Down on the Cubs Farm: Dewees homers, Smokies smack 18 hits, Thompson impressive, more


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

IOWA CUBS 5 – El Paso Chihuahuas 8: The Cubs couldn’t be any happier that El Paso is leaving town as they completed the series sweep with an 8-5 win over Iowa Thursday night. On the mound was Trevor Clifton (1-5) who only lasted four innings in this one allowing 6R, but only 3ER as the defense did not help him out early.

Already down 2-0 entering the third after a Luis Urias first-inning single and Jose Pirela homer, El Paso busted the game wide open in the third putting the Cubs in a huge hole. Urias was standing on third after his one-out triple, but with two outs, the Cubs were on the verge of getting out of the inning. That was until Pirela came through again with a double to stretch the lead to 3-0.

With a walk, error and stolen base shortly following, the Chihuahuas had runners on second third with a golden chance to deliver a knockout punch. Look no further than Jason Vosler who reached on a fielding error by Mark Zagunis to push the lead to 5-0. Aderlin Rodriguez capped off the huge inning with a single, as El Paso in firm control 6-0.

Iowa managed to cut the lead in half over the next two innings, using a pair of long balls to get back in the game. First, it was 19 – year old Luis Vazquez going deep for his first homer of the season in the third. Robel Garcia followed that up with a two-run shot in the bottom of the fourth and just like that we had a 6-3 game.

Right when it looked as if the Cubs were starting to find their groove, Vosler began to heat up connecting for his 10th homer of the season in the top of fifth to make it a 7-3 game. Not to be outdone, Donnie Dewees kept things within striking distance for Iowa as he matched Vosler with a solo homer in the bottom of the fifth making it 7-4 El Paso.

Vosler was not done on the afternoon as he continued to swing a hot bat in the eighth. For the second consecutive at-bat, Vosler got a great pitch to hit and crushed it over the fence for his second of the game and 11th of the year. Down by four in the bottom of the ninth, the Cubs appeared to have something going as a leadoff Wynton Bernard walk and Taylor Davis single put two runners on base with no outs.

That is when Phillip Evans made it an 8-5 game as he picked up a sacrifice fly before an Ian Happ walk brought the tying run to the plate. That would be the final run of the day for the Cubs as Garcia, and Trent Giambrone ended the game with consecutive strikeouts sending the Cubs to 34-27 with an 8-5 defeat.

Dewees, Davis, and Vazquez all had good days at the plate collecting two hits each in the win. Zagunis added another hit, while Happ went 1-3 with a pair of walks in the loss. Both Tony Barnette and Rowan Wick were solid in the pen, tossing a couple of perfect innings. Junichi Tazawa allowed his first run of the season in relief.

TENNESSEE SMOKIES 8 – Montgomery Biscuits 9 (11 innings): The Smokies were involved in the most exciting game of the night only to come up short against the Biscuits 9-8 for their fourth consecutive loss. It was another rough outing for Corey Abbott, as once again he allowed 5R in five innings, but just 4ER as his ERA remains a solid 3.39 despite his last few outings. Still, the offense was good enough to give him a no-decision as it took 11 innings for the Smokies to be finished.

The Smokies struck first in the second as their offense came out on all cylinders. With two outs, Eddy Martinez and Christian Donahue began a two-out rally ripping a pair of singles to extend the inning. That was followed by a Jesse Hodges single to push across the games first run and 1-0 lead. Clayton Daniel delivered the big hit that inning with a two-RBI triple, to cap off a string of four straight hits and 3-0 Smokies lead.

The Biscuits managed to make it 3-1 in the bottom of the second before Martinez pushed the lead back to 4-1 with a third-inning single. Not to be outdone in the bottom of the third, it was Josh Lowe going deep for his 10th of the season and just like that we had a 4-3 game as it appeared an offensive shootout was brewing.

The Smokies offense continued to keep the pressure on the Biscuits as a P.J. Higgins fourth inning double made it a 5-3 game. Martinez added to his big game in the fifth inning by blasting his first homer of the season to extend the lead to 6-3 heading to the bottom of the fifth. The Biscuits continued to battle back as they chased Abbott following this frame with a Kevin Padlo RBI double and Robbie Tenerowicz single to make it 6-5.

Every time Montgomery got within striking distance, it seemed as if the Smokies came through with a big hit of their own to extend the lead further. That happened again in the eighth inning as a Jared Young double put Tennessee in front 7-5 with just six outs to go. With that in mind, the Biscuits once again rallied on the strength of a Lowe sacrifice fly and Brett Sullivan single to tie the game up 7-7 as we headed to extra innings.

If you are not familiar with minor league rules, a runner starts at second base in extras giving teams an excellent scoring chance before seeing a pitch. Higgins made sure that runner would not be stranded as he delivered a single to give the Smokies an 8-7 lead. Once again, Montgomery continued to respond to every Tennessee blow as Lowe legged out an infield single to tie the game up 8-8.

Now in the 11th, the turning point in the game came in the top half of the inning. With one out and a runner on third, Vimael Machin lined what looked like the go-ahead single to left field. However, a strong throw from Brett Sullivan nailed Young at home keeping things tied 8-8 before the Biscuits walked off the Smokies on a Tenerowicz single 9-8.

The Smokies fall to a season-worst three games under .500 at 28-31. Both Roberto Caro and Martinez had big games collecting three hits each, with Martinez driving in a pair. Daniel also had his first three-hit game of his career, while Higgins, Hodges and Ian Rice all added two hits in the 18-hit barrage. All nine of the Smokies starters logged at least one hit. Tommy Nance was the lone Smokie not to allow a run, tossing two shutout innings of relief.

