Down on Cubs Farm: Machado and Dewees impressive, Pelicans lose via walk-off, more


by - Staff Writer -
Rick Osentoski - USA Today Sports
Rick Osentoski - USA Today Sports

It was a terrible night on the farm for the Cubs as they went 0-5 during the evening. Despite that less than the ideal record, the Cubs had several performances worth noting as more and more players are starting to make a name for themselves.

IOWA CUBS 8 – Round Rock Express 10: The Texas two-step continued Friday, as the Cubs fell 10 – 8 against Round Rock bringing their record to 57-48 for the year. For the first time all season, feel-good story Colin Rea was roughed up as he allowed 9 ER in just five innings bringing his ERA to 3.77 from a 3.04. The nine runs allowed was he allowed in his four previous outings as the bullpen did a nice job keeping things close down the stretch.

Down 2-0 in the first, Mark Zagunis put the Cubs on the board with his 15th double in the bottom of the first cutting the deficit down to 2-1. Now down 3-2 after the second inning P.J. Higgins homer, the Cubs were able to take the lead in the bottom of the third with Phillip Evans going deep for number 13 and a Donnie Dewees single to make things a 4-3 Iowa lead.

A Dixon Machado homer in the fourth pushed the lead to 5-3 before the Express stormed back in the fifth. Aided by a trio of RBI doubles and a homer, not only did the Express retake the lead but did so by pushing six runs across over the next two frames to chase Rea and hold a 9-5 advantage. Iowa refused to down quietly with Johnny Field earning a bases-loaded walk in the sixth to make things a 9-6 game. Dewees came through with a single shortly after to bring home two more runs, but that was as close as things would get with the Express adding a run in the seventh to seal the deal 10-8.

The Cubs got four hits from Machado out of the leadoff role as he continues to shine given a chance in that spot. Dewees had a great night on offense, collecting three hits to go with his team-high three RBI’s. Both Evans and Zagunis added multi-hit nights with Taylor Davis getting back on track with a hit. Addison Russell did not play.

TENNESSEE SMOKIES 1 – Montgomery Biscuits 7: The Smokies cannot wait for Montgomery to leave town as they fell to a dismal 43-61 on the season with another lopsided 7-1 loss to the Biscuits. Erick Leal struggled in this one, allowing a season-high 12 hits in five innings with 5ER as the offense was nowhere to be found when it mattered.

The second inning is what did the Smokies in as the Biscuits stormed in front 3-0 on a Taylor Walls double and Josh Lowe homer. That lead grew to 4-0 in the third before the offense stalled out in the middle innings of the game. It was in the sixth when the offense got going again pushing across single runs in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings. The lone Smokies run came in the bottom of the seventh on a double play as no one was credited with an RBI.

The Smokies mustered just five hits in the game with one coming from five different players. Both Nico Hoerner and Vimael Machin were only two of the players collecting hits in the loss. For the most part, the Smokies received stout bullpen work with Ben Hecht allowing his first run in his last few appearances. His ERA is still a sparkling 2.92.

MYRTLE BEACH PELICANS 5 – Salem Red Sox 6: One night after getting out of sole possession of last place, the Pelicans had a chance to knock off the Red Sox on the road as they held a 5-3 lead in the eighth. However, Salem would get the last laugh as a pair runs in the eighth followed by another one in the ninth helped deliver a walk-off 6-5 win, sending Myrtle Beach to 40-63.

Jeffrey Passantino continues to be one of the most inspiring minor league stories for the Cubs this season as he delivered another solid five-inning 3ER outing in a no ND effort as his ERA is 2.08 in High A. Things were ugly early as all three runs Passantino allowed came on one swing in the first inning when Edgar Corcino put Salem up 3-0 in the first with his ninth homer.

The Pelicans responded in the third inning with a three-spot of their own as Kevonte Mitchell went deep for his 11th of the season ahead of a Delvin Zinn single and just like that we had a 3-3 game. Myrtle Beach kept the pressure on in the fourth as Wladimir Galindo single gave them a 4-3 lead with Passantino in full command on the mound.

