One of the Cubs top prospects gave Tennessee a walk-off win, and Kane County kept its winning streak alive Wednesday. Iowa and Boise both lost, and Mesa dropped both sides of a doubleheader. Daytona had a scheduled day off. Here are some highlights from yesterday’s minor league action:
Iowa Cubs (66-60)
T-1st Place (–)
Despite outhitting the 51s 10-7, the I-Cubs fell to Las Vegas at home by a final score of 6-4.
- 1B Mike Olt (.329) homered in the second inning. He has hit in five of his last six games, going 8-for-23 (.348) with a double, four homers and eight RBI.
- CF Matt Szczur (.257) went 2-for-5 to extend his hitting streak to five games (.333/7-for-21) and knocked in his 24th run.
- LF Josh Vitters (.219) reached base three times, going 2-for-4 with a walk.
Tennessee Smokies (26-26)
T-1st Place (–)
After surrendering a four-run lead to visiting Huntsville, Tennessee won 6-5 on a walk-off, pinch-hit double from Albert Almora in the bottom of the ninth inning.
- RHP Corey Black gave up one earned run over five innings, striking out six.
- Almora’s two-bagger (3) was the sixth Smokies double of the night. 1B Charles Cutler (.310, 12 2B), LF Lars Anderson (.356, 6 2B), RF Pin-Chieh Chen (.211, 3 2B), CF Jae-Hoon Ha (.227, 16 2B) and 2B Stephen Bruno (.270, 25 2B) all doubled as well.
- CF Jae-Hoon Ha (.223) finished 3-for-5 with the double and two RBI (44). In his last three games, Ha is 7-for-14 (.500) with two doubles, a homer and four RBI.
- RHP P.J. Francescon (10-6, 3.71) pitched 1.1 innings of scoreless relief to earn his 10th win.
Kane County Cougars (31-20)
1st Place (+1.0)
Kane County won its third-straight contest with a 6-4 victory over visiting Quad Cities.
- C Ben Carhart (.269) posted his second-consecutive two-hit game, including his fifth homer, a two-run shot to put the Cougars on the board in the first inning.
- RF Jeffrey Baez (.279) singled and drove in two runs (7). Since going 0-for-9 in his first three games with Kane County, Baez has posted a .327 average (17-for-52) in 14 games.
- 2B Danny Lockhart (.288) hit his second triple in four games after failing to triple in his first 69 contests.
- LHP Michael Heesch (3-1, 2.94) struck out four over three perfect frames to earn his third win.
- RHP Francisco Carrillo (3.00) earned his second save in five games with the Cougars.
Boise Hawks (9-11)
T-3rd Place (-5.0)
After being no-hit through 9.1 innings, Boise lost 1-0 on a walk-off walk with the bases loaded in the bottom of the 10th at Hillsboro.
- 2B David Bote (.319) tallied his eighth double of the season with one out in the 10th inning to break up the no-hitter.
- RHP Joshua Conway (3 IP, 3 K, 2.60 ERA), RHP Ryan Williams (1.93) and RHP James Farris (4.50) combined to allow just one Hillsboro hit through nine innings of work and struck out 13.
- RHP Corbin Hoffner (0-1, 6.75) took over in the 10th and suffered the loss, allowing one run on a hit and three free passes.
Mesa Cubs (5-9)
4th Place (-6.5)
GAME 1: The AZL Indians and Cubs took a tie game into the seventh, when the Indians scored three to top host Mesa, 6-4.
- With a 1-for-4 effort, 2B Andrew Ely (.357) has hit in eight of his last nine games (.447/17-for-38).
- SS Gleyber Torres (.286) walked twice, doubled (5) and knocked in his 24th run, reaching base three times.
- LHP Andin Diaz (2-2, 3.32) blew a save (2) and suffered his second loss, allowing four runs (three earned) over two innings of relief.
GAME 2: The Indians completed the doubleheader sweep with a come-from-behind, walk-off, 4-3 win over Mesa.
- 1B Roney Alcala (.287) finished 2-for-3 with his fifth double and a stolen base (2).
- LF Ricardo Marcano (.281) singled twice, plated his 11th run and stole his fourth base.
