Down on the Cubs Farm: 1-3 record, Fields hits 6th homer, Miller roughed up, more


by - Staff Writer -
Patrick Gorski - USA Today Sports
Patrick Gorski - USA Today Sports

It was a heart-breaking night on the farm as the Cubs limped to a 1-3 record on the night. Outside of Iowa winning and looking like they are trending in the right direction, there wasn’t much to cheer about as a pair of gut-wrenching walk-off losses, and a rare Tyson Miller rough outing put a damper on the night.

IOWA CUBS 3 – Omaha Storm Chasers 2: The Cubs appear to be getting back to their winning ways as they made it three-straight vs. Omaha last night following a 3-2 win. Getting the call was Matt Swarmer who continues to turn his season around after a rough start. Swarmer lasted six innings allowing just 2ER on 4H to go with BB a 6K in a no-decision. He dropped his ERA down to 4.89 after flirting with seven most of the year.

The Cubs broke through first as they took the lead in the top half of the second. A leadoff Jim Adduci walk was just the beginning as Johnny Field went deep for the sixth time this season giving Iowa a 2-0 lead. Not to be outdone, Omaha would respond in the bottom of the second with a long ball of their own as Samir Duenez made it a 2-1 game with his second of the season.

With Swarmer throwing one of his better starts of the season, runs were not coming easy for Omaha. It was the long ball once again that bit the Cubs in the bottom of the fifth as Andrew Susac went deep for his fourth as the game was tied 2-2. Now a battle of the bullpens, Dakota Mekkes took over in the seventh hoping to keep things close.

Mekkes was brilliant on the mound tossing two perfect innings of relief and striking out three to bring his ERA down to 3.57 after an early May rough patch. That set the stage in the bottom of the eighth for the Cubs offense as they looked to retake the lead. A leadoff Trent Giambrone double set the Cubs up with a great chance, but two straight outs had things looking suddenly bleak. Robel Garcia came to the rescue as his single made things a 3-2 Iowa lead heading to the ninth. Tim Collins would shut the door for his first save of 2019 and gave the Cubs a 3-2 win.

Iowa is 29-19 and starting to get back to the level of play they for a majority of the season. Both Adduci and Giambrone tallied two hits as they accounted for four of the teams eight hits in the game. Garcia, Field, Taylor Davis and Wynton Bernard added the other four while Ian Happ went 0-4 with 2K’s in the win.

TENNESSEE SMOKIES 5 – Pensacola Blue Wahoos 10: For the first time in 2019, Tyson Miller was roughed up in a start as he fell to (3-2) on the season. Not only did he fail to make it out of the fifth inning going 4 2/3, but his 6 ER allowed nearly equaled his season total on the mound as his ERA rose to 2.13 following the 10-5 loss.

Things were not all bad for Tennessee as they opened the game with a huge first inning to back Miller on the mound. Singles from Vimael Machin and Jared Young had a pair on base with one out, before an RBI groundout from P.J. Higgins put the Smokies up 1-0. Jhonny Pereda extended the inning with another single as that was the beginning of three straight singles. Charcer Burks and Gioskar Amaya added the other two singles with each of those driving in a run as Tennessee took a 3-0 lead after one.

It was in the second inning when the wheels began to fall off as Miller had an off night. Much like what the Smokies did in the first, it was a nice string of hits that plated multiple runs as Pensacola timed up Miller. The Mark Contreras double got the scoring started making it a 3-1 game. Travis Blankenhorn tied things up 3-3 with a double of his own before coming home on the Alex Kirlloff single to make it 4-3 Blue Wahoos.

That lead grew to 6-3 in the top of the fifth when Taylor Grzelakowski doubled home a pair to chase Miller and have the Smokies in full-blown catchup mode. Amaya continued his excellent night at the dish in the bottom half of the fifth as another RBI single brought the Smokie to within 6-4.

That was as close as Tennessee would get as the Blue Wahoos busted things wide open in the top of the sixth off the Tennessee bullpen. Jordan Gore pushed the lead to 7-4 with a double, as Blakenhorn and Mitchell Kranson added to the lead with RBI singles to give Pensacola a 9-4 advantage. Higgins added his second RBI of the game with a single in the bottom half of the sixth, but it was nowhere near enough as the eighth inning Jaylin Davis homer capped off the scoring with the Smokies falling 10-5.

Tennessee continues to hover around the .500 mark as they sit at 23-23 this year. Amaya was the lone Smokie with multiple hits adding two RBI’s with his two hits. Higgins also had a good night with two RBI’s of his own, while Machin extended his hitting streak and leads the team with a .359 average. Tommy Nance was the lone bright spot on the mound, needing just 19 pitches (15 strikes) to throw two scoreless innings.

