Cubs April 6 Minor League Recap

Pitching ruled the day for the Cubs minor leaguers helping Daytona and Tennessee to their second wins of the season, including six strong innings from Smokies' Eric Jokisch, pictured

Daytona 4, Brevard County 2

Yao-Lin Wang and Frank Del Valle combined for six shutout relief innings, the Cubs scored three times in the fourth, and Jorge Soler hit his first homer of the season as Daytona won its second straight game.

The Manatees got on the board in the second inning turning a leadoff double into a run as Daytona turned a double play. A triple and a sacrifice fly made it 2-0 Brevard County. A throwing error induced on a bunt single by John Andreoli, a RBI ground out by Ben Carhart, and a run scoring single by Micah Gibbs put the Cubs up 3-2 in the fourth inning. Jorge Soler displayed his tremendous power leading off the seventh taking a pitch down the left field line into a strong wind for his first homer of the season.

Austin Kirk, the Cubs 3rd round pick in 2009, was a Florida State League all-star pitcher last year for Daytona going 7-3 with a 3.13 before earning a promotion to AA Tennessee in his fourth pro season. In his season opener, the left-hander, 22, worked just three innings allowing two earned runs, four hits, two walks and two strikeouts. Yao-Lin Wang, in his fourth pro season at age 22, followed with three strong innings of one hit ball walking one and fanning four in his first work of the year getting the win. Frank Del Valle continued Daytona's bullpen dominance holding Pensacola scoreless for three innings to earn the save. Signed as a free agent out of Cuba in 2011, the left-hander fanned seven, including the side in the ninth, as Cubs pitching ended the night with 12 Ks.

Cubs Lineup: DeVoss CF (0-5), Saunders 3B (3-4), Baez SS (0-4), Soler RF (2-3 HR RBI), Bruno 2B (2-3), Andreoli LF (1-4), Carhart 1B (0-4 RBI), Gibbs C (1-3 RBI), Davis DH (0-3)

Daytona Notes………...Zeke DeVoss, who's listed in the roster as an infielder and played second base last year for Peoria, has started all three games in centerfield…....P.J. Francescon gets the start tomorrow with a 5:05 EST at Brevard County

Tennessee 9, Pensacola 1

The Smokies scored eight runs in the top of the 12th and Tennessee's bullpen didn't allow a run in six innings for the extra inning victory.

Pensacola took the lead in the fourth as a leadoff walked scored on a two-out single but the Smokies answered in the fifth when Rubi Silva homered to tie the game. No one was able to break through until the 12th when the Smokies sent 11 hitters to the plate scoring 8 times. A walk and a throwing error on a sacrifice bunt put runners on second and third and after at intentional walk, Matt Szczur drove a single up the middle to put the Smokies up 3-1. A hit loaded the bases and Jae-Hoon Ha bounced another single up the middle plating two more. Christian Villanueva was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded and Rafael Lopez delivered a two-run double to make it 8-1. Szczur added another run scoring single.

Eric Jokisch, who spent last season between Daytona and Tennessee making 26 starts (10-6 3.11 ERA), picked up right where he left off last year as the lefty kept the Wahoo hitters off balance all night striking out seven while allowing only five base runners. He threw 76 pitches , 47 strikes, facing 22 hitters. Kevin Rhoderick, who recorded eight saves for the Smokies last year, pitched a scoreless seventh and Marcus Hatley added two more shutout innings, fanning four. Frank Batista kept the streak going with two more scoreless frames allowing one hit with 2 Ks. Brian Schlitter closed out the Wahoos with a scoreless 12th.

Szczur RF (2-7 3 RBI), Alcantara SS (1-7), Ha LF (3-5 2 RBI), Bour 1B (0-4), Villanueva 3B (2-5 1 RBI), Silva CF (1-6 HR RBI), Lopez C (1-5 2B 2 RBI), Soto 2B (1-3), Chavez PH (0-1), Moto PH (0-0 1 R)

Tenneessee Notes……...Acquired in the Ryan Dempster trade, right-hander Kyle Hendricks makes his first start in the fourth game of the series at Pensacola…….Villanueva did not play defense in the final inning after getting hit on the hand by a pitch

Quad Cities 13, Kane County 10

Kane County came out on a short-end of a slugfest as Quad Cities scored six times in the second and withstood a Cougars comeback winning 13-10 in 11 innings as the two teams combined for 36 hits, 19 by Kane County.