- 2B Ho-young Son (.302, 9 SB) and CF Kevonte Mitchell (.321, 15 SB) each singled and swiped a base.
- RHP Zach Hedges (1-1, 1.32) suffered his first loss, allowing one unearned run on two hits over 1.2 frames of work.
Kane County roared back, Boise recorded a walk-off win, and Daytona salvaged a split Tuesday. On the other side of the ledger, Iowa couldn’t hold on, while Tennessee dropped an early lead. Mesa had the afternoon off due to rain. Here are some highlights from yesterday’s minor league action:
Iowa Cubs (66-59)
1st Place (+1.0)
After Iowa scored two in the eighth to tie the contest at 5-5, Las Vegas took the lead in the top of the ninth, beating the I-Cubs, 6-5.
- 3B Kris Bryant (.322) took over the minor-league lead with his 39th homer of the season, and 17th with Iowa, finishing 3-for-5 with two RBI (42). Over the course of the season, Bryant has homered once every 11.05 at-bats.
- C Rafael Lopez (.263) went 2-for-3 with a double (3). He has hit safely in 10 of his last 11 games, posting a .314 (11-for-35) batting average over the span.
- LHP Felix Doubront was dealt a no-decision in his first start since joining the Cubs, striking out seven in four innings.
- RHP Marcus Hatley (2-6, 4.43) suffered his second loss in as many outings, allowing one run in the ninth.
Tennessee Smokies (25-26)
T-1st Place (–)
Tennessee surrendered a two-run lead to drop the home series opener against Huntsville, 5-2.
- 3B Christian Villanueva (.245) doubled (12) for his first extra-base hit since August 2 vs. Pensacola. He knocked in both of Tennessee’s runs (25).
- CF Jae-Hoon Ha (.223) was the only Smokies player to record multiple hits, going 2-for-4 with his 15th double. In his last two games, Ha is 4-for-9 with a double, a homer and two RBI (42).
Daytona Cubs (29-20)
1st Place (+3.5)
GAME 1: Daytona managed just one run on six hits in the opening game of a home doubleheader vs. Brevard County. The Cubs fell to the Manatees, 5-1.
- CF Jacob Hannemann (.290) went 2-for-4 with a double (3) and the only Cubs RBI (6). His two hits gave him eight in his last five games.
- 2B Gioskar Amaya (.279) snapped a four-game, 0-for-12 hitless skid with a multihit effort, his 20th of the season.
GAME 2: Daytona scored one run in each of the final three innings to beat Brevard County, 3-2, on a walk-off throwing error from Manatees pitcher Taylor Williams.
- RF Bijan Rademacher (.265) went 2-for-3 with his 18th double. He is hitting .302 (52-for-172) at home, compared to .221 (33-for-149) on the road.
- DH Billy McKinney (.321) doubled (7) in the fifth and scored a run. He has reached safely in 30 of his 33 games with Daytona.
- 1B Dan Vogelbach (.268) singled twice in his 27th multihit game of the year.
- RHP Yao-Lin Wang (3-5, 5.43) earned his third win in relief, striking out one in a perfect seventh.
Kane County Cougars (30-20)
1st Place (+1.0)
Kane County entered the ninth down 3-0, and emerged victorious on a walk-off single from SS Danny Lockhart. The Cougars defeated visiting Quad Cities, 4-3.
- 1B Jacob Rogers’ (.266) 14th homer, a two-run shot in the ninth, brought the Cougars within one run. He’s plated seven runs in his last four games, and his 56 on the season lead the team.
- LF Shawon Dunston (.285) tallied two singles and stole two bases (21).
- RF Jeffrey Baez (.281) finished 2-for-3 with a walk and his seventh double of the year.
- 3B Jeimer Candelario (.240) recorded his second triple and scored a run.
- RHP David Garner (1-0, 4.05) tossed a perfect ninth inning to earn his first win in his fifth game with Kane County.
Boise Hawks (9-10)
T-3rd Place (-4.0)
Boise beat Eugene 9-8 at home on a walk-off, 10th-inning single from RF Charcer Burks to complete the sweep. The Hawks scored 37 runs in the three-game set.
