Kane County jumped out to an early lead and grabbed the first game of the best-of-five Midwest League Championship Series Wednesday. Here are some highlights:
Kane County Cougars
Midwest League Championship
Kane County leads series 1-0
Kane County scored four runs in the first two innings to defeat visiting Lake County, 4-3, in Game 1 of the MWL Championship Series.
- RHP Jen-Ho Tseng gave up two earned runs over five innings, fanning eight, to pick up the win.
- DH Mark Zagunis (.389) put the Cougars up 2-1 with a first-inning, two-run blast. He finished 1-for-4 with the homer.
- LF Shawon Dunston (.300) recorded a game-high three hits, going 3-for-4 with two runs scored, one RBI and two stolen bases.
- 3B Jeimer Candelario (.462) went 2-for-4.
- RHPs Ben Wells (0.00) and Jasvir Rakkar (0.00) each recorded their first hold of the playoffs while combining to toss three scoreless innings of relief.
- RHP Francisco Carrillo (0.00) earned his third save of the postseason with a perfect ninth inning of work.
Daytona’s season came to a close with a loss in extra innings Monday while Kane County had the night off before its championship series against Lake County. Here are some highlights from yesterday’s action:
Daytona loses series 3-1
Fort Myers’ Jason Kanzler hit a two-run homer in the 11th inning to break a 2-2 tie, lifting the Miracle to their first FSL title in its 22-year history. With the setback, the Daytona Cubs lost their first postseason series in team history.
- CF Jacob Hannemann (.250) and 1B Dan Vogelbach (.273) each recorded a double.
- DH Kyle Schwarber (.174), 2B Gioskar Amaya (.385) and LF Bijan Rademacher (.391) had a hit.
- RHP Jose Rosario (0.00) struck out five hitters while walking four in four scoreless innings of relief.
- RHP Stephen Perakslis (1-1, 3.38) suffered the loss, allowing two runs on three hits in three innings of work.
Kane County advanced to the championship series while Daytona suffered a setback in the first game of its championship series Thursday. Here are some highlights from yesterday’s minor league action:
FSL Championship Series
Daytona trails series 0-1
Daytona dropped Game 1 of the FSL Championship, falling at Fort Myers, 5-1.
- LF Bijan Rademacher (.800) went a perfect 3-for-3 with a run scored.
- 2B Gioskar Amaya (.462) went 2-for-4 with a double (3) and one RBI (1).
- LHP Gerardo Concepcion (0.00) tossed a scoreless eighth inning.
Kane County Cougars
Kane County wins series 2-0
3B Jeimer Candelario ripped a walk-off, RBI single in the bottom of the 13th inning to help Kane County sweep Wisconsin in the first round of the MWL playoff series, 4-3.
- Rehabbing 3B Mike Olt (.571) homered for the second-straight game, going 2-for-4 with an eighth-inning, two-run homer.
- Candelario (.600) finished 3-for-4 with two walks, a run scored, a double (1) and two RBI (2).
- LF Shawon Dunston (.375) and CF Trey Martin (.500) had two hits apiece.
- RHP Francisco Carrillo (1-0, 0.00) tossed 1.1 scoreless innings of relief to earn the win.
(Photo by Brian Kersey/Getty Images)
The Cubs recalled infielder Mike Olt from his rehab assignment in Single-A Kane County Friday. He will be available for the club this afternoon when it begins its series against the Pirates.
The 26-year-old Olt was a member of Chicago’s Opening Day roster and batted .139 (26-for-187) with 12 homers, four doubles and 30 RBI in 72 games before being optioned to Triple-A Iowa on July 22. Despite spending the last six weeks in the minor leagues, Olt is still tied for the National League lead among rookies in home runs and is tied for sixth in RBI.
Olt batted .302 (32-for-106) with seven homers, nine doubles and 24 RBI in 28 games before suffering a hamstring strain. He rehabbed the last two days with Kane County, hitting a home run in each game.
He was acquired by the Cubs last summer from Texas as part of the trade that sent pitcher Matt Garza to the Rangers. Olt was originally selected by the Rangers with the 49th overall pick of the 2010 draft (supplemental round).
Daytona advanced to the FSL Championship Series with a win, and Kane County picked up a victory in their playoff opener. Boise’s season came to an end Wednesday. Here are some highlights from yesterday’s action:
FSL North Championship
Daytona wins series 2-0
For the fourth time in the last six years, the Daytona Cubs were crowned the Florida State League North Champions. The Cubs scored eight runs in the first two innings to beat host Dunedin, 9-4. Game 1 of the FSL Championship against Fort Myers will take place tonight at JetBlue Park.
- LF Bijan Rademacher (.714) went 2-for-4 with a first-inning, two-run homer.
