Down on the Cubs Farm: 2-2 record, Happ delivers game winner, more

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by - Correspondent -
Jake Roth - USA Today Sports
Jake Roth - USA Today Sports

Once again, the Cubs farmhands continue to showcase a lot of promising stars as they continue to play solid baseball from the top on down. With a 2-2 record on the night, fans will be encouraged by some of the names that are continuing to show up on the stat sheet.

IOWA CUBS 9 – Memphis Redbirds 8: It took extra innings to get it done, but the Cubs got back to their winning ways topping Memphis in 11 innings. Duane Underwood got the ball and put together his second strong outing in a row before unraveling in the sixth. After allowing just one run through five, Underwood couldn’t get out of the sixth allowing four runs in 5 2/3 innings.

Underwood didn’t need to be at his best early as the Cubs greeted him with some early offense to grab a comfortable lead. Two-run homers from Jim Adduci in the second and Donnie Dewees in the fifth had Iowa in front 4-0 as they were rolling right along. After the Edmundo Sosa single in the fifth got Memphis on the board 4-1 things came unglued quickly in the next inning.

With a wild pitch cutting the deficit in half at 4-2, the Redbirds tied things up 4-4 when Rangel Ravelo went deep for the fourth time this season chasing Underwood in the process. That would be all the scoring in regulation as Matt Carasiti, Xavier Cedeno and Rowan Wick tossed three-plus innings of scoreless relief to send the game to extras tied 4-4.

Both teams exchanged runs in 10th keeping things tied 5-5, but it was in the 11th when the Cubs looked for the finishing blow. The Cubs scratched across four runs in their half of the 11th as Wynton Bernard, Robel Garcia and Ian Happ all picked up RBI singles to give the Cubs the 9-5 lead. Looking to seal the deal, Dakota Mekkes entered the game for the final three outs.

Things didn’t go as planned for Mekkes as he was roughed up in his inning of work. In total, Mekkes yielded three runs including a two-run homer to Joe Hudson allowing Memphis to cut things to 9-8. Mekkes was able to finish the inning, however, and managed to put the game away to give the Cubs a 9-8 win. Tim Collins blew the save in the 10th but did pick up the win.

Iowa now stands at 23-11 on the season and continues to prove why the are one of the best teams in all of AAA. Happ may have gone 1-6, but that one hit was an important one as it accounted for the game-winning RBI. Dixon Machado and Francisco Arcia were the lone players with two hits as five other players added one hit each in the win.

TENNESSEE SMOKIES 1 – Chattanooga Lookouts 5: It was a long night on the diamond for the Smokies as they fell 5-1 to the Lookouts. Starting pitcher Cory Abbott cannot be blamed for this loss as he only allowed 2 ER in his start. However, those two runs and a high pitch count not only chased Abbot in the fifth but was enough for the win as the Smokies were held to just one hit in the ball game.

It was the Lookouts striking first scoring with speed and clutch hitting in the first. With a double steal leading to TJ Friedl coming home for the 1-0 lead, Ibandel Isabel ripped a single to the left for the 2-0 lead. That would be all Chattanooga would get off Abbott as he continues to pitch strong in 2019.

With the score still 2-0 heading into the seventh and Tennessee still looking for their first hit, look no further than Roberto Caro. Not only did he put an end to the no-hit bid, but also an end to the shutout in the process with his first homer of the season cutting the lead to 2-1. Unfortunately, that was as close as things would get as a two-run single from Tyler Stephenson in the bottom of the seventh pushed the lead to 4-1 before Friedl added a sacrifice fly in the eighth for the 5-1 Lookouts win.

The Smokies fall to 16-17 on the season but should have Nico Hoerner back in the lineup early next week. P.J. Higgins was the only other base runner in the game as he picked up a walk.

MYRTLE BEACH PELICANS 4 – Down East Wood Ducks 7: The Pelicans five-game winning streak came to an end Thursday as the Wood Ducks picked up the 7-4 victory. It was on inning that did Myrtle Beach in as Javier Assad was simply masterful on the mound. Assad held the Wood Ducks to just 1H in six scoreless frames, walking two hitters and striking out six. His ERA has dropped to 2.70 on the season.

Offensively speaking, things got off to a slow start, but the Pelicans were the ones grabbing the upper hand early and seizing control. After the Miguel Amaya single made it 1-0 through three, the Pelicans offense put together a strong fourth to put Down East in a huge hole.

A Cam Balego hit by pitch and Aramis Ademan walk had two runners on base with one out. Carlos Sepulveda followed that up with a single to make it 2-0, but Ademan was able to score on the same play after a fielding error allowed him to advance 90 more feet for the 3-0 Myrtle Beach lead. Zach Davis capped off that inning with another single to give the Pelicans a comfortable 4-0 lead. That score would hold up until the bullpen took over in the seventh.

It was in that inning when the Wood Ducks not only tied things up but seized control in the process pushing across seven runs to take a 7-4 lead. Down by two with the bases loaded, Yonny Hernandez singled past the shortstop and just like that we had a 4-4 ballgame. Anderson Tejada delivered the game-winning RBI with a groundout before Ryan Dorow delivered the knockout punch with another single to stretch the lead to 7-4.

With six outs to work with, the Pelicans still had a chance to make something happen as the game was not over. However, a Jimmy Herron single was the lone base runner they could muster in those innings and settled for the 7-4 loss.

Myrtle Beach is now 12-22 as they will look to get back to their winning ways today. Luke Reynolds picked up two hits in the game as he was the lone Pelican with multiple hit. Amaya went 1-3 and saw his average climb back above .200 at .209 while Tyler Payne continues to lead the way at .303.

SOUTH BEND CUBS 4 – Peoria Chiefs 1: The Cubs enjoyed some home cooking on Thursday as they put together a strong team effort for the win. On the mound was Faustino Carrera who tossed a gem. In his 5 2/3 innings of work, Carrera allowed 1ER on just 4H while striking out 5. He now has a 3.18 ERA this season and continues to improve in each start.

The South Bend offense saw how good he was on the mound early, so they wanted to make sure they supported him as often as they could. It was in the second inning when the Cubs opened the scoring as a double play off the bat of Delvin Zinn gave the Cubs a 1-0 lead. With Tyler Durna on third and two gone, Levi Jordan delivered what is the game-winning RBI with a single to put the Cubs in front 2-0.

Victor Caratini continues to see the ball exceptionally well in his rehab assignment picking up a single in the third to push the lead to 3-0. I expect to see Caratini back with the big-league club before they begin their series in Cincinnati next week.

With the Cubs still leading 3-0 through five, the Chiefs finally got to Carrera in the sixth. With Ivan Herrera standing on second and two outs following his double, Brady Whalen brought him home with a single to make it a 3-1 game. That was it for Carrera as he was removed following that hit. Back in the lineup after missing a few games, Cole Roederer capped off the scoring in the seventh with an RBI groundout for the 4-1 South Bend lead as they picked up another victory.

The win sends South Bend to a season-best three games over .500 at 18-15. Caratini went 1-3 with a BB in the game and is hitting .300 at South Bend. Levi Jordan, D.J. Artis, and Roederer all picked up two hits in the victory as South Bend pounded out 11 total hits. Roederer is hitting over .320 in his last 15 games as his average has risen to .250 on the season.

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