- Five Hawks—CF Rashad Crawford (.279), RF Charcer Burks (.310), 1B Danny Canela (.311), 3B Jesse Hodges (.259) and SS Bryant Flete (.344)—recorded two-hit games. Crawford (10 2B), Canela (13) and Hodges (8) each tallied a double.
- Crawford’s two hits extended his hitting streak to seven games (.333/10-for-30). Hodges had seven hits and 10 RBI (35) over the three-game set. Canela had seven hits and eight RBI (40) during the same stretch.
- LHP Alberto Diaz (9.00) allowed one run in two frames to earn his first hold.
- LHP Sam Wilson (5-0, 3.24) surrendered one earned run in two innings, blowing his third save but improving to 5-0 with the win.
All three teams in action Monday picked up victories, with Iowa pitching a shutout, Boise putting up a big run total and quality pitching pacing Mesa. Tennessee, Daytona and Kane County were all off. Here are some highlights from yesterday’s minor league action:
Iowa Cubs (66-58)
1st Place (+1.0)
Iowa recorded the team’s 13th shutout of the season with a 3-0 victory over host Oklahoma City. The 13 shutouts lead the PCL and tie an Iowa Cubs franchise record (also done in 1985).
- RHP Dan Straily gave up two hits and no earned runs in six innings of action, striking out four in the win.
- RF Jorge Soler (.305) extended his hitting streak to six games, going 1-for-4 with his eighth double of the Triple-A season. Soler is 9-for-22 (.409) with four doubles in the six-game stretch.
- LF Josh Vitters (.216) went 2-for-4 with a run scored. He has hit in eight of his last nine games, going 12-for-38 (.316).
- CF Matt Szczur (.256) went 2-for-4, knocking in his 23rd run.
- LHP Zac Rosscup (2.33) and RHP Armando Rivero (1.61) each pitched a scoreless inning to earn holds.
- RHP Blake Parker (1.19) tossed a scoreless ninth to notch his league-best 23rd save.
Boise Hawks (8-10)
4th Place (-4.0)
Boise scored double-digit runs for the second-straight game, beating visiting Eugene, 11-6.
- 1B Danny Canela (.309) went a perfect 3-for-3 with two runs, a walk, his sixth homer and four RBI (38). He has five hits and six RBI in his last two games.
- 2B Bryant Flete (.333) went 3-for-4 with two runs and a double (3).
- LF Calvin Graves (.226) tallied two hits, including his first triple, and knocked in three (6).
- C Mark Zagunis (.306) recorded his second-straight two-hit game.
- RHP Brad Markey (1-0, 3.00) threw two innings and allowed one earned run, earning his first win in relief.
Mesa Cubs (5-7)
4th Place (-4.5)
Mesa’s six extra-base hits and a quality start from LHP Jose Paulino helped the Cubs defeat the AZL Rangers at home, 8-1.
- Paulino gave up two hits and struck out six over six scoreless innings to pick up the win.
- CF Kevonte Mitchell (.324, 2 3B), DH Yasiel Balaguert (.200, 1 3B) and 2B Ho-Young Son (.300, 1 3B) each tripled for the Cubs. Son’s three RBI bring his season total to nine.
- 3B Adonis Paula (.260, 5 2B), C Tyler Pearson (.189, 1 2B) and Mitchell (.324, 1 2B) added one double apiece.
- Each Cubs hitter recorded at least one hit, with five of the nine turning in multihit efforts.
It was a pretty successful Sunday for the Cubs minor league system, with everybody in play securing a win. Mesa had the day off and will resume play Monday. Here are some highlights from yesterday’s minor league action:
Iowa Cubs (65-58)
T-1st Place (–)
Iowa jumped ahead to a 5-0 lead after two innings and never looked back, winning at Oklahoma City, 10-2. Each Iowa hitter had at least one of the team’s 12 hits.
- 1B Mike Olt (.338) hit his third homer in two days with a two-run shot in the first. He has 12 RBI in his last six games (19 total) and has slugged .757 in nine games in the month of August.
