Cubs Minor League Recap—Opening Night

Not a great start to the 2014 minor league season for the Cubs affiliates as three of the four teams dropped their openers. Kane County garnished the only win, beating defending MWL champion Quad Cities 7-4. Pensacola rallied to beat Tennessee despite a Kris Bryant homer in his first AA at-bat while Iowa and Daytona lost.

Here's a look at the season openers.

AAA—Memphis 8, Iowa 1

Memphis hit two homers in the first inning and never looked back winning the season opener at Principal Park over the I-Cubs.

At the Plate: I-Cubs first run of the night came on a Josh Vitters homer in the third and a Matt Szczur groundout with the bases loaded in the ninth plated the other run. Iowa only had six hits, two each from Christian Villanueva and Vitters. Javier Baez went 0-3 with two strikeouts and a walk.

On the Mound: Chris Rusin (0-1 12.27 ERA) allowed a pair of homers in the first and surrendered five runs as the Redbirds had his number. He didn't help himself walking four while yielding six hits. Yoanner Negrin had a positive outing, holding Memphis to one hit in 3.1 innings with 4 K. Casey Coleman got rocked for five runs in the ninth and Marcus Hatley came in and got the final three outs.

Cubs Notes: Carlos Pimental starts game two of the series for the I-Cubs at Principal Park with first pitch at 7:05 CST

AA—Pensacola 6, Tennessee 5

Kris Bryant blasted a two-run homer in his first AA at-bat but Pensacola rallied for two runs in the bottom of the eighth for the win.

At the Plate: With Cincinnati pitcher Mat Latos on the mound, the Smokies showed the right-hander no mercy, collecting seven hits and scoring five times. Bryant had the big blast while Zeke DeVoss, who finished with two hits, added a RBI triple. Rafael Lopez ripped a RBI double and the other run scored on a throwing error. Tennessee scored all their runs in the first three frames. Jorge Soler doubled in the first but left the game in the third inning due to hamstring tightness. After the homer, Latos hit Bryant in his next at-bat and both benches were warned.

On the Mound: Dae-Eun Rhee started and went four innings, allowing three runs (two earned) on two hits and four walks. He fanned four, had a wild pitch and hit a batter. RHP Ryan Searle fanned five Wahoos and surrendered a run on a hit and three walks in three innings. Tony Zych was greeted with four straight hits to start the 8th as Pensacola grabbed a 6-5 lead.

Smokies Notes: RHP C.J. Edwards makes his AA debut Friday night at Pensacola in game two of the series with first pitch at 7:30 p.m. EST>

High A—Brevard County 1, Daytona 0

Brevard County came out on top of a pitcher's dual in the opening game of the FSL as a two-out double in the third scored the game's only run.

At the Plate: Daytona out-hit Brevard County 5-4 but only got three opportunities to hit with runners in scoring position. 2B Gioskar Amaya had a pair of singles and a walk in his three trips to the plate. Daniel Vogelbach, Jeimer Candelario and Marco Hernandez were all 1-3. Albert Almora was hitless in four trips.

On the Mound: Felix Pena got the ball for the opener and had an impressive outing, allowing a run on three hits and a walk in six innings. He fanned three and kept the ball down getting nine ground ball outs. Zach Cates worked a scoreless seventh with a pair of strikeouts and Arodys Vizcaino pitched the 8th, topping out at 97 mph.

D-Cubs Notes: Jose Rosario gets the start at the home opener against Brevard County at Jackie Robinson Ballpark on Friday night and Tayler Scott takes the hill against the Manatees on Saturday back at Brevard County.

Low A—Kane County 7, Quad Cities 4

The Cougars scored five runs in the first two innings and held on for the opening night win.

At the Plate: The Cougars had 11 hits and drew seven walks in the victory. RF Yasiel Balaguert had four hits, including three doubles, and knocked in two runs to lead the offense. SS Carlos Penalver went 3-3 with a walk, knocked in a run, and swiped two bases. CF Jacob Hannemann was 2-4 with a pair of runs and made a great catch in center. DH Benjamin Carhart was on base four times with a RBI single and three walks while C Will Remillard collected his first hit as a pro.

On the Mound: Paul Blackburn got the opening day start and didn't miss many bats as the right-hander surrendered four runs on nine hits in four innings. He didn't walk any hitters (a good sign) and fanned three. He didn't figure in the decision. Left-handed reliever Nathan Dorris (1-0 0.00 ERA) did his job, holding the Bandits scoreless for two innings and then James Pugliese fanned three in his two innings of relief. Jose Arias finished off the Bandits in the ninth, striking out two as Cougar pitching fanned 10 on the night

Cougars Notes: Tyler Skulina get the start on Friday night vs. Quad Cities and Jen-Ho Tseng will start the Cougars home opener on Tuesday, April 8 against Fort Wayne.

Cubs Minor League Box Scores

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