Iowa carried a 4-2 lead into the 6th thanks to two-run hits by Abiatal Avelino and Ian Miller. They let the lead slip away however. Matt Swarmer had cruised through the 2nd through 5th innings, but a couple of singles, and an error to open the 6th set the table for a grand slam. St. Paul would add three insurance runs off new Iowa reliever Erich Uelmen the following inning.
- Ian Miller: 2-4, 2B, 2 RBI (.278)
- Abiatal Avelino: 1-3, R, 2 RBI, BB, CS (4) (.270)
- Nick Martini: 1-3, R, BB, HBP (.276)
- Trent Giambrone: 1-3, R, BB (.179)
- Alfonso Rivas: 1-4, 2B, R, BB (.281)
Injuries, Updates, and Trends
Right hander Erich Uelmen was promoted from Tennessee. The former starter throws from a 3/4 arm angle and though it isn’t as low as side armer Scott Effross, Uelmen runs into many of the same challenges. His splits against lefties made it difficult to work multiple times through a batting order, but he’s got the stuff to succeed out of the pen.
The I-Cubs also added veteran free agent Marcus Walden. The 32-year old swingman will be asked to eat up some innings the rest of the season, given starters Justin Steele and Keegan Thompson figure to be getting work in Chicago the rest of the season, and Adrian Sampson figures to be working the shuttle frequently. Iowa also received starter Luis Lugo from Tennessee and reliever Blake Whitney from South Bend.
Relievers Dakota Mekkes and Juan Gámez were placed on the IL.
Tennessee 5, Birmingham 1 (Game 1)
Birmingham 6, Tennessee 5 (Game 2)
Tyler Payne drove in a pair on a double in the 2nd, and then Christopher Morel followed with a three-run double in the 3rd. It was more than enough for Javier Assad. The righty isn’t flashy, and if he ever gets a shot in the bigs it figures to be in middle relief, but there is no doubt he knows how to maximize his average stuff. Assad struck out just four, but he induced 11 ground outs over 6.1 innings of one run ball.
Morel clears the loaded bases with a laser shot to the corner! pic.twitter.com/okNUthPuFZ— Brad (@ballskwok) August 19, 2021
The Smokies went with a bullpen game in the second half of the doubleheader, with each of their three pitchers giving up two runs. Nelson Velazquez drove in two on a double. Carlos Sepulveda and Christopher Morel both homered, but it wasn’t enough to keep pace.
So it is a different game. This is 14 officially and 15 unofficially: pic.twitter.com/MVRdL9mwbe— Brad (@ballskwok) August 20, 2021
- Javier Assad: 6.1 IP, 5 H, R, BB, 4 K (W, 4-6, 4.23)
- Brandon Hughes: 0.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K (S, 1, 1.88)
- Christopher Morel: 2-5, 2B, HR (14) 2 R, 4 RBI, BB, 2 SB (12, 13) (.207)
- Carlos Sepulveda: 2-6, HR (2), 2 R, 2 RBI, BB, CS (3) (.226)
- Tyler Payne: 2-3, 2B, 2 RBI (.236)
- Brennen Davis: 3-5, 2B, BB (.278)
- Andy Weber: 1-4, R, 2 BB (.203)
- D.J. Artis: 2-6, 2B, 2 R (.182)
- Nelson Velazquez: 2-7, 2B, R, 2 RBI (.313)
Injuries, Updates, and Trends
Brandon Hughes earned his first AA save in Game 1. He extended his scoreless streak to 6 games (10.1 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 4 BB, 14 K). The lefty lowered his ERA to 1.88 with Tennessee (after posting a 1.59 mark in South Bend earlier this year). He’s definitely put himself on the map as a legit option as depth in Iowa next season.
Ryan Jensen has been promoted to Tennessee. He will presumably take Luis Lugo’s spot in the rotation.
South Bend SUSP
Myrtle Beach SUSP
- Rafael Morel: 3-5, 2B, HR (2), 2 R, 4 RBI (.184)
- James Triantos: 3-6, 2B, HR (1), R, 3 RBI (.240)
- Felix Stevens: 1-4, HR (4), 2 R, 2 RBI, BB (.246)
- Christian Franklin: 3-5, 2 R, RBI, SB (2) (.444)
- Reggie Preciado: 2-5, 2 R, RBI, BB (.350)
- Kevin Alcantara: 1-4, R, RBI, BB (.326)
Filed under: Daily Cubs Minors Recap