- SS Elliot Soto (.226) went 3-for-4 with his first homer of the year, and the third of his career.
- 3B Kris Bryant (.322) went 1-for-3 with two walks, two runs, and his 40th RBI. He has recorded at least one hit and one run in 13 straight games, batting .381 (16-for-42) while scoring 20 runs during the streak. Bryant’s 40 RBI with Iowa bring him to 98 on the season, tied for fifth in the minors.
- LHP Eric Jokisch extended his scoreless innings streak to 18.1 before allowing a run with two outs in the fourth. His 131 strikeouts lead the Pacific Coast League.
- RHP Alberto Cabrera (3.71) tossed 2.1 scoreless innings of relief for his second save.
- Since July 1, the I-Cubs have 51 home runs, best in the Pacific Coast League.
Tennessee Smokies (25-25)
1st Place (+1.0)
GAME 1: RHP Pierce Johnson and LHP Andrew McKirahan combined to one-hit the BayBears in Mobile, as the Smokies won the first game of a doubleheader, 3-0.
- SS Addison Russell (.301) and C Luis Flores (.277) each recorded their fifth double of the year. Flores recorded his second-straight multi-hit game, finishing 2-for-2 with his 13th RBI.
- RHP Pierce Johnson struck out eight for the third time in four games, giving up no runs on just one hit over six innings. He has 11.25 strikeouts per nine innings over that stretch (30 SO/24.0 IP).
- McKirahan’s perfect seventh inning earned him his first save with Tennessee and ninth of the year.
GAME 2: The Smokies could not complete the doubleheader sweep, falling 9-8 at Mobile on a walk-off homer from Mobile 2B Gerson Montilla in the bottom of the ninth.
- RF Jae-Hoon Ha (.220) finished 2-for-5 with his fourth homer of the year, a two-run shot in the second inning. He had two hits in his previous 24 at-bats (.083) before the multi-hit effort.
- SS Addison Russell (.308) extended his hitting streak to five games (.500/7-for-14), going 2-for-4.
- C Taylor Davis (.319) went 2-for-3 with two runs, a walk, a double (9) and an RBI (23). He is hitting .333 (16-for-48) with eight extra-base hits and 13 RBI in 17 away games.
- LHP Jeff Lorick (2-3, 4.19) allowed the walk-off homer, suffering his third loss of the year.
Daytona Cubs (28-19)
1st Place (+3.5)
1B Dan Vogelbach ended a 13-inning marathon with a walk-off single, giving Daytona the 4-3 win over visiting Lakeland.
- RF Rock Shoulders (.229) hit a solo shot in the fifth, his third in four games. In those contests, Shoulders is 6-for-13 with six runs, a double, three homers, and three RBI (41 total).
- Vogelbach (.267) finished 1-for-5 with a walk and two RBI. His 57 walks and 65 RBI lead Daytona.
- LHP Gerardo Concepcion (1-0, 0.00) earned the win in his third outing with Daytona, hurling three scoreless innings.
Kane County Cougars (29-20)
1st Place (+1.0)
DH-P Ben Carhart earned the win as Kane County scored three time in the top of the 15th inning to beat Cedar Rapids, 7-4.
- Carhart (1-0, 0.00) went 2-for-6 with a run and a walk at the plate and contributed two hitless frames of relief, walking two, to earn the win in his first professional pitching appearance.
- LF Shawon Dunston (.282) went 3-for-7 with his second homer of the season, a solo shot in the third.
- 1B Jacob Rogers (.267) went 2-for-7 with two RBI (35), including a go-ahead, two-run triple (2) in the 15th.
- C Cael Brockmeyer (.313) finished 3-for-7 with two RBI (35), one coming off a double (11) in the 15th.
- 2B Danny Lockhart (.290) recorded his fifth multi-hit effort in his last six games (.500/12-for-24), going 3-for-6 with two runs and a walk.
- RHP Zak Hermans (4.06) blew his third save, allowing two runs (one earned) over 1.1 innings pitched.
- The Chicago Cubs and their minor league affiliates played a total of 15 extra innings yesterday, going 3-1 in four extra-inning games.