MYRTLE BEACH PELICANS 7 – Frederick Keys 8 (11 innings): The best game of the day had to be this matchup as the Pelicans and Keys were locked in a back and forth tilt much of the afternoon. With Erich Uelmen struggling to make it through four innings in his start, it came down to a battle of the bullpens in which the Keys managed to outlast the Pelicans needing a walk-off RBI off Ryan Kellogg in the 11th to take the 8-7 win.

It was all Frederick in the early going as they jumped out to a quick lead. RBI singles from Ryan Ripken and Sean Miller in the second put the Keys on top 2-0 as they looked to bust things open early. Unable to push across any more runs in the second, Trevor Craport picked up an RBI double in the fifth to extend the lead to 3-0. It was in the sixth inning when everything changed as suddenly the Pelicans bats were hot.

A one-out Carlos Sepulveda single had a runner on base, but with two outs, he was in danger of not scoring. Leave it to Tyler Payne to start a two-out rally as his third homer of the season was just the beginning that inning bringing things to a 3-2 game. Frederick then took it upon themselves to help Myrtle Beach with an error, setting the stage for Grant Fennell who went deep for the second time in 2019 and just like that it was 4-3 Pelicans.

The Myrtle Beach offense was not finished as a seventh-inning Sepulveda single and eight inning Fennell single gave the Pelicans a comfortable 6-3 lead with just six more outs to get. Stuart Levy made it a 6-4 game in the eighth with his single, but Myrtle Beach got that run right back as Sepulveda notched another hit to make it a 7-4 game.

Down to their final outs, the Keys had something going as they had a pair of runners on base with one out. That is when Zach Jarrett delivered the biggest hit of the game to tie the game with a three-run shot and send the teams to extras tied 7-7. The Keys used that momentum to get the last laugh in the 11th when Jomar Reyes delivered the walk-off ground-rule double off Kellogg to hand the Pelicans a heartbreaking 8-7 loss.

At 17-31, this loss might be the toughest one to swallow so far this season. Sepulveda was on fire in this one collecting three hits to go with 2 RBI’s in the loss. Payne, Kevonte Mitchell and Fennell all had two hits themselves as Payne, Sepulveda and Fennell were responsible for all seven runs in the loss. Alexander Vargas lowered his ERA to 1.54 following 3 2/3 innings of 1ER in relief.

SOUTH BEND CUBS 2 – Fort Wayne Tin Caps 3: The walk-off theme continued as the Tin Caps were able to complete a four-game sweep of the Cubs 3-2 with the walk-off win. Once again, pitching was not an issue as Faustino Carrera was on point in his start. In his six innings of work, Carrera allowed 1ER on 3H, 2BB, and 4K. His ERA is 2.83 for the season as he continues to pitch exceptionally well.

If ever there was a series to look back and see what went wrong offensively, this would be the one as the Cubs were held to just four runs in the games.

South Bend did manage to grab the lead in this one needing four innings to break through finally.

With a 0-0 game after three, an Andy Weber single and Jonathan Sierra double to start the fourth had South Bend set up with a golden opportunity with two runners in scoring position and no outs. Unfortunately for the Cubs, they were not able to do much as the Tyler Durna RBI groundout was all they could generate taking a 1-0 lead into the fifth.

It was in the bottom of the fifth when the Tin Caps ended the Carrera shutout bid as Blake Hunt went deep for his third homer of the season and we had a 1-1 game. That score would hold up until the eighth inning when most of the offensive fireworks began to happen. Cole Roederer put the Cubs back on top in the top of the eighth with a solo home run for his second of the season, but that lead was short lived as Augustin Ruiz doubled home a run in the bottom of the eighth to make it a 2-2 game.

After the Cubs were retired in order in the top of the ninth, the Tin Caps had a chance to win the game in regulation and deliver another crushing defeat to South Bend. An error to lead off the inning wasn’t a promising start before intentionally walking Sean Barry put two runners on with one out. Hoping for a double play ball to get out of the inning, it was the Tin Caps standing tall as Tucupita Marcano rolled one into right field for the walk-off single to give Fort Wayne the 3-2 win.

With the sweep, the Cubs fall to 24-21 and have fallen to fourth place in the division 4.5 games back of Great Lakes. Weber and Sierra continue to hit the ball well with each picking up a pair of hits in the win. Levi Jordan, Roederer, and Christopher Morel added the final three hits as the Cubs were held to just 17 hits in the series.

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Tags: Tyson Miller, Jim Adduci, Dakota Mekkes, Trent Giambrone, Robel Garcia, Taylor Davis, Wynton Bernard, Ian Happ, Vimael Machin, Jared Young, Jhonny Pereda, Charcer Burks, Gioskar Amaya, Ryan Kellogg, Carlos Sepulveda, Kevonte Mitchell, Alexander Vargas, Faustino Carrera, Andy Weber, Jonathan Sierra, Tyler Durna, Cole Roederer, Sean Barry, Levi Jordan, Christopher Morel
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