22-year-old Jose Arias got his first Midwest League start on Saturday afternoon but QC turned two off-speed offerings into base hits in the first for a 1-0 lead. The Bandits sent 10 batters to the plate in the second, chasing Arias, as the top pick in 2012 draft, Carlos Correa, hit his first MWL homer, a blast to left. A throwing error by catcher Wilson Contreras allowed two runs to score for a 7-0 lead. Kane County got a run back in the second with a RBI single by Oliver Zapata but Correa's bloop RBI single in the third made it 8-1. Rock Shoulders added a RBI groundout in the fourth and Daniel Vogelbach drove in his first run of the season with a RBI double in the fifth. Zapata, who showed some pop from the left side in batting practice when I saw him earlier in the week, cut the lead to 8-5 with a two-run homer in the sixth. The River Bandits got the runs right back as Roberto Pena took a Ian Dickson pitch over the left-field fence and Correa continued his impressive game (5 RBI, 4 hits, HR) with a RBI double to put QC up 10-5. The Cougars kept coming back as Pin-Chieh Chen led off 7th with a triple, scored on a wild pitch, and then Shoulders came through with his fifth RBI of the season to cut the lead to 10-7. A RBI infield single by Contreras made it 10-8 and then Zapata cleared the bases with a triple to send the game into extra innings. Quad Cities took the lead on a sacrifice fly in the 11th and added two more runs.

Signed as a free agent out of the Dominican in 2010, Arias spent his first two pro seasons in the Dominican Summer League before coming to the states last year. After extended spring training, the 6-foot-5 right-hander made 13 starts for Boise going 4-2 with 3.25 ERA in 63.2 innings. He has shown decent command of the strike zone and features a fast ball in the low 90s. His MWL debut was a tough one allowing seven hits and seven runs, six earned, in 1.2 innings. He fanned two and faced 13 batters. Nathan Dorris made his MWL debut in his home state allowing three hits and a run in 2.1 innings. The lefty had 2 Ks and 3 BB. Ian Dickson made a case for the starting rotation (he started 15 games last year in Boise) pitching five innings of relief. He allowed two runs, three hits and two walks but fanned five, including the final two hitters he faced. Stephen Perakslis, pitching for the second time in three days, worked a perfect 10th but allowed three runs on three hits and a walk in the 11th and took the loss.

Cougars starting lineup: Chen LF, (2-6 3B) Amaya 2B (2-6 2B), Vogelbach 1B (3-6 2B), Candelario 3B (2-6 2B), Shoulders DH (4-6), Hernandez SS (0-6), Contreras C (3-5 2B), Zapata RF (3-6, 3B, HR, 5 RBI), Martin CF (0-5)

Kane County Notes…11 of the first 12 runs scored by QC in the series came with two outs…..Cougars drew just three walks while striking out 25 times in their first three games…...An error in last night's eighth inning originally charged as a throwing error by Wes Darvill was changed to a missed catch by Marco Hernandez……..Zapatta, 20, played 109 games in MWL last year hitting .225 with 4 HR, 29 RBI, 19 SB….......Michael Heesch, who grew up in nearby Crystal Lake, will take the mound Sunday at 1 p.m. CST.

Albuquerque 8, Iowa 3

Iowa dropped their third straight game of the season.

The Isotopes took a 2-0 lead in the first off Brooks Raley with a two-run double but Iowa answered scoring two runs on a fielder's choice and a throwing error in the second. Ryan Sweeney made his Cubs' debut count with a RBI double in the third for a 3-2 Iowa lead. Raley allowed a walk and two hits in the third as Albuquerque regained the lead at 4-3. Iowa loaded the bases in the eighth but one of the Dodgers top prospects, Josh Wall, came in to close the door. The Isotopes put four insurance runs on the board in the eighth.

After struggling in spring training with Chicago, Raley didn't fare any better in his 2013 debut as the lefty yielded seven hits, four earned runs, and two walks in four innings throwing 81 pitches. Yoanner Negrin, 29, tossed two hitless relief innings with 3 Ks but he did walk one and plunked a hitter. Zach Putnam, making his second appearance, pitched a scoreless seventh but ran into problems in the eighth. Rafael Dollis allowed two hits and a walk before getting the final out of the eighth.

Iowa Lineup: Watkins 2B (1-4), Jackson CF (1-4),Wright LF (0-1), Bogusevic RF (0-5), Nelson 1B (1-3), Murphy SS (1-4), Sweeney LF (3-3 RBI), Boscan C (1-3), Maysonet 3B , Raley P (0-2 RBI), Negrin P (0-0), McDonald PH (1-2)

Iowa Notes……..Recently signed free agents Donnie Murphy, SS, and Ryan Sweeney, LF, made his first start for Iowa…......2012 Cubs Minor League Pitcher of the Year Nick Struck makes his AAA debut on Sunday in Albuquerque at 2.35 CST

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