Down on the Cubs Farm: 3-2 record, Edwards registers win, Russell hitless, more


by - Staff Writer -
David Kohl - USA Today Sports
David Kohl - USA Today Sports

We are starting to see some of the Cubs farmhands separate themselves from the back as some have proven to be the class of the system, while others simply would take a win at this point. That trend continued Thursday night with the Cubs going 2-2 on the evening, but technically 3-2 as one suspended game was completed.

IOWA CUBS 8 – San Antonio Missions 6: The Cubs continued their hot stretch of play on Thursday scoring seven runs off the San Antonio bullpen for the 8-6 comeback win. Recently demoted Alec Mills took to the rubber for the second time this season hoping to build off his last outing.

Despite his excellent command 1BB 6K, Mills was roughed up a bit more in this one giving up 4ER in just 3 2/3 of an inning before the bullpen took over. The Missions jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first on the Nate Orf homer and then added a pair of runs in the second on a wild pitch and Tuffy Gosewisch single for the 3-0 lead. After the Francisco Arcia double in the second got Iowa on the board, the Missions took a 4-1 lead in the third on the Tyrone Taylor sac fly chasing Mills an inning later.

Looking to get back into the game, the Cubs offense was pleased to see the Missions bullpen enter the game in the sixth as they went to work immediately. With two outs in the inning, a Phillip Evans walk followed by an Arcia single had the Cubs in business. Trent Giambrone made San Antonio pay hitting his seventh homer of the season and first in 10 games to tie things up 4-4.

With a brand-new ballgame, San Antonio retook the lead in the seventh as David Freitas and Orf each collected RBI singles to put the Missions back on top 6-4. It was in the eighth inning when the Cubs offense put a cap on their comeback looking to finish things off.

Again, it was all about two-out magic as the first two hitters were retired. An error allowing Jim Aducci to reach extended the inning before Wynton Bernard singled to put the tying run on base. Donnie Dewees followed that up with a double to tie the game up 6-6 setting the stage for one of the Cubs most clutch hitters in Johnny Field. That clutchness continued as his single put the Cubs in front for good 7-6. Ian Happ added a single later in the inning for the 8-6 as the Cubs stranded the bases loaded.

James Norwood entered the game in the ninth and picked up his second save as the Cubs improve to 17-10 following an 8-6 win. Carl Edwards Jr picked up his second win for Iowa striking out a pair in a scoreless inning and lowering his ERA to 2.57. Brian Duensing had another rough inning as his ERA is now above 8.00 on the season. Dewees continued his hot streak at the plate collecting three more hits to raise his average to .321 on the season. Arcia and Happ each added a pair of hits in the game while Addison Russell went hitless with three strikeouts, but managed to reach base twice via the walk.

TENNESSEE SMOKIES 5 – Jackson Generals 2: Stellar pitching was on center stage for the Smokies on Thursday as they defeated the Generals 5-2. Justin Steele took the ball, and although he didn’t record the win lasting only four innings, they were great innings allowing just 1H and striking out 4. Steele was backed by plenty of offensive support as a P.J. Higgins first inning single added with a Jhonny Pereda double gave the Smokies a 2-0 lead as they never looked back.

That lead continued to grow over a three-inning span from the third through the fifth as Tennessee was in complete control. Vimael Machin picked up his third double of the season in the third to stretch the lead to 3-0. Charcer Burks added the final RBI in the fourth with his ground out, as a fifth-inning wild pitch gave Tennessee a 5-0 lead.

With a shut out still intact and Manuel Rondon on the mound, the Generals began to chip away in the seventh. Already with the bases loaded and one out, Andy Young worked a walk to push in a run and keep the bases loaded. Pavin Smith followed that up with a sacrifice fly, but Rondon was able to limit the damage right there giving the Smokies a 5-2 win.

Machin and Christian Donahue picked up two hits each as Higgins and Pereda were responsible for the other two in the victory. The Smokies also showed terrific patience at the dish taking eight walks as a team to go along with three strikeouts. The Smokies also finished a suspended April 19th game later in the evening and won that 5-1 as they extend their winning streak to four games and move to 14-12 on the season.

MYRTLE BEACH PELICANS 3 – Down East Wood Ducks 5: The story remained the same Thursday for the Pelicans as they fell yet again at the hands of Down East 5-3. The positive side from this loss has to be the score as Myrtle Beach was much more competitive in this effort than those of the past.

The Pelicans are used to playing from behind as Paul Richan and company once again found that to be the case following a first-inning error that helped set up a pair of Wood Duck runs and an early 2-0 Down East lead. That lead grew to 4-0 in the fourth as another error in the third inning pushed another run across before Yaino Perez singled home a fourth-inning run for the 4-0 lead. That is when the Myrtle Beach offense came to life crawling right back into the game.

A leadoff single from Carlos Sepulveda got the Pelicans offense off to a great start as he advanced to second via a wild pitch. With one out in the frame, Tyler Payne continued his recent hot stretch as his single got Myrtle Beach on the board trailing 4-1. Jimmy Herron followed that up by using his wheels to leg out a triple putting himself at third. Two batters later following a Luke Reynolds walk, Grant Fennell picked up the third RBI of the inning as his sacrifice fly made it 4-3 heading into the fifth.

Hoping to find enough offense to take the lead in the later portion of the game, it was the Wood Ducks grabbing a run back in the seventh as Yonny Hernandez picked up a sacrifice fly to push the lead back to 5-3. That would be all Down East would need as the Pelicans final nine hitters were retired to close out the game falling 5-3 in the process.

The Pelicans slide continues as they fall to 7-21. Myrtle Beach was held to just five hits, but Herron and Payne each had two apiece accounting for four hits. Sepulveda added the other in the loss.

SOUTH BEND CUBS 1 – Burlington Bees 10: There wasn’t much to talk about for South Bend on Thursday as an early deficit was too much for them to overcome in the 10-1 loss to the Bees. Eury Ramos had a rough start on the mound failing to make it out of the second and allowing four runs. His ERA is now 11.29 for the year.

South Bend started the game out on a positive note as they opened the scoring immediately in the first inning. Cole Roederer has seen tremendous improvements in his game over the last few weeks, and that continued in his first at-bat leaving the yard for his first homer of the season and 1-0 lead. That was about all the excitement in this one as the wheels fell off in the second inning.

Starting with a bases-loaded single from D.C. Arendas to put the Bees in front for good 2-1, Burlington scratched across five runs in that half of an inning to chase Ramos and take a 5-1 lead. That score would hold up until the seventh inning when Burlington finally got to the Cubs bullpen in a big way.

Nonie Williams pushed the lead to 7-1 in the seventh with an RBI double to score a pair, but the Bees were not finished quite yet. Just one inning later, Burlington closed out the game on a high note as Williams picked up his second double in as many innings with Gleyvin Pineda picking up the game’s final RBI with a single as Burlington cruised to the 10-1 win.

Despite the loss, South Bend is still playing some of their best ball of the season as they sit within striking distance of first place at 14-12. Andy Weber and Delvin Zinn led the way on offense with two hits apiece, while Roederer, D.J. Artis, and Christopher Morel capped off the seven-hit performance in the loss.

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