Cubs Squander Early Lead

Dave Sappelt and the Cubs offense got going early, but the pitching staff could not hold the lead and the Cubs dropped game one to the Rockies 10-5 in a rain-shortened game.  Dave Sappelt led the game off with a towering home run to left and before the inning was over the Cubs would add two more runs, including an RBI double from Welington Castillo.  After Chris Rusin shut down the Rockies in the first, things did not go so well the rest of the way for him or the Cubs bullpen as Colorado would score in each of the next five innings.  Chris Rusin took the loss lasting only 3.2 innings, allowing six runs on seven hits.  Rafael Dolis continued to struggle, giving up three runs in just one 1.1 innings of relief and Manuel Corpas allowed one run in his inning of work.  Starlin Castro connected on his 14th home run of the season and Darwin Barney added an RBI in the loss.  After dealing with the rain for most of the game it was eventually called after a 48-minute rain delay following the top of the seventh.  Despite the cold and the rain the ball was really jumping out of Coors Field on Tuesday and the Cubs hope to take advantage of that on Wednesday and keep the Rockies at bay in doing so.

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  Game Highlights:
Dave Sappelt’s first career Home Run
Castillo RBI double
Castro Home Run
Barney RBI single

Thanks for Reading,
-Mark

9/3: Around the Cubs Minor League System

Peoria and Tennessee were the only Cubs minor league teams with regular season games today.  Boise played game one, which we will have a separate post on.

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Peoria finished the season strong beating Kane County 6-2.  Ben Wells got the start pitching two scoreless innings allowing no runs on three hits.  Willengton Cruz got the win pitching 4.2 innings allowing two runs on just one hit.  Luis Liria struggled with his command, walking four in just 0.2 innings, but got the ball to Pete Levitt who recorded his first save of the season throwing the final 1.2 innings.  Yaniel Cabezas had the big blow going 2-for-4 with a three run home run in the fifth.  Pin-Chieh Chen also had two hits and a scored a run.  Dustin Geiger was 1-for-3 with a double and an RBI and Timothy Saunders had a hit and a run scored.  Jorge Soler and Chadd Krist each had a hit in the win.

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Tennessee ended the season on a high note as well beating Pensacola 8-1.  Austin Kirk was good getting a win in his final start giving up one run on four hits in 5.2 innings.  Frank Batista, Jaye Chapman, Rafael Dolis, and Trey McNutt combined to pitch the final 3.1 innings striking out three, giving up two hits, and allowing no runs.  Newly acquired Anthony Recker was 2-for-5 with a home run and four RBIs.  He his a three run shot in the seventh.  Jae-Hoon Ha and Matt Cerda also had two hits a piece with Cerda driving in one run.  Rubi Silva had a hit and drove in two in the Smokies win.  Junior Lake, Logan Watkins, and Matt Szczur all had a hit and a run scored on the day.

Thanks for Reading,
-Mark

9/1: Around the Cubs Minor League System

Our daily minor league recap.

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Boise closed out the regular season by winning a wild one Saturday night 12-11.  Boise took an early lead, but gave up six in the fourth and five in the fifth and were quickly down by six runs.  They came storming back scoring four in the sixth, one in the seventh, and two in the ninth to get the victory. Marco Hernadez was 4-for-6 with three runs scored and two RBIs, including the game tying RBI and the winning run scored.  Dan Vogelbach had three hits and three RBIs.  Gioskar Amaya was 2-for-4 with a double, triple, three runs scored, and two RBIs.  Albert Almora and Rock Shoulders each had two hits, with Almora knocking one in and Wilson Contreras had two RBIs including the game winner.  Stephen Bruno kept the hitting streak alive as he went 1-for-1, with an RBI, but was ejected shortly after that.  Ian Dickson got the start, giving up six runs, four earned in just 3.1 innings.  Hunter Ackerman followed and gave up five runs, two earned over the next 1.2 innings.  Brian Smith was tremendous pitching three perfect innings with four strikeouts.  Rafael Diplan got his third win of the season pitching a scoreless ninth.  Boise starts their playoffs on Monday.

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Peoria gave up three in the sixth and took the loss 6-5.  Jeff Antigua got the start, but struggled a bit giving up six runs on eight hits in 5.2 innings.  Justin Berg came on and pitched the final 2.1 innings not allowing a run.  Bijan Rademacher had a nice night at the plate going 2-for-4 with a double and three RBIs.  Oliver Zapata also had a double and rove in two.  Chadd Krist was 2-for-4 with two doubles and two runs scored.  Jorge Soler, Zeke DeVoss and Jacob Rogers each had a hit a piece, with Rogers scoring two runs.  Peoria has two more games against Kane County as the season will come to a close on Monday.

