Johnson makes AA debut, 4/22 Cubs Recap

Northsiders Report takes an in-depth look at Pierce Johnson's season debut for AA Tennessee. Daytona ripped 12 extra base hits in a 18-5 win and Iowa won their third straight with a 10-3 victory over Round Rock behind 3 RBI from Javier Baez. Kane County snapped a three-game skid with a win over Beloit.

AAA—Iowa 10, Round Rock 3

Iowa pounded out a dozen hits and improved to 10-9 with their second straight win over Round Rock behind seven solid innings from Eric Jokisch.

At the Dish: Javier Baez (.184) is starting to heat up as the 21-year-old was 2-5 with a triple and three RBI..... Arismendy Alcantara smacked his second homer, the first from the right side of the plate, and added a double, two RBI and two runs. Both of Alcantara's hits came from the right side and he was 4-21 right-handed coming into the game..... Chris Valiaka continues to lead all I-Cubs hitters as the veteran infielder was 3-3 with a RBI and run scored....... Chris Coghlan was on base five times, four walks and a two-run double....... Luis Flores scored three runs, had two hits, and knocked in two runs........ Logan Watkins extended his hitting steak to nine games and is hitting .289......... Josh Vitters was 0-5 and is hitting .237

On the Hill: Eric Jokisch only needed 87 pitches to work through seven solid innings as he was the beneficiary of a strong offensive day. Jokisch scattered seven hits, one a solo homer in the seventh, and fanned a season-high nine....Iowa's bullpen tossed two shutout innings—one each from Marcus Hatley (1BB, 2K) and Marcos Mateo (1BB, 1K).

I-Cubs Notes: Tsuyoshi Wada (2-1 0.84) gets the start on Thursday as the I-Cubs have Wednesday off and head to Colorado Springs for four games.

AA—Birmingham 14, Tennessee 3

Birmingham scored eight runs in the fifth and spoiled the AA debut of Pierce Johnson.

At the Dish: Kris Bryant (.311) was 3-5 with a double and scored the Smokies first run of the night, extending his on-base streak to 18 games. John Andreoli was on base four times with two hits and two walks....Rubi Silva went 1-3 and knocked in a run.... Taylor Davis had two hits, including a two-run single in the ninth.

On the Hill: After a hamstring injury in spring training set back his throwing schedule, Pierce Johnson made his season and AA debut. The 2012 1st round supplemental pick faced a good hitting Barons squad (2nd in SL in hitting, slugging, OPS), that included White Sox second baseman Gordon Beckham, on a rehab assignment. Here's the inning-by-inning break down of his start.....1st—Might have had some nerves as he walked the first two hitters but catcher Taylor Davis helped his pitcher out by gunning down a runner at second. Throwing mostly fastballs in the low 90s, Johnson fanned the next hitter in a seven pitch at-bat and then whiffed the cleanup hitter on three straight pitches. 23 pitches/12 for strikes.... 2nd—Johnson threw more breaking balls in the second, striking out the first two hitters and then gave up a single to right. Got ahead of the final hitter 0-2 and coaxed an easy fly out to right on off speed pitch. 21/13...44/25 after 2 IP...3rd—Started to get his feel for the slider and maintained the velocity in fastball needing only 12 pitches to get through the inning. Allowed a one-out single but got an infield popup and strikeout, his fifth......12/9.....56/34 after 3 IP......4th— A couple of Johnson trademarks in the fourth, limiting pitch count and his pickoff move. Only needed 11 pitches to get out of the frame that included a walk and then caught the runner leaning, and made a perfect throw to nail him. Johnson has great athleticism and a great move to first..11/6....67/40 after 4........5th—A walk and two singles ended Johnson's night as he didn't retire a hitter. A line drive single to left followed by shot up the middle scored the leadoff walk......11/4.....78/44 Johnson's final line was 4 IP, 4H 3ER, 4BB 5K. It was a solid outing for Johnson as he threw all his pitches and looked good for his first outing...........Ryan Searle come in relief and was throwing his fastball in low 90s with a low 80s off speed pitch. The Australian couldn't shut the door, surrendering an RBI single to the first batter and then gave up back-to-back homers, including a grand slam as Barons scored eight runs in the frame. Searle went three innings, allowing six runs on six hits and a walk....Jeffrey Lorick worked the 8th, giving up a five runs (three earned) on three hits and two walks.

