Minor League recap: 8/26/13

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Outfielder Matt Szczur was a large reason the Smokies earned a playoff berth. (Photo by Stephen Green)

Iowa continued to make a late playoff push behind the pitching of Yoanner Negrin, RHP Matt Loosen boosted Tennessee into the playoffs with a strong effort that secured the Smokies the second half title of the Southern League and Boise pulled into a three-way tie for first with a win Monday. Kane County couldn’t get the bats going while Daytona’s game was suspended in the fourth inning and Mesa’s game was cancelled due to rain. Here are some highlights from yesterday’s action.

Iowa Cubs (62-75)

Iowa won for the fourth time in five games, beating visiting Omaha, 2-1.

  • RHP Yoanner Negrin tossed his first-career, nine-inning complete game, allowing one run on six hits while fanning six. It was the second complete game by a starter for Iowa this season (Chris Rusin, June 17 vs. Omaha).
  • RF Ty Wright (.275) extended his hitting streak to five games, going 3-for-4 with a run scored, two doubles (14) and one RBI (33).
  • CF Jae-Hoon Ha (.248) snapped a three-game hitless skid, going 2-for-4 with a run scored.
  • 2B Edgar Gonzalez (.254) went 1-for-4 with one RBI (18).

Tennessee Smokies (37-26)

Tennessee won the Southern League second-half title with a 6-0 victory over visiting Mobile. The Smokies clinched a playoff berth for the fourth time in five years.

  • RHP Matt Loosen pitched seven scoreless innings, striking out six and allowing just three hits to pick up the win.
  • SS Javier Baez (.308) homered for the fourth time in his last six games, going 2-for-4 with the blast and a team-high four RBI (48). It was his 13th, multihit effort of the month, and he’s now hitting .390 (39-for-100) with seven home runs and 27 RBI in 25 August games.
  • 3B Christian Villanueva (.260) went 1-for-3 with a RBI (67) and his Southern League-leading 40th double of the season.
  • CF Matt Szczur (.280) went 2-for-4 with two runs scored. He’s hit safely in seven of his last eight games.
  • RHP’s Armando Rivero (1.50) and Frank Batista (2.69) each tossed a scoreless inning of relief.

Kane County Cougars (22-40)

Kane County lost for the seventh time in nine games, falling at Wisconsin, 4-2.

  • C Willson Contreras (.250) recorded his second-straight, multihit effort, going 3-for-4 with a run scored and one stolen base (8).
  • SS Marco Hernandez (.251) and CF Oliver Zapata (.246) each recorded two hits.
  • LHP Andrew McKirahan (2.95) tossed a scoreless inning of relief.
  • With the loss, the Cougars tied a franchise record for losses in a season (22-40, 52-76 overall) set by the 1992 club that went 61-76.

Boise Hawks (19-13)

Boise pulled into a three-way tie atop the Northwest League South Division with a 4-3 victory at Hillsboro.

  • CF Kevin Encarnacion (.352) went 1-for-4 with a fourth-inning, solo home run.
  • SS Carlos Penalver (.259) reached base four times, going 2-for-2 with two walks, a run scored and a stolen base (8).
  • LF Shawon Dunston (.291) and 2B Dan Lockhart (.293) each drove in a run.
  • RHP Jasvir Rakkar (4-1, 3.63) struck out six in 3.0 scoreless innings of relief to earn his fourth win of the season.
  • RHP Eddie Orozco (4.50) converted his third save of the year with a scoreless ninth inning of work.

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