Kane County Manger Mark Johnson told Kevin Druley of the Kane County Chronicle that OF Albert Almora has been sent home for the season with a bone bruise in his groin. He will rest until going to fall instructional or possibly a trip to the Arizona Fall League. .......OF Ryan Sweeney and 3B Luis Villanueva are expected to be sent to Mesa for rehab assignments and start playing in AZL games beginning on Saturday......RHP Scott Baker has been sent from Daytona to Kane County and is expected to make a rehab start on Friday. Baker's rehab was set back by rainouts in Daytona. He is expected to throw four innings or 65 pitches........Kane County pitchers Tyler Skulina (2013 4th round pick) and Rob Zastryzny (2013 2nd round pick) were placed on the DL after reaching their innings limit for the season......Two left-handed pitchers, Brian Smith and Matthew Iannazzo, were activated from the DL for Kane County and will replace Skulina and Zastryzny on the roster.
AAA—Memphis 4, Iowa 3
Memphis (64-69) scored two runs in the top of the ninth to beat Iowa (59-74) for the second straight night.
At the Plate: Iowa had plenty of chances getting 10 base knocks against Memphis pitching to go along with three walks. Dave Sappelt (.237) had the big blast, his 4th homer of the season. Brad Nelson (.269) went 4-4, all singles, while Ty Wright (.266) and Tim Torres (.188) added RBI.
On the Mound: Brian Schlitter (1-4 3.29 ERA) saw his streak of 18 straight saves come to an end as the right-hander allowed two runs on two hits and two walks in the top of the ninth. Justin Grimm (1-3 4.86 ERA) had one of his better outing since being traded to the Cubs from Texas working six innings with four strikeouts. He allowed two runs on seven hits and two walks, throwing 107 pitches, 63 for strikes....Marcos Mateo (0-0 1.59) tossed two perfect innings with four strikeouts.
AA—Birmingham 4, Tennessee 2
Tennessee (70-58) was held to four hits as Birmingham (73-57) salvaged the final game of the series.
At the Plate: An RBI double by Arismendy Alcantara (.271) in the third gave the Smokies a 1-0 lead but the lead wouldn't last long. The Smokies other run came in the seventh as Javier Baez (.306) and Justin Bour (.238) singled to put runners on the corner. Christian Villanueva (.263) grounded into a double play to score Baez. Smokies were 1-2 with RSIP and only stranded two runners as the Smokies went down in order seven times.
On the Mound: Eric Jokisch (10-12 3.50 ERA) pitched a great game but allowed a three-run homer in the fourth to give the Barons all the runs they would need. Jokisch finished with a line of 7.2 IP, 4H, 4R, 3ER, 1BB, 6K.....Yeiper Castillo (1-2 4.20) came in and got the final out of the eighth.
Smokies Notes: Best thing about Wednesday nights' game was how the Smokies picked up John Andreoli after the right-fielder dropped a fly ball allowing the tying runs to score in the bottom of the eighth. They went out and scored four times in the ninth, making the error meaningless, and left with the win...... All the talk about Javier Baez was the two homers and 4-4 night but his best at-bat came in the top of the ninth when he hit a sacrifice fly to center scoring the go-ahead run. He shortened his stroke, made contact, and got the job done. He wasn't thinking about his launching third homer—lift the ball to the outfield and get the run home. He's 20 and he already understands situational hitting. Some players never figure it out. I really don't think there's a chance Baez gets called up to Wrigley for the simple fact he would take up a spot on the 40-man roster that you don't need to burn. With the Rule 5 draft approaching, 40-man spots will be needed to protect players like Arismendy Alcantara and Zach Rosscup. It also won't hurt to get Baez some playoff experience, something a promotion to Iowa or Chicago would not provide.
Daytona and Dunedin got rained out for the third straight day. Two of the games will be made up as double headers when Dunedin comes to Daytona Aug. 26-28. Daytona now heads to Tampa for a 3-game series with the Yankees. The Cubs hold a five-game lead over Lakeland with 12 games remaining.
Low A—Beloit 4, Kane County 0
Kane County (50-73) dropped its fifth straight getting blanked by Beloit (70-58).
At the Plate: Trevor Gretzky (.357) recorded his first four-hit game as a pro as the left-hander ripped four singles. Wilson Contreras (.238) had two hits while Jeimer Candelario (.252) and Jose Dore (.218) both doubled. Kane County had nine hits on the night but were just 2-10 with RISP and stranded 10.