Boise Hawks (7-10)
4th Place (-5.0)
After falling 16-3 to Salem-Keizer on Saturday, Boise beat visiting Eugene, 17-3.
- 3B Jesse Hodges (.256) went 4-for-5 with a double (7), a grand slam and a career-high seven RBI (32). He had been 1-for-17 (.059) before his first career four-hit affair. His seven RBI are the most for a single Boise player in the 14 years since the team became affiliated with the Cubs.
- Each of the first four Hawks hitters—CF Rashad Crawford (.278), RF Charcer Burks (.288), LF Mark Zagunis (.301), and 1B Danny Canela (.298)—tallied two hits. Zagunis knocked in three (26), while Canela plated two (34).
- Boise’s 17 runs were the team’s most since beating Everett 17-5 on July 6, 2007.
Daytona won in extras, while Mesa salvaged a split Thursday. Iowa, Kane County and Boise were all handed losses, and Tennessee had the day off. Here are some highlights from yesterday’s minor league action:
Iowa Cubs (63-57)
1st Place (+0.5)
Iowa lost at Oklahoma City, 16-4, after surrendering seven runs in the first two innings.
- DH Manny Ramirez (.211) doubled (1) and homered (2) in four at-bats, knocking in two (6). It was
his third multihit game and first game with two extra-base hits.
- 3B Kris Bryant (.323) launched his 37th homer and walked twice. His 37 homers tie Joey Gallo for
the minor league lead. Despite having played just 47 of Iowa’s 120 games, Bryant has the second
most homers of all Iowa players this season (15) and the fourth-most RBI (38).
Daytona Cubs (27-17)
1st Place (+4.5)
Two big innings—a six-run second and a seven-run fifth—helped Daytona rout the Threshers in Clearwater, 18-2.
- RHP Tayler Scott fanned seven over seven innings, giving up two earned runs in the win.
- LF Kyle Schwarber (.268) finished 3-for-4 with three runs, two walks, a homer and three RBI (14).
- CF Jacob Hannemann (.283) and DH Billy McKinney (.330) added three singles apiece.
- 1B Dan Vogelbach (.269) hit a three-run homer with two out in the fifth inning. It was his eighth
homer in 177 at-bats since the All-Star break after hitting five in 221 at-bats before the break.
- RF Rock Shoulders (.221) led off the third inning with his 10th home run. He has also drawn five free passes in
his last two games.
Kane County Cougars (27-19)
T-1st Place (–)
Cedar Rapids beat the Cougars, 4-3, in 11 innings, on a walk-off double from Kernels 3B Bryan Haar.
- RHP Duane Underwood struck out seven in six innings, giving up one earned run.
- 2B Chesny Young (.409) finished 2-for-5 with his third double since joining the Cougars, and one RBI
(4). He has an eight-game hitting streak (.441/15-for-34), including multiple hits in each of his last
five games (.524/11-for-21).
- LF Shawon Dunston (.280, 6 3B) and C Victor Caratini (.263, 1 3B) each tripled. Dunston’s six triples
lead the team.
- RHP David Garner (5.79) allowed two runs over 1.2 innings to blow his first save.
- RHP Francisco Carrillo (0-1, 18.00) allowed the game-winner without retiring a batter to suffer his first loss.
Boise Hawks (6-8)
4th Place (-4.0)
Boise dropped the series opener at Salem-Keizer, 9-5.
- C Mark Zagunis (.308) belted a two-run shot in the seventh to cut a 6-2 deficit in half. It marked
Zagunis’ sixth multi-RBI game of the season.
- Starting 2B David Bote (.347) went 3-for-5 and scored two runs. Bote has posted multiple hits in
eight of his 20 games with Boise this year.
- SS Bryant Flete (.326) went 2-for-4 with a double (2) and an RBI (6). He has five multihit efforts in
his last seven games (.462/ 12-for-26).
Mesa Cubs First Half: (13-14), Second Half: (3-4)
4th Place (-5.5)
GAME 1: In the makeup of a rained-out July 3 contest at the AZL Padres’ Peoria Stadium, Mesa fell, 5-3. The loss finalized the club’s first-half record at 13-14.