- DH Kyle Schwarber (.200) went 1-for-5 with two RBI. He recorded six RBI in two games this series.
- CF Jacob Hannemann (.400) and 2B Gioskar Amaya (.444) had three hits apiece while combining to score five runs.
- 1B Dan Vogelbach (.444) went 2-for-4 with a game-high three RBI (5).
- LHP Nathan Dorris (1-0, 0.00) tossed three scoreless innings of relief to earn the win.
Kane County Cougars
MWL Playoffs Series
Kane County leads series 1-0
Kane County recorded 13 hits in a 7-3 victory over host Wisconsin in Game 1 of the MWL Playoffs.
- Rehabbing 3B Mike Olt (.667) went 2-for-3 with a fifth-inning, three-run homer.
- DH Mark Zagunis (.600) went 3-for-5 with a run scored.
- C Cael Brockmeyer (.500) and CF Trey Martin (.500) had two hits apiece.
- LHP Tyler Ihrig (3.00) allowed a run on four hits while fanning four in three innings of relief to earn the save.
NWL East Divisional Series
Boise loses series 0-2
Boise’s season came to an end with a 5-2 loss at Hillsboro in Game 2 of the Northwest League playoffs.
- DH Justin Marra (.125) went 1-for-4 with a second-inning, two-run homer.
- CF Rashad Crawford (.429) had a game-high three hits, going 3-for-4 with a double (1).
- RHP James Farris (0.00) struck out three in two scoreless innings of relief.
Kyle Schwarber is the organization’s player of the month. (Photo by Aldrin Capulong)
A couple of first-round picks were honored for their strong efforts in August as Single-A Daytona catcher/outfielder Kyle Schwarber and Double-A Tennessee right-handed pitcher Pierce Johnson were named the organization’s Minor League Player and Pitcher of the Month for August.
The 21-year-old Schwarber batted .330 (34-for-103) with 20 runs, 14 walks, eight doubles, eight homers and 17 RBI in 28 August games for Daytona. He recorded a 15-game hitting streak from August 14-27, going 25-for-60 (.417) with nine multihit efforts and 14 RBI during that stretch. Schwarber hit six home runs and went deep in five straight contests, from Aug. 21-24. The left-handed hitter posted a .403 on-base percentage and a .660 slugging percentage, good for a 1.063 OPS, and was named the Florida State League Player of the Week for August 18-24.
In 72 games this season between Short Season-A Boise, Single-A Kane County and High-A Daytona, Schwarber hit .344 (90-for-262) with 55 runs, 39 walks, 18 doubles, two triples, 18 home runs and 53 RBI. He played 36 games in left field and 20 games behind the plate, throwing out 11 of 32 (34 percent) attempted base stealers. He also drove in six runs in Daytona’s two-game sweep of Dunedin in the first round of the Florida State League playoffs.
Schwarber is completing his first pro season after being selected by Chicago in the first round (fourth overall) of the 2014 draft.
Johnson, 23, went 2-0 with a 1.72 ERA (6 ER/31.1 IP), 34 strikeouts and a 1.12 WHIP in six August starts for Tennessee. He held opponents to a .186 batting average and a 1.72 ERA, fourth and fifth lowest, respectively, in the Southern League. From Aug. 3-15, he recorded three-straight scoreless starts, going 2-0 with 21 strikeouts and just six hits and six walks allowed in 16.0 innings.
In his third pro campaign, Johnson posted a 2.54 ERA (29 ER/102.2 IP) in 20 games (19 starts) between Kane County and Tennessee. He was 4-3 with a 1.80 ERA (13 ER/65.0 IP) and a .187 batting average against in his final 12 starts for the Smokies beginning July 2.
Johnson was selected by Chicago in the sandwich round (43rd overall) of the 2012 draft out of Missouri State University. He is 16-11 with a 2.68 ERA (69 ER/232.0 IP), 237 strikeouts and 103 walks in 49 career minor league outings (46 starts).
Daytona cruised in its first playoff game, but Boise put itself in an early series hole with a loss. Kane County had the night off and will start postseason play today. Here are some highlights from yesterday’s minor league action:
FSL North Championship
Daytona leads series 1-0
DH Kyle Schwarber hit a two-out grand slam in the fourth inning, helping Daytona to an 11-1 victory over visiting Dunedin in Game 1 of the FSL North Championship.
- LHP Rob Zastryzny picked up the win, giving up one earned run over six innings.
- Schwarber finished 1-for-5 with the blast.
- 1B Dan Vogelbach also homered, adding a double (1) to finish 2-for-5 with two RBI (2).
- LF Bijan Rademacher went a perfect 3-for-3 with a double (1) and three RBI (3).
