Down on the Farm: 1-3 record, Addison Russell and Johnny Field impressive, more

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by - Staff Writer -
Mark Rebilas - USA Today Sports
Mark Rebilas - USA Today Sports

It as a rough go of things for the Cubs Farm Hands as they limped to a 1-3 record on the night. The lone win came from Iowa as they continue their best start in a decade to lead the way in AAA.

IOWA CUBS 8 – Nashville Sounds 4: The hot play continued for the Cubs as they took on the Sounds in game two. With Collin Rea battling through six innings of four-run ball, the bullpen combination of Rowan Wick and Dakota Mekkes kept Nashville off the board the final three frames as the Cubs doubled up the Sounds 8-4.

It was the Sounds who opened up the scoring in the second inning as Matt Davidson homered for the second straight night for the early 1-0 lead. That lead was short lived as Iowa broke out offensively in the bottom half of the inning. Starting with the Johnny Field double that gave the Cubs the lead for good at 2-1, Donnie Dewees added a run with an RBI bunt single before Addison Russell picked up his second RBI of the year with a bases-loaded walk and 4-1 lead after two.

With the score still sitting at 4-1 in the top of the fourth, it was Davidson again this time with a single to cut the deficit to 4-2. Not to be outdone, the Iowa attack was back at it in the bottom of the frame as the top of the order wreaked havoc. Consecutive two-out walks from Dixon Machado and Ian Happ extended the inning before Russell cashed in with a double scoring both runners for the 6-2 lead.

The Sounds once again closed within two in the top of the fifth as Rougned Odor went deep for his first homer of the season bringing things to 6-4. Nashville was unable to get any closer as the Field double in the fifth followed by a Phillip Evans triple in the sixth put an end to the scoring as Iowa continues their best start in a decade with an 8-4 win.

The Cubs are now 13-7 on the season and are beginning to click on all cylinders. Russell is going to make the Cubs decision very hard next week if he continues to hit like this. Russell went 2-4 with a walk on the evening and collected three RBI’s. Field matched him with a pair of hits and three RBI’s of his own, while Machado reached base four times, three via the walk. Happ was 1-4 with a walk and two strikeouts.

TENNESSEE SMOKIES 0 – Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp 4: Despite a strong start from Tyson Miller who lasted six innings allowing just a pair of runs, it was an overall quiet night for the Smokies as they were held to only four hits in the 4-0 shutout loss.

Both of those runs allowed by Miller came in the fourth inning as pitching dominated the game early. With the bases loaded and two outs, Rodrigo Vigil dropped one in front of the right fielder for the single as the Jumbo Shrimp took a 2-0 lead. That would be all they would need as Tennessee was stifled at the plate.

With the game still sitting at 2-0, Jacksonville looked to add on in the eighth making it hard for any Smokies comeback. They did just that as a J.C. Milan Double and Vigil single was more than enough for the Jumbo Shrimp as they handcuffed a hot Smokies offense 4-0 for the win.

The best scoring chance for Tennessee came in the fifth when P.J. Higgins and Jhonny Pareda led things off with back-back walks. A Connor Myers one-out single loaded the bases, but the Smokies were unable to score taking all the air out of their sales.

Xavier Cedeno continues to battle back from a wrist injury tossing 2/3 innings of scoreless relief. Pereda picked up a pair of hits in the game while Myers and Robel Garcia each added one for the four Smokie hits.

MYRTLE BEACH PELICANS 1 – Carolina Mudcats 3: It was a great pitchers duel in Myrtle Beach Thursday as Dylan File battled Erling Moreno. After two rough outings to begin the year, Moreno was much better lasting four innings and yielding two runs, but that just wasn’t good enough as File went six shutout innings for his first win of the season.

With both pitchers posting zeros through three innings, it was the Mudcats who opened the scoring first in the top of the fourth. Singles from Mario Feliciano and Rob Henry gave Carolina a 2-0 lead which would prove to be just enough with Henry being credited for the game-winning RBI.

Those two runs allowed was enough to chase Moreno as Luis Lugo entered the game in relief. Lugo was more than impressive in his four innings of work, punching out eight hitters to go with three walks and one run allowed. That run came in the sixth inning when Feliciano continued his big series with his fourth homer of the season putting the Mudcats up 3-0.

Down but not out, the Pelicans wouldn’t go down without a fight as they finally broke through in the seventh. With Aramis Ademan reaching on a fielder’s choice followed by the Yeiler Peguero single, the Pelicans had a pair of runners on base with one out. Kevonte Mitchell cashed in on that chance ripping a single to right as we now had a 3-1 game. Mitchell was caught stealing second shortly after killing the likelihood of an even bigger rally.

The Pelicans not only had a golden opportunity to tie the game in the ninth but win it as well. With one down, Jhonny Bethencourt singled to start a rally before Ademan, and Carlos Sepulveda worked walks to load the bases. Down to their final out following a strikeout, it was down to one of the Pelicans hottest hitters Cam Balego who grounded out to third ending the game and threat as Myrtle Beach falls 3-1.

Despite leading the hit category 9-5, the Pelicans were not able to do much falling to 7-14 on the season. Ademan and Zach Davis led the way with two hits apiece, while five others collected one in the loss.

SOUTH BEND CUBS 6 – Fort Wayne Tincaps 12: After struggling on offense the first month of the season, that is no longer a problem as the Cubs have been on fire lately. Once again, the offense continued to rack up runs pushing six across home on Thursday, but ineffective pitching did the Cubs in yet again as they fall 12-6 to Fort Wayne.

Looking to get going was Eury Ramos on the hill as he was aiming for another South Bend win. Ramos got roughed up again lasting 3 2/3 innings of the six-run ball but managed a no-decision as his offense backed him early.

With the score tied 1-1 after one courtesy of Tin Cap homer by Tucupita Marcano and the Andy Weber single for the Cubs, South Bend busted things open in the bottom of the second taking command early. Nelson Velazquez and Delvin Zinn continue to reach base as they started the rally. Levi Jordan brought both of them home with a double to put South Bend in front 3-1. Jordan would later come home on a wild pitch for the 4-1 lead. Weber capped off the second with another single as the South Bend lead grew to 5-1 after two.

That lead was short-lived, as Fort Wayne rallied for four-five runs the next two frames with Xavier Edwards picking up a pair of hits to go with another Marcano RBI tying things up 5-5. The Tin Caps grabbed the lead on a Ramos wild pitch as it was evident this would be another back and forth game.

That was precisely the case as the Cubs quickly erased that minimal deficit in the bottom of the fourth to draw even once again. The Weber show continued as he picked up his third hit of the game bringing home Cole Roederer to once again tie things up 6-6. That would be all the Cubs could put together as Fort Wayne teed off on the South Bend bullpen for six runs in four innings.

Five of those runs came in the eighth inning when Fort Wayne delivered the finishing blow. With Agustin Ruiz picking up the game-winning sacrifice fly in the Seventh, the Tin Caps added a plethora of insurance runs in the eighth. Sparked by consecutive bases-loaded walks to Marcano and Ruiz, it was the Dwanya Williams-Sutton two-RBI single that was the backbreaker before an error on a steal attempt capped off the scoring with Fort Wayne emerging 12-6.

The Cubs continue to hover at .500 falling back to that mark at 10-10. Weber had carried the offense on the evening going 3-5 with three RBI’s for the Cubs. A pair of hits from Roederer, Velazquez, and Jordan accounted for nine of the Cubs 11 hits in the loss as the South Bend offense remains hot.

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