On the Mound: Felix Pena (4-7 3.92 ERA) took the loss allowing a run on two hits in two innings. Brain Smith (2-4 4.37) tossed two scoreless frames (2H 1K) in his first game back off the DL while Al Yevoli (0-0 3.86) pitched three scoreless innings of one-hit ball with two punchouts. Sheldon McDonald (2-0 2.41) got tagged for three runs on seven hits over the final two frames.
Short-Season—Boise 16, Salem-Keizer 11
Boise (37-29) rallied from a 9-1 deficit and beat Salem-Keizer (39-27) in a wild NWL game.
At the Plate: Justin Marra (.246) had his best night at the plate as a professional blasting a pair of homers capping off a 4-5 night with 4 RBI. Jacob Rogers (.276) and Marra both hit three-run homers in the Hawks' six-run fifth. Rogers was 2-6 and knocked in four. Kevin Encarnacion (.331) had three hits, scored three times and drove in a run. Shawon Dunston (.314), Jordan Hankins (.238) and Lance Rymel (.266) all had two hits as Boise had 18 in the game. Rony Rodriguez (.260) delivered a two-run pinch-hit single while Daniel Lockhart (.296), Yasiel Balaguert (.278) and David Bote (.255) all plated runs.
On the Mound: 2013 has not been a good year for Juan Paniagua (0-1 10.80) as the right-hander was denied access to the states due to a visa problem and now that's he's finally arrived, it hasn't gotten any better. The 23-year-old got tagged for 10 hits and nine runs in 1.2 innings. Six of the runs were earned as he walked one and fanned three, allowing a three-run homer....Michael Wagner (0-2 3.86) held the Volcanoes scoreless for 2.1 innings allowing three hits and a walk with two strikeouts....Sam Wilson (3-1 1.40) fanned three in two scoreless innings as the left-hander allowed three hits and a walk. Jasvir Rakkar (3-1 4.11) got the win despite surrendering two earned runs on four hits in 1.2 innings. Tyler Bremer (0-2 2.25) recorded the final four outs for his 7th save.
Arizona Rookie League—Royals 7, Cubs 3
Royals (20-31) scored four runs in the top of the first and beat the Cubs (24-27)
At the Plate: Trevor Stevens (.267) had three hits while Rashad Crawford (.208) and Erick Castillo (.267) collected two hits each in the Cubs 11-hit attack. Kelvin Freeman (.274) had the only RBI of the night with a sacrifice fly. The Cubs were 0-13 with RISP and left 10 on base.
On the Mound: The Johermyn Chavez (0-1 12.46) pitching experiment didn't make it out of the first innings as the outfielder tuned pitcher allowed four runs on three hits and a walk. He did fan two of the six batters he faced. Two of the runs scored when Erick Leal came into the game and allowed a two-run single. Leal (3-2 2.98) finished with a line of 2.1IP, 2H 0R, 2BB, 2K. The 18-year-old right-hander acquired in the Tony Campana trade is having a solid season in Mesa with 52 K in 48 IP and only 6 BB.....Ethan Elias (1-1 6.19) allowed a run in three innings and Juan Francisco (0-1 6.75) allowed two Royals to score in his two innings. Trey Lang (0-1 6.17) worked a scoreless ninth.
Dominican Summer League—Cubs 11, Mets 2
Cubs (47-21) used a seven-run fifth to beat the Mets (19-50) and clinch at least a tie for the division title in the Boca Chica South.
At the Plate: 2B Antonio Gonzalez (.198/.354/.308) went 2-3 scored three times and smacked a two-run homer, his first as a pro. Adonis Paula (.276/.381/.395) had two hits and two RBI while Jenner Emeterio (.263/.404/.299) and Bryant Flete (.200/.350/.200) added two hits and a RBI. Shamil Ubiera (.298/.373/.441) and Jose Paniagua (.201/.304/.291) drove in two runs apiece. Luis Acosta (.119/.252/.186), who received a $1.1 million bonus in 2011, was 1-4 with a double, a run, and a RBI.
On the Mound: 18-year-old left-hander Jose Paulino (5-3 2.33 ERA) got the win fanning six in five shutout innings. He allowed two hits and a walk. Paulino has 69 K in 58 IP.....Jeffry Hernandez (1-0 4.24) added two scoreless frames of relief yielding three hits and a walk with one punchout.....Wagner Disla, 17, a 2012 free-agent signee for $100,000, pitched the final two innings surrendering a two-run homer. The 6-foot-4 right-hander has pitched in four games tossing five innings with five hits and six walks with a ERA of 10.80.