- C Wilson Contreras singled three times and scored three runs.
- 2B Gioskar Amaya and RF Billy McKinney each added one of Daytona’s four doubles in the rout.
NWL Divisional Series
Boise trails series 1-0
Boise surrendered a one-run lead to lose to Hillsboro, 5-2, at home in Game 1 of the Northwest League Divisional Series.
- RHP Jake Stinnett gave up one earned run over five innings, fanning eight.
- 1B Alex Tomasovich led off the third with a solo homer to tie the game, logging the lone Hawks extra-base hit.
- 2B Bryant Flete (.250), LF Kevin Brown (.250), C-1B Daniel Canela (.250) and SS Gleyber Torres (.333) each singled.
- Boise committed four errors, contributing to two unearned Hops runs.
All six minor league affiliates wrapped up their regular seasons this weekend, with Daytona, Kane County and Boise all qualifying for postseason play. Here are some highlights from yesterday’s minor league action:
Iowa Cubs (74-70)
T-2nd Place (-2.5)
Iowa finished the season with a five-game winning streak, routing Oklahoma City at home yesterday, 11-1.
- RHP Dae-Eun Rhee finished the season by extending his scoreless innings streak to 13.1 innings in his second-straight win, and tying a career-high with 11 strikeouts (also done Aug. 19, 2011, with Daytona).
- RF Ryan Kalish (.251) tied a career high with four hits (last done June 9, 2012, with Pawtucket of the International League), scoring twice, doubling (14) and driving in two (37).
- C Eli Whiteside (.214) went 3-for-5 with two doubles (13) and a season-high three RBI (21).
- SS Elliot Soto (.241) also went 3-for-5 with a double (4).
- CF Jae-Hoon Ha (.286) singled twice.
- DH Kris Bryant (.295) singled and drove in his 52nd run since joining Iowa. He finished the season with a .325 average, a minor-league best 43 home runs, and 110 RBI between Tennessee and Iowa.
Tennessee Smokies (33-37)
2nd Place (-3.0)
The Smokies wrapped up the season with a 5-1 loss to host Chattanooga.
- SS Addison Russell (.294) recorded his 18th multihit game, including his 11th double.
- LF Pin-Chieh Chen (.232) singled twice from the leadoff spot.
- C Charles Cutler (.310) tallied his 14th double and walked twice.
- The Smokies were 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position, and left 11 runners on base.
Daytona Cubs (41-27)
1st Place (+3.5)
After finishing the regular season on Sunday, the Cubs had a day off before Game 1 of the FSL North Championship tonight vs. Dunedin.
Kane County Cougars (45-27)
1st Place (+3.5)
Kane County dropped a 12-inning contest, 6-5, at home against Peoria. The Cougars finished with a franchise-best 91-49 record on the season.
- C Mark Zagunis (.280) went 2-for-4 with two walks, a double (6) and a stolen base (5) from the leadoff spot.
- Three other Cougars—DH Chesny Young (.324), RF Yasiel Balaguert (.252) and 1B Cael Brockmeyer (.297)—had two hits apiece. Balaguert finished with a seven-game hitting streak (.393/11-for-28).
- RHP Michael Wagner (3.23) allowed three runs (two earned) over two innings to suffer his second blown save.
- RHP Jasvir Rakkar (3-1, 0.87) allowed just his second earned run of the season (20.2 IP) in 2.1 frames, ending up with his first loss.
Boise Hawks (19-19)
3rd Place (-7.0)
Boise overcame a three-run deficit in the ninth, topping Salem-Keizer, 6-5, on a walk-off single from 2B Jason Vosler.
- SS Gleyber Torres (.393) went 3-for-5 with a run, a double (2), a triple (3) and two RBI (4). He has 11 hits, two doubles and three triples in seven games since joining Boise.
- 1B Alex Tomasovich (.311) singled twice and scored a run.
- PH Justin Marra (.279) doubled to improve to 4-for-5 as a pinch-hitter.
- RF-LHP Charlie White (2-0, 2.25) earned his second win in as many career appearances as a pitcher, allowing one earned run in the ninth before helping the offense with a walk in the bottom of the frame.
Mesa Cubs (9-19)
5th Place (-11.0)
Mesa finished the regular season with a 22-34 overall record.
The Cougars racked up another win, but Tennessee was no-hit, Boise lost in extras, and Mesa couldn’t overcome an early deficit Thursday. Iowa and Daytona both had the day off. Here are some highlights from yesterday’s minor league action:
Tennesee Smokies (32-34)
2nd Place (-1.0)
Chattanooga pitcher Andres Santiago tossed a nine-inning no-hitter and struck out 12 to beat the visiting Smokies, 1-0.
- RHP Felix Pena gave up one earned run over five innings, striking out four.