- LF Varonex Cuevas hit two doubles in two at-bats, while DH Kevonte Mitchell singled twice and stole two bases.
- LHP Jose Paulino (2.2 IP, 3 H, 5 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 1 SO) suffered the loss.
GAME 2: Mesa took a 4-1 decision over the Padres in the second game at Peoria Stadium.
- LF Ricardo Marcano (.280) went 2-for-3 with a double (7) to extend his hitting streak to 16 games
dating back to July 9 (.328/20-for-61).
- CF Kevonte Mitchell (.333) tallied three singles for his third three-hit game of the campaign.
- 2B Andrew Ely (.351) finished 2-for-3 with a run, a walk, his first double and an RBI (6). After
recording three extra-base hits in his first 12 games with Mesa, he has tallied three more in his last
- RHP Tanner Griggs (1-1, 4.26) tossed 2.1 scoreless frames and fanned five for his first win.
- LHP Jordan Minch (10.13) allowed one run over two innings for his first save in his second professional
Tennessee secured a shutout win, and Kane County recaptured first place Wednesday. Meanwhile Daytona was shut out, and Mesa couldn’t get things going in a loss. Iowa and Boise had the day off. Here are some highlights from yesterday’s minor league action:
Tennessee Smokies (24-22)
1st Place (+1.5)
Tennessee recorded its eighth shutout of the season, blanking host Mobile, 5-0.
- RHP Felix Pena fanned eight batters over 5.1 innings, giving up three hits and no earned runs to pick up the win.
- LF Pin-Chieh Chen (.234) recorded two hits from the leadoff spot, including his second double, and knocked in one run (4). He has hit safely in his last four games (.357/5-for-14).
- SS Addison Russell (.295) reached base three times, finishing 2-for-4 with a run, a walk, a double (4) and an RBI (19). Russell has tallied 10 multihit efforts in 27 games with Tennessee.
- Three Smokies relievers recorded holds en route to the combined shutout: RHP Tony Zych (5.36, 4 H), LHP Andrew McKirahan (2.41, 3 H) and RHP P.J. Francescon (3.88, 5 H).
Daytona Cubs (26-17)
1st Place (+4.5)
Daytona was held to two hits by host Clearwater, falling 4-0. In their last five games, the Cubs have been blanked four times and have been outscored by their opponents, 30-3.
- LF Kyle Schwarber (.239) collected his second double of the season, the lone Daytona extra-base hit.
- DH Billy McKinney (.312) singled and walked. He has reached safely in 25 of his 27 games with Daytona this season (.312/.402/.452).
- LHP Austin Kirk (3.57) tossed 2.2 hitless innings of relief. He has posted a 1.17 ERA (2 ER/15.1 IP) in his last eight outings.
Kane County Cougars (27-18)
1st Place (-1.0)
Kane County captured sole possession of first place with a 4-2 win at Peoria.
- 3B Jeimer Candelario (.255) recorded three singles in four at-bats in his third three-hit game of the campaign.
- CF Jeffrey Baez (.262) added two singles of his own and drove in one (5). He also contributed defensively, recording an outfield assist in the fourth inning.
- RHP Jose Arias (1.77) recorded his fifth hold of the season with three scoreless frames of work, fanning five.
- RHP Tyler Bremer (2.43) earned his 12th save, striking out two in a scoreless ninth.
Mesa Cubs (2-6)
4th Place (-3.0)
The host AZL Reds jumped ahead with a two-run first inning and never looked back, beating Mesa, 10-4.
- SS Ho-young Son (.310) went 3-for-4 with a run, two RBI (6) and two stolen bases (8). His eight stolen bases in 15 games rank third on the team.
- RF Ricardo Marcano (.275) singled and doubled (6) to extend his hitting streak to 15 games dating back to July 9 (.310/18-for-58).
Iowa powered its way to a win, Daytona scored three runs late, and Kane County split a doubleheader Tuesday. Boise had a representative in the Northwest League All-Star Game, while Tennessee and Mesa had the day off. Here are some highlights from yesterday’s minor league action:
Iowa Cubs (63-56)
1st Place (+1.5)
Iowa improved to a PCL-best 28-7 in day games this season, beating host Omaha, 7-4.
