventh.

Since moving to the pen, De La Cruz has been impressive, and that continued Sunday as he tossed 2 1/3 scoreless frames with a pair of strikeouts to send the game to the bottom of the ninth with the Smokies coming to bat. After not mustering much offense since the fourth inning, Tennessee appeared to have momentum on their side as a pair of two-out walks in the ninth had the winning run standing on second, but nothing was to come of it as the teams headed to extras tied 2-2.

It was in the 10th when Birmingham put the game away with a big inning to put the Smokies in a huge hole late. Already with a pair of runners on base and no outs, Nick Madrigal cleared the bases with one swing as his triple proved to be the game winner with the Barons in front for the first time 4-2. Blake Rutherford followed that up with a double to see the lead grow to 5-2. With runners on second and third and one down, Luis Gonzalez made it a 6-2 game with a sacrifice fly as the Smokies had their work cut out for them in the 10th.

A leadoff walk to Connor Myers was a promising start as they too had a pair of runners on base with no one out. Unfortunately, the Smokies couldn’t duplicate the Baron's success as their next three hitters went down to fall 6-2 on the day. With the loss, the Smokies are 38-42 and have now dropped three straight games.

With just six hits, it was Pereda leading the way as he was the lone player with multiple hits collecting two in the game. Tennessee received four more hits from four players including Machin who is now hitting 305 for the season.

MYRTLE BEACH PELICANS 4 – Fayetteville Woodpeckers 8: Looking to reach a season-best six-game winning streak, the Pelicans turned to Javier Assad as he looked to keep things rolling in 2019. Assad was solid as we have come to expect, going six strong innings allowing 3ER on 6H with five strikeouts as he left with the lead in the sixth. However, Assad would take home a no-decision as Brian Glowicki got roughed up for 5 ER in two innings ending the Pelicans win streak with an 8-4 loss.

Things got off to a shaky start for Assad as he put his team in an early hole in the first inning. Sacrifice flies from Corey Julks and Jake Adams gave the Woodpeckers a 2-0 lead in the first before pushing the lead to 3-0 in the second off a Jonathan Arauz homer. The excellent news is Assad settled down after the second to keep things close as he did not allow another run for the rest of his outing to give his offense a chance to come back.

That is precisely what they did after the third inning Grant Fennell homer as the Pelicans needed just two innings to take the lead and have Assad on the verge of picking up the win. Starting in the sixth inning, after some drama caused a Fayetteville ejection, Cam Balego had the offense heading in the right direction picking up a one-out single. A Carlos Sepulveda walk ahead of the Miguel Amaya single had the Pelicans in business as they had the bases loaded with one down.

Luke Reynolds kept the line moving as he earned an RBI the hard way taking one for the team as the Pelicans closed within 3-2 and had the bases still loaded. Unfortunately for them, it would be a wasted opportunity as the Woodpeckers retired the next two hitters to prevent any further damage. In the seventh, D.J. Wilson continued his recent power surge as he put Myrtle Beach in front. After not homering for over two months, Wilson picked up his third homer in four days with a two-run shot to give the Pelicans a 4-3 lead with the bullpen taking over.

That lead was short lived as Glowicki got lit up for four ER in the seventh inning to see the Woodpeckers retake the lead 7-4 as Adams continued to be a thorn in their side hitting a Grand Slam for his 12th homer of the season. Fayetteville added another run in the eighth inning on a sacrifice fly to close things out as they put an end to the Pelicans winning streak 8-4.

Myrtle Beach is 26-52 on the season but remains confident given their start to the second half. The Pelicans didn’t have much to talk about in terms of hits, collecting just five in the game, but made them count as two of those five hits were homers to bring in three of the teams four RBIs.

SOUTH BEND CUBS 7 – Dayton Dragons 2: Looking to continue playing incredible ball at home, the Cubs handed the ball to Cam Sanders in hopes of another strong outing. Sanders did just that in his five innings of work, allowing 2ER on only 2H in a no-decision effort as the South Bend offense came to life late for the 7-2 win.

Both of Sanders ER came in the first inning as Dayton was ready to play in this one. With a pair of walks to start the game putting runners on the corners with an error, Pabel Manzanero gave the Dragons a 1-0 lead as he was able to leg out the grounder for the fielder’s choice. Two pitches later saw Brian Rey loft a single to left field and just like that it was 2-0 Dayton with the Cubs coming to bat in the first.

