Struck earns win in Watkins’ AFL debut

Mesa loaded up its lineup with Cubs prospects Monday night as the Solar Sox rallied in the seventh and earned a 5-4 win over Scottsdale.

Five Cubs farmhands got into the action. None of them fared better than the organization’s minor league pitcher of the year Nick Struck, who pitched a scoreless sixth and seventh inning, allowing no hits, striking out two and walking just one batter. His efforts earned him his first win of the season.

Trailing 3-1 in the bottom of the seventh, the Cubs’ Rubi Silva ripped a one-out triple to center. Matt Szczur walked two batters later and Logan Watkins, making his fall league debut after replacing the injured Javier Baez, walked to load the bases. Silva scored when L.J. Hoes (Orioles) drew a walk, and Szczur scored to tie the game on Jonathan Singleton’s (Astros) free pass. Jonathan Schoop (Orioles) then drove in Watkins and Hoes with a two-out single to give Mesa the lead.

Silva finished the game 1-for-4 with a triple; Watkins was 0-for-2 with a pair of walks; and Szczur was 0-for-3 with a walk.

Starting pitcher Dae-Eun Rhee allowed two earned runs, giving up three hits and two walks in four innings for Mesa. He allowed just two hits in the first three innings before getting into trouble in the fourth. Rhee also struck out two batters.

Mesa hosts Surprise Tuesday, with first pitch scheduled for 12:35 local time.

How the Cubs have fared:

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