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Daytona beat Brevard County on Saturday 4-2.  Matt Loosen got the start and pitched quite well in his five innings.  He allowed one run on two hits and struck out six, in earning his 11th win of the season.  Jeff Lorick gave up a run, but pitched the next two innings before getting the ball to AJ Morris threw the final two innings and earned his seventh save of the season.  John Andreoli, who has had a really nice season waited until tonight to hit his first home run of the season.  He ended the night 2-for-3 with two runs scored, an RBI, and two stolen bases bringing his total to 55.  Nelson Perez was 2-for-3 with two doubles and an RBI and Rafael Lopez had a hit and knocked one in as well.  Javier Baez and Christian Villanueva each had a hit, with Villanueva stealing two bases and scoring a run as well.  Daytona’s season will come to a close on Sunday.

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Tennessee scored two in the fifth, but gave up one in the ninth to lose 3-2.  Eric Jokisch started, but did not factor in the decision going five innings and allowing one run on six hits, while striking out five.  After Zach Rosscup gave up a run in his inning of work, both Jaye Chapman and Rafael Dolis pitched a scoreless inning each.  Kevin Rhoderick took the loss giving up a run in the ninth inning.  Logan Watkins was 1-for-3 with a home run and two RBIs, he also walked twice.  Matt Szczur had two hits, including a double and he scored a run.  The pitcher Eric Jokisch and pinch hitter Dustin Harrington were the only other Smokies to record a hit in the loss.  Tennessee has two games left and will end their season on Monday.

Thanks for Reading,
-Mark

8/30: Around the Cubs Minor League System

Here is a quick look at the Cubs minor league recap for Thursday, August 30th.  When the AZL Cubs playoff game ends we will have a full recap of that game.

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Boise scored two in the ninth, but it wasn’t enough as they lost to Everett 4-3.  What else is new Stephen Bruno was 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI.  His hit streak now sits at 20.  Rock Shoulders hit a pinch-hit two-run home run in the ninth.  Albert Almora was 1-for-4 with a double and an RBI.  Dan Vogelbach also had a hit in the loss.  Justin Amlung started and took the loss going two innings allowing one run on two hits.  James Pugliese pitched the next four innings allowing two runs and striking out four.  Su-Min Jung and Tyler Bremer combined to throw the last three innings, with Bremer giving up a run and striking out two.

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Cedar Rapids put up four big runs in the 10th inning to beat Peoria 11-7.  The Chiefs had a lot of nice nights on the offensively.  Pin-Chieh Chen was 3-for-4 with two walks, a triple, three runs scored, and a stolen base.  Wes Darvill also had three hits, including a double and an RBI.  Jorge Soler was 2-for-6 with an RBI and Sergio Burruel also had two hits including a double and two RBIs.  Zeke DeVoss had a hit and an RBI as did Jacob RogersTimothy Saunders, Oliver Zapata, and Bijan Rademacher all had a hit in the loss.  Joseph Zeller started and pitched 6.2 innings allowing five runs on eight hits.  Sheldon McDonald and Larry Suarez pitched the next 2.1 innings, but Luis Liria took the loss giving up the four runs in the 10th.

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Going into the ninth tied Brevard County scored two and Daytona one, so the final ended up 6-5 Brevard County.  Kyle Hendricks started and pitched four innings allowing three runs on seven hits.  Matthew Spencer and Hunter Cervenka combined to pitch the next 2.1 innings giving up one run and striking out four.  Eduardo Figueroa took the loss as he allowed the two runs in the ninth inning.  John Andreoli had a nice night going 3-for-5 with a double and a run scored.  Javier Baez was 1-for-4 with a home run and Christian Villanueva had a hit and an RBI.  Rebel Ridling was 2-for-5 with a double and a run scored and Elieser Bonne knocked in a run with a hit in the loss.

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Tennessee beat Pensacola on Thursday 4-2.  Dallas Beeler started and pitched five innings allowing two runs, one earned on four hits, while walking two and striking out four.  After Casey Harman pitched a scoreless sixth, Trey McNutt pitched an outstanding inning as he struck out the side and didn’t allow a base runner.  Brian Schlitter notched his six save as he struck out four over two innings.  The Cubs offense used the long ball as all four runs accounted for via the home run.  Logan Watkins, Justin Bour, and Matt Cerda all connected with Cerda hitting a two-run homer.  Jae-Hoon Ha was the only other Smokies player to have a hit in the win.

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Thursday was not a good night for Iowa losing to Nashville 6-1.  Yonner Negrin started and took the loss as he pitched five innings allowing three runs, two earned on six hits.  Jaye Chapman struck out two in a scoreless inning of work, but Miguel Socolovich gave up three runs in his inning.  Rafael Dolis pitched the final frame, not allowing a run and striking one out.  Adrian Cardenas was responsible for the only Cubs run as he was 1-for-4 with a double and an RBI.  Tony Campana also had one hit and he scored the Cubs lone run, he also stole his 18th base at Iowa.  The Cubs had five more hits in the loss, as Thursday was not a very good night.

