8/22: Around the Cubs Minor League System
The Cubs minor leagues were in full effect on Wednesday with the AZL Cubs and Daytona each playing 7-inning double headers.
The AZL Cubs scored three in the first inning of the first game and that was all Ryan McNeil and company would need beating the Diamondbacks 3-0. McNeil was outstanding pitching four scoreless innings giving up five hits and striking out two. Rafael Dolis continued his rebab pitching the next 1.1 innings and getting the win. Jasvir Rakkar earned his first save of the year, striking out four of the five outs he recorded. Anthony Giansanti also continued his rehab assignment going 1-for-2 with a double and two RBIs. Justin Marra also had a hit and an RBI in the victory. Shawon Dunston continued his impressive stretch at the plate going 2-for-3 with a run scored. Ben Carhart and Yasiel Balauert also had a hit in the game.
Game two was scoreless until Anthony Giansanti stepped to the plate in the bottom of the seventh. Giansanti delivered hitting a walk off homer as the Cubs swept the double-header against the Diamondbacks. The Cubs used three pitchers in this one as Corbin Hoffner got the start striking out two and allowing three hits in three innings. Some more good news was the return of Ben Wells who began his rebab assignment in style striking out the side in his one inning. Alvido Jimenez ended the scoreless day pitcing the final three innings and getting his second win of the season. Carlos Penalver, David Bote, and Yasiel Balaguert all had a hit in game two of the double-header. The Cubs remain three games behind the A’s for first place, but are leading the wild card by three games over the Giants.
Boise just keeps rolling as they beat up Vancouver 11-6. The offense was the story in this one as they pounded out 17 hits to go along with those 11 runs. Stephen Bruno is just raking right now as he went 3-for-6 with two runs scored and two RBIs. He is now hitting .344 on the season and .439 in his last 10. Izaac Garsez and Wilson Contreras each had really nice games both having three hits and driving in two runs a piece. Garsez also scored three runs and stole his first base of the season. Carlos Escobar and Darien Martin both had two hits with Escobar knocking in two. Marco Hernandez also had two RBIs and Gioskar Amaya had one of his own. Justin Amlung got the start, but only lasted two innings as he gave up three runs on six hits. Michael Heesch then pitched two scoreless innings and got his second win of the season. James Pugliese struck out six over the next three innings, but did give up three runs before getting the ball to Nathan Dorris. Dorris closed this one out striking out two over the final two innings of the game. Boise remains six games up on the Yakima Bears with their magic number down to four.
Beloit got off to a great start, but Peoria came roaring back scoring four in the sixth and one in the eighth to tie it up before scoring three in the 13th and beating Beloit 9-6. Timothy Saunders continues to impress at the plate going 4-for-6 with a stolen base, three runs scored and two RBIs. He is now hitting .391 with Peoria in 11 games. Jorge Soler was back at it going 2-for-6 with a stolen base, three runs scored and an RBI. Jacob Rogers and Bijan Rademacher each had a hit and an RBI and Pin-Chieh Chen had two hits. Starling Peralta started, but struggled with his command walking five in five innings. He also gave up five hits and allowed four runs, three earned, and struck out four. After Bryce Shafer gave up an unearned run the rest of the Chiefs staff threw up zeros. First Pete Levitt struck out four in 2.2 innings, then Sheldon McDonald struck out four in his two innings. Luis Liria came on to shut the door in the 13th and recorded his fifth save of the season.
Game one of Daytona’s double-header was decided early as Clearwater scored two in the first and Daytona scored one in the second. Nothing would change as the Cubs lost game one 2-1. PJ Francescon started and took the loss striking out four and giving up two runs in three innings. Eduardo Figueroa, Matt Spencer, and AJ Morris all did their job not allowing another hit and shutting Clearwater down over the next three innings. The offense just couldn’t get it going, which is to be expected as they haven’t played in several days. Taylor Davis was 2-for-2 and drove in the only Cubs run in this one. Christian Villanueva hit a double and scored the Cubs lone run in the loss. John Andreoli and Elieser Bonne also had hits and Javier Baez was 0-for-3.
Game two didn’t go much better for Daytona as Clearwater jumped out early scoring three in the first and never looked back beating the Cubs 4-2. Frank Del Valle was on the hook for all four runs, only three of which were earned in four innings of work. Ryan Searle and Hunter Cervenka each pitched a scoreless inning a piece. Offensively there were a couple bright spots, one of which was Ronald Torreyes who was 3-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored. Vladimir Frias had two hits of his own and Nelson Perez added a hit and an RBI. The offense is obviously having a hard time getting in any kind of rhythm as games have been few and far between.
Tennessee was embarrassed on Wednesday losing to Chattanooga 11-1. Dae-Eun Rhee started and took the loss giving up three runs on nine hits in 5.2 innings. Things didn’t get any better as Casey Weathers gave up three runs after recording just one out. After Zach Rosscup struck out the side in the seventh, Casey Harman gave up five runs, only one of which was earned in the eighth inning. Dustin Harrington struck out two in the ninth, that’s right Dustin Harrington, the same guy who plays third base. He was 2-for-2 at the plate as well, hitting a double and scoring a run. Matt Szczur was the only other Smokie to have a hit as he had a triple and drove in the lone Cubs run.
Iowa was winning 3-1 into the eighth, but gave up five over the next two innings and lost 6-3. Horacio Ramirez was great on Wednesday giving up one run on seven hits in seven innings pitched. Blake Parker struggled and took the loss giving up three runs in the eighth and Jairo Asencio allowed two unearned runs in the ninth. Dave Sappelt had a nice day at the plate going 2-for-4 with a triple and two RBIs. Brian Esposito had a hit and an RBI and Blake Lalli had a hit and scored a run in the loss. Adrian Cardenas finally got to play baseball again and was 1-for-4 with a run scored. It is tough to see Parker give this one up, as his rehab has been going quite well thus far, but I am sure he will come back strong in his next outing.
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