Iowa 4, Nashville 1 (Michael)
- Pierce Johnson (lat strain) and Matt Murton (oblique strain) were placed on the DL. Stephen Perakslis and Scott Barnes were activated to replace them on the roster and the two piggybacked in this game. Perakslis (3 H, 0 R, BB, 3 K) got the start and kept the ball down and the Sounds off the board for 4 innings. It was the second time this season Perakslis made a solid fill in start for the I-Cubs. The pair of appearances are the first two starts of his pro career.
- Barnes was not as sharp, allowing 4 baserunners in 1.1 IP, including two in the botom of the sixth before being lifted with one out for Armando Rivero (1.2 IP, 1 BB, 1 K). Arismendy Alcantara dropped a routine fly in shallow right with runners on 1st and 3rd, allowing the Sounds to tie the game at one.
- Iowa (12-13) had built its 1-0 lead in the 4th on back to back singles by Albert Almora (3-4, 3B, 2 R, RBI) and Willson Contreras (2-4), followed by a groundball to second by Dan Vogelbach that resulted in a double play but allowed Almora to score.
- They then had a chance to extend the lead an inning later when Kristoper Negron (1-2, 3B, R, 2 BB, SB, CS, E) walked and then stole his 5th bag of the year to put himself in scoring position with no outs, but he would then be picked off by rehabbing Athletics starter Henderson Alvarez.
- Negron would redeem himself three innings later with a leadoff triple to right. The I-Cubs would keep Sounds RF Matt McBride busy the rest of the inning. Negron would score two batters later on a Munenori Kawasaki (1-1, R, RBI, 2 BB, SB, CS) single to right to put Iowa ahead 2-1. With two out and Kawasaki on second after a stolen base, Almora would triple in front of a diving McBride. The ball would skip by him and roll to the wall. Almora would eventually score on a wild pitch to extend the lead to 4-1. Contreras tried to keep the line moving when he blooped a hit down the right field line, but McBride cut him down at second as he tried to stretch it into a double.
- Taking over the closer role with the promotion of Spencer Patton to Chicago earlier in the day, Felix Pena extended his impressive streak of striking out multiple batters in every appearance on the season to eight with an 3 K night. He worked two innings, with a two out walk in the 8th the only blemish against him. He's compiled 23 K in 15 innings overall.
Mississippi 3, Tennessee 2 (Michael)
- Second straight day Mississippi jumped out to a 1st inning lead. Duane Underwood Jr. was able to limit the damage to 2 runs despite surrendering 3 hits, a walk and a wild pitch in the inning. Underwood had issues locating his fastball consistently but managed to settle in somewhat after the rocky 1st. He flashed a very effective changeup in the 86-87 MPH range to lefties. The development of that pitch could be the deciding factor on his ultimate ceiling. He would give up one more run on a lead off home run in the 4th before departing after 5 innings of work.
- 1B Ryan Dent cut down a runner at the plate in the top of the 5th to keep the score 3-0. The Smokies seemed to use the play as a catalyst in the bottom of the inning. Mark Zagunis (1-1, R, 2 BB) singled to lead off, then three batters later pinch hitter Kelly Dugan blasted a home run to right center. It was Dugan's second homer in as many days.
- The Smokies hitters managed just 5 hits on the day, but did walk 7 times.
- Another 1.1 innings of scoreless ball from lefty Gerardo Concepcion. He has not allowed a run in 14.2 IP on the year and 19.2 dating back to last season (13 appearances overall). After walking 29 batters in 31.2 IP with Tennessee last season, Concepcion has given up just 4 free passes so far on the year.
- Corey Black had his wipeout slider working in the 9th striking out one. He did allow a two out double that was poked down the right field line, and then Jeimer Candelario saved a run with a nice backhanded play on a hard grounder down the line.
- Tennessee wouldn't threaten again until the bottom of the 9th. Victor Caratini walked on four pitches to lead it off then reached second on a wild pitch with two outs. Another walk to Carlos Penalver put the winning run on with Bijan Rademacher coming to the plate. Radmacher would get ahead in the count but flew out to LF to end the game.