- RHP Dan Staily struck out nine in seven innings, giving up no earned runs in the win. He hasn’t allowed an earned run over his last two starts and has fanned 14 (13.0 IP).
- 1B Mike Olt (.345) went 2-for-4 with a third-inning grand slam. He’s hit safely in 10-straight games, batting .400 (16-for-40) with five doubles, two home runs and 10 RBI during the stretch.
- RF Jorge Soler (.286) fell a triple shy of the cycle, going 3-for-5 with two runs, a double (5), a home run and three RBI (12). He’s hit four homers and driven in 12 in his first 14 games with Iowa.
- 3B Kris Bryant (.321) extended his hitting streak to nine games, going 2-for-3 with two runs. He’s batting .400 (12-for-30) with 14 runs, three doubles, three homers and seven RBI during the streak.
- LHP Zac Rosscup (2.52) recorded the final out of the game to earn his fourth save of the campaign.
Daytona Cubs (26-16)
1st Place (+5.0)
Daytona scored three runs in the top of the eighth inning to sneak past host Clearwater, 3-1.
- LHP Rob Zastryzny gave up one earned run over five innings, striking out five.
- CF Jacob Hannemann (.279) went 2-for-5 with a run and a stolen base (4).
- DH Billy McKinney (.308) went 1-for-4 with a game-high two RBI (25).
- RHP Stephen Perakslis (3-0, 4.47) tossed three scoreless innings to earn his third win of the year.
- RHP Zack Godley (4.26) worked a scoreless ninth inning to pick up his fourth save.
Kane County Cougars (26-18)
T-1st Place (–)
GM 1: Kane County dropped the first game of a doubleheader at Peoria, 4-1.
- 3B Chesny Young (.389) went 2-for-4 with an RBI and his first stolen base of the season.
- 2B Daniel Lockhart (.281) went 2-for-3 with his 14th double of the year.
- RHP Jen-Ho Tseng allowed just one run on two hits and fanned two in 6.1 innings of work.
GM 2: Kane County limited Peoria to just four hits in the second game, beating the Chiefs, 4-1.
- RHP Ben Wells pitched six innings, giving up one earned run, to pick up the win.
- CF Jeffry Baez (.237) went 1-for-3 with a seventh-inning, solo home run.
- LF Shawon Dunston (.283) and 2B Chesny Young (.410) had two hits apiece.
- RHP Tyler Bremer (2.50) worked a scoreless seventh inning for his 11th save of the season.
Boise Hawks (6-7)
4th Place (-3.0)
The North and South teams combined for just nine hits in a 0-0 tie in the Northwest League All-Star Game Tuesday at Swede Johnson Stadium. Boise’s Mark Zagunis doubled for one of the South’s four hits and finished 1-for-2 in a game that was called after 10 innings.
Iowa and Tennessee both picked up wins, but Mesa couldn’t keep it together Monday. Daytona, Kane County and Boise all had the day off. Here are some highlights from yesterday’s minor league action:
Iowa Cubs (62-56)
1st Place (+0.5)
Iowa recorded its league-leading 12th shutout of the season, beating host Omaha, 6-0.
- 3B Kris Bryant (.314) reached base four times, going 2-for-3 with two walks, two runs, a double (13), two RBI (36) and two stolen bases (7).
- 1B Mike Olt (.333) went 2-for-5 with his seventh double of the year and two RBI (9).
- LHP Eric Jokisch picked up the win, giving up five hits and no earned runs, striking out seven and walking none. He has not allowed a run in his last 15.0 innings of work.
Tennessee Smokies (23-22)
1st Place (+0.5)
Tennessee won for the third time in its last four games, beating visiting Pensacola, 3-2.
- C Taylor Davis (.311) went a perfect 3-for-3 with three RBI (22) and a fifth-inning, solo home run.
- RHP Lendy Castillo (1-1, 3.44) tossed a scoreless sixth to earn his first win of the season.
- RHP Frank Batista (1.33) worked a scoreless ninth inning to pick up his ninth save of the year.