Fortunately for South Bend, they too were ready to swing the bats as they tied things up immediately in the first. Delvin Zinn got things started with a leadoff double before trotting home on the Andy Weber double to make it a 2-1 game. With a wild pitch moving Weber to third, Brennan Davis traded an out for a run as his grounder made it a 2-2 game with one down in the inning. Tyler Durna managed to single shortly after but was erased on a double play with the game left tied 2-2 after one.

It wasn’t until the bottom of the sixth inning when the Cubs managed to take the lead for good. The top of the order continued to set the table as both Weber and Davis singled to put a pair of runners on with no outs. Durna followed that up with a walk to load the bases before Christopher Morel picked up the RBI single to put the Cubs up 4-2.

Morel was not done with his strong evening yet as he added an RBI single in the eighth to stretch the lead to 5-2. South Bend capped off the scoring in that eighth inning when Jonathan Sierra laced his second triple of the season to right field plating two more runners as the Cubs were now in complete control 7-2. Sean Barry closed things out with a perfect ninth inning as the Cubs win yet again 7-2.

With the win, South Bend improves to 43-35 and continue to play their best at home. South Bend had plenty of offense in this one with Weber leading the way with three hits. Durna and Eric Gonzalez added a pair of hits of their own with Morel picking up 3RBIS and two hits also. Every South Bend starter had at least one hit in the win with Barry lowering his ERA to 0.92 on the mound.

EUGENE EMERALDS 4 – Hillsboro Hops 6: The slide reached six games on Sunday as one big inning from the Hops proved to be enough to top Eugene 6-4 for Emerald's sixth consecutive loss. After an impressive first inning, Niels Stone was roughed up for five second-inning runs as the offense couldn’t recover from that.

All was not lost early, however, as the Emeralds did manage to strike first in the second inning displaying some great patience at the plate. Two batters in saw both Jake Slaughter and Danny Zardon on base as they both took walks. Brandon Vicens put the Emeralds on top 1-0 as his fielder’s choice allowed Slaughter to come around and score aided by a fielding error for the 1-0 lead.

Not only was that lead short-lived, but Hillsboro made sure they would put Eugene in a hole too big to climb out of with a huge bottom of the second inning. Three batters in saw a walk, and a pair of hits as Nick Dalesandro singled home the tying run. The Hops took the lead for good on a passed ball before pushing the lead to 3- 1 on a Ricky Martinez groundout. The big blow came a few pitches later as Andy Yerzy made it a 5-1 game with his second homer of the season.

Down but not ready to give up just yet, the Emeralds began to make they're come back attempt in the fifth inning hoping the top of their lineup could deliver. Once again walks helped set the stage as both Luis Diaz and Fernando Kelli took walks putting two men on base. With Edmond Americaan at the plate, the Hops gifted the Emeralds their second run as a balk made it a 5-2 game moving Kelli up 90 feet also. Americaan would single later in that at-bat to make it a 5-3 game as the Emeralds were on the comeback trail.

The Hops continued to keep the pressure on in the sixth inning as Martinez picked up another RBI on a sacrifice fly to push the lead back to 6-3. Down by three with their final at-bats about to begin, Slaughter got the ninth inning started positively as he reached on an error to set the Eugene offense up with one last effort.

With two outs and Slaughter standing on third, Luis Vazquez picked up a clutch RBI single ahead of a Jonathan Soto single and just like that the tying run was on base for Eugene. Unfortunately for the Emeralds, their rally stalled right there as the Hops handed them another loss 6-4.

Eugene is certainly scuffling now as they fell to 7-10 with their sixth straight loss on Sunday. Once again, the offense was limited with just five hits as Americaan led the way with two of those hits to go with an RBI. Yonathan Perlaza, Vazquez and Soto added the remaining three hits for Eugene. Both Fauris Guerrero and Chris Allen were strong in relief as they allowed just 1 ER in 6 1/3 innings of work. Guerrero has yet to allow an ER for Eugene as he has now thrown 12 innings.

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Tags: Trent Giambrone, Jim Adduci, Phillip Evans, Robel Garcia, Jacob Hannemann, Francisco Arcia, Craig Brooks, Ian Happ, Junichi Tazawa, Tyson Miller, Roberto Caro, Vimael Machin, Wynton Bernard, Jhonny Pereda, Oscar De La Cruz, Connor Myers, Javier Assad, Brian Glowicki, Cam Balego, Carlos Sepulveda, Miguel Amaya, Luke Reynolds, Cam Sanders, Delvin Zinn, Andy Weber, Tyler Durna, Christopher Morel, Jonathan Sierra, Sean Barry, Eric Gonzalez, Fernando Kelli, Luis Vazquez, Yonathan Perlaza, Fauris Guerrero
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