- Trevor Clifton didn't get particularly hard in the first, but he did give up 2 runs. He recovered and went on to strike out 8 hitters, though he did walk 3. Clifton seems on the brink of combining his good stuff with good command and a better understanding of how to pitch, but we still may see some bumps on the road along the way. Overall, he is a pitcher to watch, as we have been saying for years -- but it looks like he is getting ever closer to putting all the pieces together.
- The Pelicans were stymied on offense as they managed just 6 hits and not a single walk, which is unusual for them. No player had more than one hit while Gleyber Torres and Charcer Burks had the only extra base hits (both doubles)
- LHP Kyle Twomey was outstanding today. Mixing and matching all his pitches with good command. A triple followed by a wild pitch was the only blemish on a day when he went 6 innings, walked just one hitter and struck out 6. He had a couple of rough starts but has otherwise been very good for South Bend. The 4.85 ERA is skewed by those two bad starts but Twomey has struck out 30 while walking just 7 in 26.
- John Williamson loaded the bases with nobody out 2 singles and a walk and then was saved when Daniel Spingola raced into the gap and caught a sinking liner just before it hit the turf. It still resulted in a sac fly and a tie game, but he wriggled out of the rest of the jam without further damage. And as an aside, Williamson is known as a pretty good rapper (forgive me if that is not the correct term anymore. I'm tragically unhip). He goes by the name J-Willy and you can find him on You Tube. Here is one video.
- PJ Higgins was the catalyst for South Bend today. He started the scoring in the 4th when he doubled to RF, scored on a single and then eventually scored the winning run in the with a single and then some heads up baserunning, moving to 3B on a fly ball and then scoring when Eddy Julio Martinez hit a second sac fly to drive him in and win the game. Higgins went 2 for 4 with the 2 runs scored. He's hitting .280 with a .429 OBP while playing good defense at catcher, though he was the DH today.
- If Higgins was the catalyst, it was Eloy Jimenez who kept the offense going. It was Jimenez who knocked in Higgins for the first run of the game with a single and then later came around to score from 2B on a single by Bryant Flete (1 for 3). Jimenez also hit the sac fly that moved Higgins to 3B to set up Martinez's game winner. Jimenez went 2 for 4 overall on the day and is hitting .299. What is more encouraging is the consistency. He has hit in 9 of his last 10 games, a span in which he is hitting .357. The raw power is there and it will come, but for now Jimenez is becoming a more mature, consistent hitter.
- Eddy Julio Martinez also factored in both scoring rallies. As we mentioned he hit the game winning sac fly in the bottom of the 9th for the walk off, but he also hit the single to move Jimenez to 2B to set up Flete's RBI single. Martinez went 1 for 3 overall.
Ext ST Cubs 12 - D'Backs 7 (Box score from AZ Phil)'
- Erling Moreno was in the 89-91 mph range with his FB, flashed a good change, and got a good feel for his CB in the 3rd inning, which was the best of his 3 inning scoreless stint. The 6'3", 200 lbs. 19 yr old RHP, walked 1 and struck out 3.
- Aaron Crow continued his rehab with 1 inning of one run ball. He left the ball up a little again and gave up a hard double, but he managed to limit the damage. He was 90-92 on the FB and also threw a slider, curve, and change up.
- 17 year old Jose Albertos was the most impressive pitcher on the day, sitting at 94 and flashing a plus curve. Albertos has been tough to hit but what made the difference today was exceptional command as he struck out the side in order.
- The Cubs got 3 HRs -- one by the rehabbing Shane Victorino, who also walked. It was Victorino's first HR of the extended spring season.
- The other HRs were hit by Jose Paniagua, who hit a 3 run shot and Alex Bautista, who crushed his HR deep over the LF-CF wall. Bautista also knocked in 3 runs (single, sac fly).
- Wladimir Galindo had a big day. After struggling with some offspeed away, Galindo got some FBs on the inner half and crushed them for 2 doubles and almost getting a 3rd but was cut down at 2B. Galindo has quick hands and good bat speed. He can turn on good FBs, but he struggles with breaking stuff, especially on the outer half of the plate.
- Yelier Peguero continues to surprise after a strong season in the DSL last year. He tripled into the RF-CF gap and also legged out an infield single.
- DJ Wilson didn't play but he took some extra BP, working on hitting balls the other way.
Filed under: Daily Cubs Minors Recap