Down on the Farm: 2-2 record, Happ and Hoerner homer, Maples impressive, more


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

The farmhands were undoubtedly ready to roll on the offensive end Monday night, as they put up 27 runs in four games. Although 25 runs game in three games, the Cubs had to settle for a 2-2 record as the pitching wasn’t as strong as the hitting.

IOWA CUBS 5 – Oklahoma City Dodgers 8: Looking for the series sweep, the Cubs turned to Duane Underwood on the hill. His struggled continued as he allowed six runs in four innings en route to the 8-5 loss.

Offensively speaking, the Cubs continued to swing the bats well as the opened things up in the first inning. With one out, a Cristhian Adames single got things started before Ian Happ connected for his second homer of the season and 2-0 Iowa lead. Now with two outs, Johnny Field reached on an error before Jim Adduci played long ball again for his second in as many days as the Cubs led 4-0 heading into the bottom of the first.

Oklahoma City battled back in the bottom half of the first as they cut into four-run deficit. The long ball continued as Daniel Corcino tagged a two-run shot of his own to make it a 4-2 game. The Dodgers offense was just getting warmed up as they chased Underwood in the fourth inning. Corcino continued the comeback bid with a squeeze bunt bringing the Iowa lead to 4-3.

Following the Matt Beaty groundout to tie things up 4-4, Will Smith put the Dodgers in front for good with a single as Oklahoma City took the 6-4 lead. Beaty added to that lead with a solo homer in the sixth before the Cubs finally got back on the board in the seventh.

Down by three, Adames took it upon himself to bring things a little closer hitting his first homer of the season to cut things to 7-5. That was as close as the Cubs would get as Kyle Garlick took Brian Duensing deep in the seventh to help the Dodgers pick up the 8-5 win and avoid the sweep.

Iowa falls to 11-7 with the loss as their three-game winning streak came to an end. Adames picked up a pair of hits in the game while Happ tallied two RBI’s on his one hit. Dillon Maples continued his resurgence on the hill tossing 1 1/3 innings of scoreless ball with zero walks and two strikeouts.

TENNESSEE SMOKIES 7 – Chattanooga Lookouts 6: All eyes were on the Smokies Monday night as Mike Montgomery took to the hill for his next stop on the recap tour. Monty lasted four innings allowing three runs on three hits with one walk and three punchouts.

The Smokies did their part to back him up in the first couple of innings as the Robel Garcia two-run shot in the first gave the Smokies an early 2-0 lead before Montgomery helped himself with a sacrifice bunt to put Tennessee up 3-0. That score held up until the top of the third when Jose Siri got to Montgomery for the three-run shot to tie things up 3-3.

It was the Lookouts helping Tennessee out in the fourth inning as an RBI groundout from Jhonny Pareda to bring home the go-ahead run before an error on the same play pushed across the second run to make it a 5-3 Tennessee lead. It was in the sixth inning when Chattanooga appeared to be grabbing the upper hand as Siri continued his strong game with a double before singles from Taylor Trammell, and Tyler Stephenson gave the Lookouts the 6-5 lead.

It was the Smokies who got the last laugh in this one taking things down to the final a bat. After Pareda evened the score up 6-6 through six, the Smokies came to bat in the bottom half of the seventh. A Jared Young single and P.J. Higgins walk put a pair of runners on base with two outs. Charcer Burks came through with the walk-off single to give the Smokies the 7-6 win.

TENNESSEE SMOKIES 2 – Chattanooga Lookouts 2: After their dramatic game one win, the Smokies needed to refocus as they had another game to play. This time, it was the Lookouts getting the last laugh as they managed to pick up the 4-2 win in game 2.

Early on it appeared like it may be another offensive game as both teams exchanged runs in the first inning. With Trammell giving the Lookouts the 1-0 lead, Nico Hoerner provided the big highlight of the night in the bottom of the first. Not only did Hoerner tie things up with a homer, but it was also the way it happened as he smoked it into the left-field corner to show off his wheels for an inside the parker and 1-1 tie.

Chattanooga struck again in the second as they took the lead for good off Thomas Hatch. Mitch Nay got things started by taking one for the team with the hit by pitch. Brantley Bell made Hatch pay for that mistake taking him deep for the two-run shot, and 3-1 Lookouts lead. Young got the Smokies a tad closer in the third with an RBI groundout as it was now a 3-2 game.

That score would hold up until the final inning when Chattanooga looked to add on. A Chris Okey single brought home Bell to push things to 4-2 before the Smokies fell in the bottom of the seventh. With the split, the Smokies now sit at 9-7 on the season.

MYRTLE BEACH PELICANS: Off

SOUTH BEND CUBS 13 – Lansing Lugnuts 10: Pitching was a no show on Monday as the Cubs, and Lugnuts provided the fans with an offensive fireworks display. It took a while to get rolling, but eight runs in the seventh and eighth innings forced extras before the Cubs plated four to seize control for the win.

Braylin Marquez was roughed up for the first time on the season allowing four runs in 4 2/3 innings of work. He did manage to strike out six hitters showing his dominating stuff at times. Down 3-0 through four innings, Rafael Narea got the Cubs on the board in the top of the fifth with an RBI double to make it a 3-1 game. A D.J. Neal homer in the bottom half chased Marquez as the Lugnuts led 4-1 through five.

That is when both offenses began to come to life as the Cubs got rolling in the seventh. With the bases loaded, Cole Roederer singled home both Tyler Durna and Eric Gonzalez to cut things to 4-3. Andy Weber put the Cubs in front 6-4 with his first homer of the season as the Cubs were rolling.

Lansing retook the lead in the bottom of the seventh as Alejandro Kirk and Jordan Groshans started the Lugnuts rally. Jake Brodt capped off that rally with his first homer of the season and just like that it was 7-6 Lansing. Eight inning hits from Gonzalez, and D.J. Artis put the Cubs up 9-7 before the combination of Groshans and Brodt evened the score in the bottom of the eighth 9-9 to help send the games to extras.

It was in the 10th when South Bend not only took control but broke out the bats in a big way. Already with the bases loaded and just one out, Artis delivered the knockout blow with a bases-clearing double to put South Bend up 12-9. Artis advanced to third on the throw which proved to be beneficial as Roederer brought him in with a sacrifice fly for the 13-9 Cubs lead.

With just three outs to work with, the Lugnuts refused to go down without a fight. A Reggie Pruitt leadoff single combined with the one-out double from Groshans cut the Cubs lead down to 13-10. That would be all Lansing could put together as Otto Lopez, and Brodt struck out to end the game.

With the win, the Cubs move back above .500 at 9-8. Despite being out hit 17-12, the Cubs made those hits count as the top three hitters of Artis, Roederer, and Weber combined for nine RBI’s with each of them picking up three apiece. Christopher Morel and Artis led the way with three hits apiece, while six others added one hit each. Gonzalez also added two RBI’s of his own.

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