MYRTLE BEACH PELICANS 2 – Winston-Salem Dash 5: A new place same result for the Pelicans as the losses continue to pile up following a 5-2 defeat at the hands of the Dash. Erich Uelmen continues to be a work in progress on the mound as his ERA rose to 4.60 following a 5ER performance in just 5 1/3 innings to take the loss. The good news came from the bullpen, as both Manuel Rodriguez and Tyler Peyton pitched shutout ball in 2 2/3 innings.

It was all Dash early as they grabbed the lead immediately in the first inning and didn’t look back. Jameson Fisher opened up the scoring in the first inning with his 16th double of the year for the quick 1-0 lead. The lead doubled in size in the second after the Craig Dedelow homer and just like that the Dash were on top 2-0.

Winston-Salem continued to keep the pressure on in the fourth inning as they managed to push another run across. This time it was Carlos Perez getting in on the fun as his single proved to be the game-winning RBI with the Dash now comfortably in front 3-0. It wasn’t until the top of the sixth when Myrtle Beach put an end to the shutout bid as they had a chance for a huge inning.

Three batters into the inning, the Pelicans loaded the bases as both Luke Reynolds, and Zach Davis earned walks, while Grant Fannell picked up a single. Looking to at the very worst pick up a single to push across a pair, Cam Balego brought home their first run as a hit by pitch kept the bases loaded with one out. Unfortunately for the Pelicans, they couldn’t do much else as they stranded the bases loaded and still trailed 3-1.

Following that huge momentum swing in the top of the sixth, the Dash put the game away in the bottom half as they prevented any hope of a Pelicans comeback. Dedelow picked up his second RBI of the game with a double to push the lead to 4-1. Yeyson Yrizarri made it a 5-1 game shortly after with a single as the Dash had their largest lead of the night. The Pelicans managed just three baserunners the rest of the game with all of them coming in the eight as Balego added an RBI single in that half of an inning to cap off the scoring in the 5-2 loss.

The Pelicans are sitting at 20-40 and continue their franchise-worst start. Davis continues to be the leadoff hitter the Pelicans lacked the first five weeks of the season, picking up two more hits. Carlos Sepulveda, Aramis Ademan, Fennell and Balego added the other four hits, while Balego was responsible for both RBI’s in the loss.

SOUTH BEND CUBS 4 – Bowling Green Hot Rods 1: If there was ever a series a team may look back on during the season as a turning point, this one might be it for South Bend. Not only are their playoff hopes alive with a wild-card berth on the line, but they were chasing Bowling Green to start the week, but a 4-1 win on Thursday not only completed the series sweep but moved the Cubs ahead of the Hot Rods in the standings and closer to a playoff spot.

For the second straight night, pitching set the tone for the Cubs as Riley Thompson silenced the Bowling Green bats. In five innings of work, Thompson allowed just 1ER on 4H to go with 1BB and 2K. His ERA is a 2.32 this season as Zach Mort, tossed three scoreless frames for to earn the win (4-2) with Sean Barry earning his third save.

The lone blemish from Thompson came in the fourth inning as that was the lone run the Hot Rods scored. Not only was that the lone run, but it also gave Bowling Green the lead at that point as Grant Witherspoon grounded into a fielder’s choice to plate the games first run and 1-0 Hot Rods lead. South Bend managed to tie things up in the bottom of the fifth on an Eric Gonzalez double, but it was some late-inning offense off the Bowling Green pen that proved to be the difference.

With both starters now out of the game and battle of the bullpens in full swing, we headed to the bottom of the seventh all tied 1-1. That is when the Cubs bats showed just enough life as they took the lead for good. With one out, it was Tyler Durna delivering the game-winning RBI as he ended his long homerless drought for his second of the year. Two batters later, it was time for Christopher Morel to get in on the fun as he too went deep for a solo shot for his third of the season making it a 3-1 South Bend lead.

The Cubs continued to put the pressure on in the eighth as Delvin Zinn reached on an error after the Edmond Americaan walk, but a pickoff of Americaan at first left Zinn as the lone base runner as he used his legs to steal second shortly after. With Two outs, Zinn was at it again, taking third base for his 11th steal of the season and moving 90 feet from scoring. With Andy Weber up, Zinn could jog home as Weber connected for his fifth triple to push the lead to 4-1 as South Bend completes the pivotal three-game sweep.

The Cubs are now a season-high eight games above .500 at 33-25 and currently own the best record in the Cubs farm system. Durna and Morel tried to copy one another, as each of them collected two hits with solo home runs in the win. Zinn, Weber, Brennan Davis picked up the final three hits. Since the arrival of last years second round pick Davis, the Cubs have gone 10-3 while Cole Roederer has suffered the most playing less on the diamond.

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Tags: Trevor Clifton, Mark Zagunis, Luis Vazquez, Robel Garcia, Wynton Bernard, Taylor Davis, Phillip Evans, Ian Happ, Trent Giambrone, Tony Barnette, Rowan Wick, Junichi Tazawa, Eddy Martinez, Christian Donahue, Jesse Hodges, Clayton Daniel, Jared Young, Vimael Machin, Roberto Caro, Ian Rice, Manuel Rodriguez, Tyler Peyton, Luke Reynolds, Zach Davis, Cam Balego, Carlos Sepulveda, Aramis Ademan, Sean Barry, Eric Gonzalez, Tyler Durna, Christopher Morel, Delvin Zinn, Andy Weber, Cole Roederer
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