Mesa Cubs (2-5)
4th Place (-4.5)
The AZL Giants scored 10 runs over the final four innings to beat the visiting Cubs, 10-5.
- 2B Andrew Ely (.391) went 3-for-5 with a fifth-inning, solo blast.
- 1B Ronny Alcala (.273) and LF Ricardo Marcano (.265) each had three hits apiece.
- SS Gleyber Torres (.300), RF Eloy Jimenez (.247) and 3B Adonis Paula (.250) all had multihit efforts.
Last month, the Cubs kicked off the annual trade deadline frenzy with some big Fourth of July fireworks, sending starting pitchers Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel to the Oakland Athletics for infielder Addison Russell, outfielder Billy McKinney, right-handed pitcher Dan Straily and a player to be named later.
In some ways, the trade was difficult for Cubs fans to stomach, as they lost two of the top pitchers from a team that was suddenly looking, dare I say, formidable. But it might also be the move that finally puts the team over the hump and on the path to sustained excellence at the big league level.
In exchange for a right-hander who was only under contract through 2014 (Hammel) and another under contract through 2015 and seemingly eager to test the free agent waters (Samardzija), the Cubs received the A’s top two prospects, including one of the best in the game, and an arm that could see time in the big league rotation this season.
No one likes trading proven talent, especially a longtime Cub like Samardzija. President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein made it clear several times in his press conference following the blockbuster deal how hard it was to part ways with the Shark.
“Nothing would make us happier than being in the position Oakland is in, which is to aggressively add to the big league team and enhance the team’s chances of making the postseason and winning the World Series,” Epstein said. “Being sellers is not what we want to do, so if we’re going to do it, we need to make it count. And we need to get a player back who significantly impacts the organization, helps change the landscape, helps make our future a heck of a lot better.”
In the past, Epstein has said there are two great currencies in baseball: deep reserves of young talent and massive amounts of payroll flexibility. The Cubs now have both.
Admittedly, most of this talent is still percolating in the minor leagues, but it’s coming fast. A year ago, it was the Big Three: Albert Almora, Javier Baez and Jorge Soler. This year—thanks to strong trades, draft picks and development—the Cubs have a Magnificent Seven of gifted hitters, with Arismendy Alcantara, Kris Bryant, Russell and Kyle Schwarber added to that mix.
Since the end of the steroid era, the big league pendulum has swung back toward pitching dominance, and hitting is becoming a rarer commodity. In other words, the Cubs are stockpiling the most precious resource in baseball—and they’ve got more of it than almost anyone else. With this trade, the organization now owns the No. 2 (Bryant), No. 5 (Russell) and No. 7 (Baez) prospects in the game, as ranked in the Baseball America midseason top 50.
Let me repeat that—the Cubs now have three of the top seven prospects in the game—and Baez is making his big league debut tonight in Colorado. Of course, prospects have a nasty habit of not always panning out as expected. But it’s important to remember all of these minor leaguers are essentially funneling into eight everyday major league spots. Two of those spots are already filled by 2014 All-Stars Starlin Castro and Anthony Rizzo, while Alcantara and Baez are auditioning for two more.
This month, we look at cornerstone major leaguer Rizzo, who is having a terrific season on both sides of the ball and has taken a huge developmental step forward this year. We also say goodbye to Don Zimmer, a man who left an indelible mark on Cubs—and baseball—history over his 66 years in the dugout. Finally, we move off the diamond to the gridiron to remember what the Chicago Bears accomplished in their 50 years at the Friendly Confines, including Wrigley Field’s most recent championship in 1963.
To keep track of Cubs history—including history in the making—subscribe to Vine Line today and follow us on Twitter at @cubsvineline. With the way things are coming together for the team, the next championship season may not be far off.
(Photo by Stephen Green)
Cubs’ 2011 first-round draft pick Javier Baez is slated to make his major league debut Tuesday, as the Cubs kick off a three-game set in Colorado. After a slow start in Triple-A Iowa, MLB.com’s No. 5 prospect was hitting .260/.323/.510 (AVG/OBP/SLG) with 23 home runs and 80 RBI at the time of the recall. Twelve of his home runs have come in the last 32 games.