With the score still 4-3 entering the eighth inning, Myrtle Beach was looking for any insurance runs with hopes of them holding on for the win. They got just what they were looking for Grant Fennell lofted a soft liner to right field to bring home a run as we now had a 5-3 lead. Corcino then started the Salem rally in the bottom of the eighth with an RBI single before a balk tied things up 5-5 sending things to the ninth inning.

With Chad Hockin now on the mound, he had one mission on his mind which was sending things to extras. After walking the leadoff hitter after a lengthy at-bat, Hockin did himself no favors as a balk moved the winning run into scoring position. That proved to be extremely costly as Pedro Castellanos came through with a liner to center handing the Red Sox the walk-off 6-5 win.

The Pelicans were led offensively by three multi-hit efforts as Zinn, Fennell and Carlos Sepulveda delivered those performances. Tyler Durna was held hitless with Miguel Amaya sitting for the third time in the last four games. Despite the loss, Hockin is still spotting a solid 1.93 ERA.

SOUTH BEND CUBS 4 – Lake County Captains 6: After coming away with two impressive wins to open the series, the Captains managed to take game three of the series by topping Faustino Carrera and the Cubs 6-4. Carrera was not at his best in this one, allowing 5 ER in five innings of work as his rough night started immediately in the first.

It was in the first inning where the Captains not only took the lead but did so by putting up a three-spot courtesy of a Jose Fermin homer and Coby Farhat for the 3-0 lead. That lead proved to be too much for South Bend to overcome despite some early offense of their own. After an error made things 3-1 in the first, D.J. Artis made things a little bit tighter with a double in the second to bring things to 3-2.

That score held up until the fifth inning when Lake County delivered the knockout blow with a Fermin double and Bo Naylor triple to stretch to lead to 5-2. Down three and with just six outs to go, Rafelin Lorenzo grounded into a double play to bring across another run as it was now a 5-3 game.

Once again Naylor was able to find green space in the ninth, as his single brought home the teams sixth run to push the lead back to 6-3. With one out in the ninth, the Cubs managed to record three straight hits from Rafael Narea, Cole Roederer and Marcus Mastrobuoni, as Mastrobuoni brought home Narea to make things a 6-4 game. That would be all the Cubs could do as the next two batters were retired to end the game and bring the Cubs to 53-48.

Since coming back from his rehab in Arizona, Artis has been on a tear which continued with another three-hit night. Lorenzo, Jonathan Sierra, Narea and Luke Reynolds all picked up multi-hit efforts as the Cubs banged out 14 this despite just the four runs. Fidel Mejia was the lone Cub without a hit.

EUGENE EMERALDS 2 – Salem – Keizer Volcanoes 3: Facing off against the first half division champions, Eugene knew they had to be at the top of their games if they wanted to unseat the Volcanoes. With four pitchers combining to allow just 3ER on the night, the Emeralds got everything they needed from their staff, but it was the offense that sputtered as they settled for the 3-2 loss to fall to 18-24.

Neither team could get much going through the first three innings as the teams were deadlocked 0-0 after three. Eugene finally got the scoring started in the top of the fourth as they grabbed the early lead. With a man on base, the hot-hitting Grayson Byrd went deep for the first time this summer to put the Ems up 2-0.

That lead was short-lived as Salem responded in the bottom of the fourth with a big frame of their own. In a similar situation to what Eugene possessed in the top of the inning, the Volcanoes had a pair of runners on base before Tyler Fitzgerald knotted things up 2-2 with a double. A few pitches later saw Maikel Aguiar uncork a wild pitch to bring home another run as the Volcanoes now led 3-2. That proved to be the difference in the game as the Emeralds picked up just two hits the rest of the way and failed to put a runner in scoring position until the ninth.

Darius Hill has been on a mission as of late, and that continued Friday with another three-hit night. Multi-hit efforts from Nelson Maldonado and Byrd provided seven of the teams nine hits with Byrd delivering both RBI’s. Jake Slaughter was held hitless.

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