- 3B Christian Villanueva (.235) was the only Tennessee player to reach base when he drew an eighth-inning walk with one out.
- LHP Jeff Lorick (3.90) struck out four while tossing 2.2 scoreless innings of relief.
- The no-hitter was the first thrown against Tennessee since Sept. 7, 2007, when the Smokies played the Huntsville Stars during postseason play. It was also the first regular season no-hitter against the Smokies since May 22, 2002.
- Santiago’s no-no was the first nine-inning no-hitter thrown by a Lookouts pitcher since Travis Buckley accomplished the feat on June 1, 1996.
Kane County Cougars (44-22)
1st Place (+3.0)
The Cougars set a single-season franchise record for total regular season wins with a 3-2 victory over host Cedar Rapids. Kane County’s 89 victories this season lead both Major League and Minor League Baseball.
- LHP Tyler Ihrig gave up one earned run over six innings to pick up the win.
- 3B Jeimer Candelario (.256) went 2-for-4 with a run scored.
- DH Cael Brockmeyer (.301) went 2-for-3 with a walk and two doubles (14).
- RHP Jasvir Rakkar (0.49) allowed a run in 1.1 innings of relief to earn his first save of the year.
Boise Hawks (17-17)
3rd Place (-5.0)
Visiting Everett scored five runs in the 10th inning to beat Boise, 13-8. The four-hour, 19-minute game was the longest at Memorial Stadium since 2004.
- C Daniel Canela (.288) went 3-for-4 with a walk and two runs scored.
- 1B Alex Tomasovich (.316) went 3-for-5 with a double (6) and three RBI (18). He has seven RBI over his last two games.
- SS Gleyber Torres (.417) went 4-for-5 with a triple (2) in just his third game with Boise this season.
Mesa Cubs (9-18)
5th Place (-10.0)
The Athletics scored four runs in the bottom of the first inning to beat visiting Mesa, 6-3.
- SS Varonex Cuevas (.325) went 2-for-4 with a first-inning, solo home run.
- CF Kevonte Mitchell (.293) went 2-for-4 with a run scored, a double (2) and two stolen bases (19).
- RHP Jeferson Mejia (2.48) struck out five while allowing a run over 4.1 innings of relief.
Jorge Soler will make his first major league start Wednesday. (Photo by Stephen Green)
The Cubs recalled outfielder Jorge Soler and infielder Logan Watkins from Triple-A Iowa Wednesday afternoon, placing outfielders Justin Ruggiano and Ryan Sweeney on the 15-day disabled list with left ankle inflammation and a left hamstring strain, respectively.
Soler, 22, was the organization’s No. 5 preseason prospect, according to Baseball America and ranked the No. 49 prospect in all of baseball prior to the season. The right-handed batter and thrower combined to hit .340/.432/.700 (AVG/OBP/SLG) with 23 doubles, 15 home runs and 57 RBI in 200 at-bats over 62 games this season across three minor league levels.
The 6-foot-4, 215-pound player started the 2014 season at Double-A Tennessee, where, despite being slowed by hamstring injuries, he batted .415/.494/.862 in 65 at-bats over 22 games to earn a promotion to Triple-A Iowa on July 24. In just more than a month with Iowa, Soler batted .282/.378/.618 with eight homers and 29 RBI in 32 games.
Soler originally signed a nine-year major league deal with the Cubs in June of 2012 out of Cuba. He entered the 2013 campaign ranked by Baseball America as the No. 3 prospect in the organization and batted .281 (59-for-210) with 13 doubles, eight homers and 35 RBI after being limited to 55 games with Single-A Daytona due to a left shin fracture. He was named to the World Team in the Futures Game that year (though he did not play due to injury) and recovered to participate in the Arizona Fall League with the Mesa Solar Sox, playing in 20 games.
Overall in 151 career minor league games, Soler has batted .307 (167-for-544) with 300 total bases, 108 runs scored, 43 doubles, three triples, 28 home runs, 117 RBI, a .383 on-base percentage, a .551 slugging percentage and a .934 OPS.
Watkins, who turns 25 on Friday, returns to the Cubs for his second stint this season. He hit .300 (3-for-10) with a double and three RBI in four games with the Cubs last week before being optioned back to Iowa after the game on Sunday. At Triple-A this season, he is batting .256 (83-for-324) with 21 doubles, four home runs and 38 RBI in 103 games. He was the organization’s 2012 Minor League Player of the Year.
Ruggiano, 32, is batting .281 (63-for-224) with 13 doubles, six home runs and 28 RBI in 81 games with the Cubs this season.
Sweeney, 29, is batting .251 (52-for-207) with nine doubles, three home runs and 20 RBI in 77 games.