Smokies Notes: Corey Black (0-1 4.09) gets the start on Wednesday with a noon EST start in the final game of the series....LHP Austin Kirk was placed on DL to make room for Pierce Johnson.

High A—Daytona 18, Clearwater 5

Daytona exploded for 12 extra base hits including a grand slam by Rock Shoulders to win their third straight.

At the Dish: Daytona had a season-high 17 hits, 12 for extra bases, and scored 18 times......Leadoff hitter Pin-Chieh Chen (.339) was 4-5 with two triples, a double, 3 RBI and four runs scored......Rock Shoulders (.250) capped off the offensive showcase with a grand slam in the 9th. He was 3-5 with two doubles, four runs, four RBI......Gioskar Amaya (.474) came off the DL and went 3-4 with four runs scored and RBI.......Tim Saunders (.297) had two doubles (8) and knocked in three runs.... Marco Hernandez made some impressive defensive plays and went 2-5 with a triple and 3 RBI..... Bijan Rademacher (.365) extended his hitting steak to seven games, going 2-5 with two doubles and a RBI....Albert Almora was 1-5 with a double and a RBI.....The D-Cubs were 8-20 with RISP.

On the Hill: Tayler Scott (2-2, 4.05) got the win pitching into the sixth. He allowed three runs, only one earned, on four hits and three walks with a strikeout.......Stephen Perakslis got the final two outs of the sixth and tossed a scoreless seventh, striking out three on the night......Austin Reed tossed the final two frames, allowing two runs on four hits and a walk.

D-Cubs Notes: Rob Zastryzny heads to the mound on Wednesday as the D-Cubs finish up the series with a 1 p.m. EST start in Clearwater.

Low A—Kane County 5, Beloit 4

Kane County snapped a three-game losing streak and evened the series with Beloit.

At the Dish: Kane County had seven hits and drew eight walks, going 4-12 with RISP with 11 LOB. The first ten Kane County hitters went down in order before Carlos Penalver stroked a double and scored on Yasiel Balaguert's two-bagger. After a Jacob Rogers single moved Balaguert to third, David Bote ripped the third double of the inning scoring Balaguert. Benjamin Carhart added RBI single in the fifth scoring Trey Marin, who lead off with a walk. Four walks in the eighth forced in a run and Penalver added a sacrifice fly in what proved to the difference in the game. Balaguert is second in MWL with 15 RBI.

On the Hill: Paul Blackburn (2-0, 3.10 ERA) didn't have his best command on Tuesday but kept Beloit off the board for five innings. His scoreless inning streak of 14 was snapped by the first hitter in the sixth with a solo homer. Blackburn pitched out of trouble in the second, third and fourth and finished the day with a line of 5.1 IP, 5H, 1ER, 2BB, 0K. .......Nathan Dorris walked the first hitter he faced and then a double put the tying runs in scoring position. A ground ball to short plated the first run but Dorris fanned the next hitter to end the threat. Dorris ended with a line of 2.2 IP, 1H 1ER, 2BB 3K.... Jose Arias got two outs on strikes but couldn't close out Beloit as two walks and two singles cut the lead to 5-4....Zack Godley fell behind 3-0 to but came back and got the hitter looking for his fourth save.

Cougars Notes: Cubs President of Operations Theo Epstein was in attendance to watch the first six innings of the Cougars game.......Tyler Skulina gets the start on Wednesday as the Cougars host their third straight day game with Beloit.

Cubs Minor League box scores April 22

Roster Moves

Cubs manager Rick Renteria said RHP Jake Arrieta will make one more start in the minors before being recalled to Chicago. Arrieta made three starts for Tennessee (12.1 IP) and went 5.2 frames (74 pitches) for Daytona on Monday night.

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