Down on the Cubs Farm: 3-1 record, Happ and Russell homer, more


by - Staff Writer -
Matt Kartozian - USA Today Sports
Matt Kartozian - USA Today Sports

I apologize for not keeping everyone in the loop this weekend as I was out of town and unable to see the farmhands play until last night. With that being said, the Cubs had an overall strong weekend which was capped by an excellent 3-1 day on Sunday.

IOWA CUBS 8 – Omaha Storm Chasers 1: The Cubs continue to not only lead their division but sport the best record in all of AAA at the moment as they have been on an impressive run as of late. Sunday, the Cubs pushed their winning streak to six games as they took down Omaha 8-1.

Led by Matt Swarmer and his five innings of one-run ball, Iowa continued to break out the bats cruising for yet another easy win. The Cubs found themselves in a rare position through two innings of play as a second-inning single from Elier Hernandez gave the Storm Chasers their lone lead 1-0 and had Iowa playing catchup early.

That lead didn’t last long as Donnie Dewees tied things up in the third with his third homer of the season. Ian Happ followed that up in the fourth with his fourth of the year to put Iowa in front for good 2-1.

The long ball continued to be a factor in the fifth inning as Johnny Field went deep for a two-run shot to put the Cubs up 4-1. Field leads the team in RBI’s with 24 as he continues to swing a hot bat.

The only run that was not scored via the home run came in the fifth when Dewees picked up a sacrifice fly for the 5-1 lead. The Cubs continued to flex their muscles in the seventh as Addison Russell, Phillip Evans, and Dixon Machado all connected for solo home runs in that inning to stretch the lead to 8-1 before the bullpen put things away for the win.

With the win, Iowa is sitting at 20-10 and reached 20 wins the second fastest in franchise history needing only 30 games to do so. Happ and Russell each went 2-5 with a homer on the day as both hitters are sitting at .250 for the season. Dewees picked up a pair of hits with two RBI’s and leads his team with a .348 average, while Field added two RBI’s and leads his team with 24. Xavier Cedeno made his AAA debut as he continues to rehab tossing 1/3 scoreless inning allowing two hits.

TENNESSEE SMOKIES 0 – Jackson Generals 3: After splitting the last two games, 16-9 and 3-6, the Smokies were looking for another win versus the defending league champion Generals as Oscar De La Cruz made his AA debut this season. Although settled with the loss, the Cubs top pitching prospect fresh off of his suspension certainly didn’t disappoint.

De La Cruz kept his team in the game tossing (5 innings, 1 ER, 1H, 4BB, and 5K) before leaving trailing 1-0. The Smokies offense couldn’t back him at the plate as the bullpen allowed two late runs to fall 3-0 to the Generals.

The lone blemish off of De La Cruz came in the fifth as both teams were held scoreless through four. With a leadoff walk to Drew Ellis to start the inning, De La Cruz was on the verge of pitching around that as Ellis was standing on third with two down. That is when former Cubs farmhand Jeffrey Baez stepped in and came through with the only hit off of De La Cruz giving the Generals the 1-0 lead through five.

With Zach Hedges now in the game in the sixth, Jackson had much better luck with him as they tacked on a pair of runs immediately. A solo home run from Jazz Chisholm followed up by Ellis, and his single gave the Generals a couple of big insurance runs as they now lead 3-0 through six innings of play.

The Smokies had a golden chance to get back into the game in the seventh inning when P.J. Higgins led things off with a single before Jhonny Pereda walked to put a pair on base with no outs. Unfortunately, the Smokies couldn’t do anything with stranding both runners on base before eventually falling 3-0.

The loss drops Tennessee to 15-14 on the season as they are still waiting for Nico Hoerner to return from his injured wrist. The Smokies managed just three hits on the day with Higgins collecting two of them and Vimael Machin grabbing the other one. Machin continues to lead the team in average, with a .325 average so far.

MYRTLE BEACH PELICANS 8 – Salem Red Sox 2: Don’t look now, but the Pelicans are starting to play their best ball of the season after a dismal two-week stretch. Following 12- 2 and 3-2 wins over the Red Sox, the Pelicans aimed for the sweep Sunday as Luis Lugo got the call on the mound.