Thanks for Reading,
-Mark

8/28: Around the Cubs Minor League System

The Cubs minor league recap for Tuesday, August 28.  Daytona was again cancelled because of rain.

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The AZL Cubs tried to come back, but ended up losing to the Diamondbacks 6-4.  Dillon Maples started and got the loss allowing two unearned runs in one inning.  The Cubs used six more pitchers to get through the rest of the game.  Some of the good pitching performances were Loiger Padron who struck out three and allowed one hit in two innings.  Anthony York struggled giving up three runs in just 0.2 innings.  Daniel Adrian, Jin-Young Kim, and Arturo Maltos-Garcia all combined to strike out eight in just three innings.  Garrett Schlecht was really good night going 4-for-4 with a double, triple, and three runs scored.  Yasiel Balaguert was 2-for-4 with a triple and a run scored.  Trevor Gretzky and Carlos Penalver each had a hit and an RBI.  Justin Marra had a double and Jeff Baez knocked in one run in the loss.

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Boise jumped on Everett early scoring seven runs in the first two innings and ended up winning 7-3.   Stephen Bruno has been outstanding and Tuesday was no different going 3-for-5 with a run scored.  Jeimer Candelario and Gioskar Amaya each hit a home run with Candelario driving in two and Amaya three.  Wilson Contreras and Marco Hernandez had two hits a piece with Contreras having two RBIs.  Carlos Escobar and Darien Martin each had a hit in the win.  Although he didn’t have a hit it was nice to see Albert Almora get back in the lineup.  Pierce Johnson got the start pitching two innings, allowing one unearned run on three hits while striking out three.  Jose Arias pitched the next three innings allowing one run on one hit, while walking four and striking out three.  Brian Smith pitched the next 2.2 innings and got the win not allowing a run and striking out three.  Rafael Diplan notched his first save of the season, striking out two of the four outs he recorded.

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Peoria gave up three runs in the ninth and lost to Wisconsin 4-1.  In some really good new Ben Wells got the start in his first game with Peoria since coming back from injury.  He pitched two innings allowing no runs on two hits, with one walk.  Willengton Cruz did a very nice job in relief pitching five innings allowing one run on three hits, while striking out four.  Justin Berg took the loss giving up three runs in the ninth inning.  The Chiefs only had four hits on Tuesday.  Pin-Chieh Chen and Dustin Geiger each had hits as did Timothy Saunders and Jacob Rogers.  Jorge Soler did not have a hit, but walked twice and scored the Chiefs lone run.

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Tennessee gave up one run in the ninth to tie the game, but walked-off in the 10th beating Mobile 6-5.  Logan Watkins was the hero hitting the walk off home run in the 10th, he ended the night 2-for-4 with a double and a home run.  Michael Brenly had quite a nice night as well going 3-for-4 with a home run, one RBI and two runs scored.  Matt Cerda was 2-for-4 with a run scored and Michael Burgess had a pinch hit RBI single.  Junior Lake and Rubi Silva each had a hit in the Smokies win.  Austin Kirk got the start going seven strong innings.  He gave up three runs, two earned on seven hits, while walking one and striking out one.  Kevin Rhoderick gave up a run in one inning, but got the ball to Frank Batista with the lead.  Batista blew the save, but got the win.  Tennessee is playing good ball lately and they are now 33-32, but it appears to be too late as they are five out and are one game away from being eliminated.

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Iowa lost to Nashville 7-3.  Horacio Ramirez wasn’t good giving up seven runs on nine hits in 4.2 innings.  Miguel Socolovich, Rafael Dolis, and Jairo Asencio combined to pitch 3.1 innings not allowing a run.  Alfredo Amezaga was 2-for-4 with a home run and three RBIs.  Tony Campana and Matt Tolbert each had two hits, with Tolbert scoring a run.  Greg Rohan, Dave Sappelt, and James Adduci each had a hit in the Cubs loss.

Thanks for Reading,
-Mark

8/25: Around the Cubs Minor League System

Saturday’s minor league recap.

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It was a game of big innings early, until the ninth when the AZL Cubs walked off with another win, this time 8-7.  Paul Blackburn started, but wasn’t at his best giving up three runs on four hits in three innings of work.  Rafael Dolis and Jasvir Rakkar each pitched an inning allowing two runs a piece.  Ethan Elias did a great job keeping the Giants at seven runs as pitched the next three innings allowing no runs on no hits, while walking two and striking out four.  The good luck charm Steve Perakslis improved his record to 4-0 as he got the win after pitching a scoreless ninth.  The Cubs had a lot of nice days offensively.  Carlos Penalver and Yasiel Balaguert each had two hits and drove in two a piece.  Ben Carhart was 2-for-6 with a walk off single and Shawon Dunston had one hit, a double and three RBIs.  Trevor Gretzky and David Bote both contributed with two hits and combined two score three runs for the Cubs.  Daniel Lockhart and Garrett Schlecht each had a hit and an RBI in the Cubs victory.  The victory clinched a spot in the playoffs for the Cubs.

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Boise got out to a quick start and held on to beat Vancouver 8-6.  After a recent struggle Jeimer Candelario appears to have broken out as he went 3-for-5 with two doubles, two runs scored, and three RBIs.  Stephen Bruno stayed red-hot going 2-for-4 with two runs scored and an RBI.  Dan Vogelbach also had two hits, including a double and an RBI.  Wilson Contreras and Gioskar Amaya each had a hit with Contreras knocking in two and Amaya one.  Albert Almora left the game early with an apparent injury, but I have no word yet as to what the problem was.  Ian Dickson started, but did not factor in the decision as was only able to last 4.1 innings as he allowed four runs on seven hits.  Hunter Ackerman did get the victory as he threw the next 2.2 innings giving up one run and striking out five.  Eduardo Orozco got the ball to Nathan Dorris and Dorris closed out the win and the second half for Boise.  With the victory Boise is the second half winners and are headed to the playoffs.

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A three run fourth was enough for Joseph Zeller and the Cubs bullpen as they beat Wisconsin 3-2.  Zeller pitched quite well giving up one run on seven hits in six innings.  Sheldon McDonald pitched the next two innings allowing one run, but got the ball to Larry Suarez who notched his fifth save of the season striking out two in a scoreless ninth.  Timothy Saunders had another nice night going 2-for-4 with a homer and a double.  Chadd Krist also hit a home run, a two run shot in the fourth inning.  Oliver Zapata had a hit, two walks, and two stolen bases and Zeke DeVoss also added a hit in the Chiefs win.

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Daytona lost game one to Tampa 3-2.  Although they only had three hits, they threatened late, but couldn’t finish.  Ronald Torreyes, Elieser Bonne, and Vladimir Frias were the only Cubs to have hits on Saturday.  Nelson Perez drove in the two Cubs runs in game one without the benefit of a hit.  Eduardo Figueroa started, but took a no decision as didn’t give up a run in four inning, while striking out six.  Matt Spencer took the loss as he really struggled with his command walking five and allowing all three of the Yankees runs to score in just 0.2 innings.  Matt Iannazzo finished game one out throwing a scoreless 1.1 innings.

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Daytona returned the favor in game two as Ryan Searle and staff only allowed three hits in a 4-1 win.  Searle started and pitched pretty good going five innings allowing one run on three hits and striking out five.  From there Jeff Lorick pitched a scoreless sixth and Scott Weismann notched his fourth save of the season throwing a perfect seventh.  John Andreoli and Ronald Torreyes hit one-two in the order and set the table of the Cubs in this one.  Torreyes was 2-for-4 with a triple, two runs scored, and an RBI.  John Andreoli was also 2-for-4 with a double, triple, and two runs scored.  Rebel Ridling had two hits of his own and drove in one run and Nelson Perez drove in another run, again not having a hit.  Javier Baez broke through with a double in the victory.

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Mobile scored one in the ninth to tie it and got one in the 10th to beat Tennessee 4-3.  Nicholas Struck was in line for the win pitching seven innings, allowing two runs, one earned on six hits, while striking out six.  Zach Rosscup did his job getting the ball to Frank Batista, but Batista couldn’t get the save in this one allowing the ninth inning run.  Casey Harman took the loss allowing an unearned run in the 10th.  Rubi Silva had a nice night at the plate going 2-for-4 with a triple and two RBIs.  Jae-Hoon Ha had three hits and Junior Lake had two hits and a run scored.  Logan Watkins was 1-for-5 with a home run for the Smokies in the tough loss on Saturday.

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Things have been better for Iowa as of late and Saturday was no different as they beat Oklahoma City 4-1.  Ty’Relle Harris started and got the win pitching six strong innings.  He allowed one run on four hits while striking out six.  Miguel Socolovich and Jeff Beliveau each pitched a perfect frame to get the ball to Jairo Asencio who struck out two and pitched a scoreless ninth to record his fifth save of the season.  The Cubs had a few nice nights offensively on Saturday starting with Diory Hernandez who had a home run and three RBIs.  Dave Sappelt was 2-for-4 with an RBI and Matt Tolbert also had two hits with a run scored.  Greg Rohan and Jeff Frazier each had two hits a piece with Frazier having two doubles and Rohan having one.  It is good to see Iowa finishing the season strong.

It was an exciting night, Congrats to Boise Hawks and the AZL Cubs in clinching a playoff birth.

Thanks for Reading,
-Mark

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Thanks for Reading,
-Mark