Lugo did all he could to earn the win, tossing (5 innings, 1ER, 6H, 0bb 2K) to keep his team in the game. It was the six-run seventh inning for the Pelicans that was the difference in this one as Myrtle Beach swept the Red Sox with an 8-2 win.

With the Pelicans finally starting to put things together, it was Salem cracking the scoreboard first when Deiner Lopez singled home the games first run and 1-0 Red Sox lead in the second. That lead would be short-lived as the Pelicans tied things up in the third on a Jimmy Herron single before a Grant Fennell single gave the Pelicans the lead for good in the fourth 2-1.

Still a one-run game in the seventh inning, Myrtle Beach was looking for some big insurance runs as they wanted to pick up this win in a big way. The Pelicans got their wish as they put together one of the best offensive innings in the process to bust the game wide open.

Starting with consecutive walks to Aramis Ademan and Kevonte Mitchell, Zach Davis was hit by a pitch to load the bases with one gone. That is when the hit parade began as Carlos Sepulveda picked up a two-run single to push the lead to 4-1 before Tyler Payne stretched it to 5-1 with another single.

With the bases loaded and two outs, it was Fannell coming through with a double to clear the bases and just like that the Pelicans busted the doors off to claim the 8-1 lead. Salem added a ninth-inning run on a Joseph Monge double, but it was nowhere near enough to top the Pelicans as they earn the three-game sweep with an 8-2 win.

The win gives the Pelicans their third straight and first sweep as they improve to 10-21. Herron picked up three hits to go with his two RBI’s, while Fannell added two hits of his own and a team-high four RBI’s in the win. Miguel Amaya got the day off as he is still looking to find his groove this season.

SOUTH BEND CUBS 3 – Clinton Lumberkings 2: Looking to avoid the sweep after 3-1 and 4-3 losses to start the weekend, the Cubs turned to fireballer Brailyn Marquez in hopes of putting out a hot Clinton team. Although Marquez only lasted (4 innings allowing 2R, 3H, 2BB 3K) none of those runs were earned as his ERA dropped to 3.15 for the season.

Marquez kept his team in the game before the offense rallied late to get him off the hook and pick up the 3-2 win to avoid the sweep. The South Bend offense hasn’t had much luck this weekend, and they aimed to change that in the first inning. A leadoff walk to D.J. Artis before a Cole Roederer single had the Cubs in business with two on an no outs. Now with one out and Artis on third, Andy Weber gave himself up with a grounder to plate Artis for the early 1-0 South Bend lead.

The Cubs lead didn’t last long as the Lumberkings got to work in the second inning. With Sean Reynolds leading things off with a walk, it was a Marquez throwing error on a potential double-play ball that set the Clinton offense up with a great chance. Marcos Rivera capitalized on that missed opportunity with a single to tie things up 1-1 as Clinton still had two on with no outs.

After a second Marquez error loaded the bases, Samuel Castro gave Clinton the 2-1 lead with an RBI Groundout. Marquez was able to limit the damage to just those two runs as he was able to induce an inning-ending double play to keep the Cubs close at 2-1.

That score would hold up until the fifth when Delvin Zinn led things off with a base on balls before advancing to third on an Eric Gonzalez single to put a pair of runners on base and no outs. With a chance at a big inning, Rafael Narea grounded into a double play, but Zinn was able to score in the process to tie things up 2-2. That set the stage for Artis in the eighth, as left the yard for the first time in 2019 which proved to be the game-winning RBI in the South Bend 3-2 win to avoid the sweep.

The Cubs are now back above .500 following the win as they sit at 15-14 on the year. Artis picked up a pair walks to go with his home run as six South Bend players tallied one hit in the victory. Jack Patterson picked up the win in relief tossing three scoreless frames with three strikeouts. Patterson lowered his ERA to 0.96 on the season with that effort as Ryan Lawlor picked up the two-inning save for his first of the season.

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