Javier Baez heating up, 5/22 recap

After a horrendous start, Javier Baez is heating up as the Cubs top prospect went 4-5 with two doubles and his sixth homer to extend his hitting streak to seven games in Iowa's 6-2 win. Charlie Cutler delivered a walk-off single for Tennessee and Paul Blackburn tossed seven shutout innings in Kane County's victory. The VSL Cubs snapped their six-game losing streak and Daytona lost.

Pierce Johnson, Jorge Soler to DL

Not good news out of Tennessee as OF Jorge Soler and RHP Pierce Johnson were placed on the disabled list. No corresponding moves were announced. Soler hurt his right hamstring back on May 15. Johnson only went four innings his last outing and left after 47 pitches. According to a source, Johnson was put on the DL with a strained left calf. He missed the first month of the season after hurting his hamstring in spring training.............According to a tweet from sports agency Sosnick Cobbe Sports, the Cubs have signed Indecent League pitcher Joe Gardner, assigned him to Tennessee, and he will get the start on Saturday. Gardner, 26, was a 3rd round pick of the Indians in 2009 and traded to Colorado during the 2011 season. He pitched in AA with the Rockies last year, going 6-4 with a 5.53 ERA in 35 relief appearances after spending most of his career as a starter. He's pitched in 117 minor league games, 77 starts, with a 3.83 ERA and a 1.25 WHIP. Gardner pitched in one game for Lancaster in the Atlantic League, throwing five scoreless innings.

AAA—Iowa 7, Round Rock 2

Javier Baez had four hits and launched his sixth homer as the I-Cubs earned the split of the four-game series in Texas.

At the Dish: Attention PCL pitchers, Javier Baez is heating up. After starting the season 15-106 (.142/.229/.255), the 21-year-old is in the midst of a seven-game hitting streak. He went 4-5 with two doubles and his sixth homer, a solo shot deep into the Texas night. Baez has upped his average to .201, going 12-28 during the streak with 3 HR and 5 2B. He's made an adjustment at the plate, using a slightly more closed stance, helping him from opening up too fast and allows his to adjust to the heavy dose of breaking balls.......Eli Whiteside hit his third homer, a two-run blast in the five-run fourth. Brett Jackson was 1-3 with two RBI.

On the Hill: Dallas Beeler (2-0 5.91 ERA) had his longest outing, working seven strong innings as the only run came on a solo homer. The right-hander only surrendered three hits and a walk. He fanned six and threw 105 pitches, 67 for strikes...... Eduardo Figueroa worked the final two innings and allowed a run on two hits in the ninth.

I-Cubs Notes: Ysuyoshi Wada (4-1 2.10 ERA) gets the start on Friday night as the I-Cubs host Colorado Springs.


AA—Tennessee 6, Mobile 5

Charlie Cutler's walk-off single in the bottom of the ninth gave Tennessee the win after blowing a 5-2 lead in the top of the ninth.

At the Dish: Charlie Cutler was selected during the minor league phase of the Rule 5 draft to provide catching depth at the upper levels of the Cubs system—his bat has been a pleasant surprise and manager Buddy Bailey is finding every opportunity to get Cutler into the lineup. Playing left field after John Andreoli was a late scratch, the seven-year veteran of the minors went 2-4 with three RBI, including the walk-off winner. He delivered a two-run double in the first and is hitting .324/.438/.465 with 19 RBI in 26 games. He's also setting a good example for young players on the Smokies squad with his patient approach at the plate, 13BB/12K........Kris Bryant was on-base five times, including a double in the second that cleared the bases and plated three runs. He added two singles and walked twice to up his slash line to .335/.431/.623. Bryant leads the SL in most categories and is second in the rest, almost. He also stole his sixth base and has yet to be caught.......Stephen Bruno was just 2 for his last 15 entering the game, but the second baseman continues to shine in May with a pair of doubles and three runs. The 23-year-old is hitting .370/.439/.685 with 13 doubles and 16 RBI in May—19 games........Rubi Silva (.256) and Taylor Davis (.370) both went 2-4.

On the Hill: Corey Black gets a lot of swing and misses as evident by his strikeout rate (9.4/9) and BAA .172. However, that also results in a lot of pitches, especially when the right-hander doesn't have his best command. That was the case Thursday morning as he worked five innings before reaching his pitch limit with a season-high 96 pitches. Black only surrendered one run, a homer to Jon Griffin, and gave up two other hits, both doubles. Black fanned seven and walked three.......Jeffrey Lorick gave up a run on four hits in two innings, recording two punchouts.......Armando Rivero made short work of the BayBears in the 8th, putting the side down in order on 11 pitches, with one strikeout......Arodys Vizcaino had what amounted to his worst outing of the year as the right-hander was charged with three runs in the ninth. He issued his first AA walk, and Mobile followed with three singles, sandwiched between a RBI groundout to tie the game. Vizcaino added a wild pitch and threw 24 pitches in the frame before getting the final hitter to fly out to deep center. The 23-year-old came into the game allowing two hits in five AA games (5 IP) with 8 K and had only given up one run in 14 IP between Daytona and Tennessee.

Smokies Notes: Dae-Eun Rhee (2-1 3.38 ERA) gets the start on Friday night in the third game of the series.........Despite reports of Soler back in Mesa already rehabbing, the Smokies have yet to make any roster moves. There has also be no official confirmation of the signing of the two independent league pitchers.


High A—Bradenton 2, Daytona 1

A pop fly behind short with two outs in the bottom of the ninth fell to the ground as two runs scored and gave the Maunders the win.

At the Dish: Daytona's only run of the game came in the second as Willson Contreras tripled and scored on Gioskar Amaya's sacrifice fly to right field. Contreras was 3-4 with two doubles, and is seven of his last 11 with four extra base hits. Jeimer Candelario had a pair of hits batting second.

On the Hill: Tayler Scott had his best start since his first (seven shutout innings on April 5) but had to leave the game in the seventh after being hit by a liner. According to reports, the injury didn't look serious. He only needed 49 pitches to get through the first five frames and ended the night with 77 pitches, 47 for strikes. The Marauders recorded five hits off the right-hander and were blanked for 6.1 frames. He fanned three and got 10 ground ball outs......Andrew Reed got the final two outs of the seventh and pitched a scoreless eighth as he allowed two hits and a walk. He fanned one and threw 29 pitches, 22 for strikes.......Zack Godley surrendered a leadoff single and after two strikeouts, gave up another hit to put runners on first and second. He coaxed a pop up for what looked like the final out of the game but the wind blew it back towards the infield, shortstop Marco Hernandez wasn't able to track it down, and both runners scored. It was ruled a single and Godley was charged with the blown save and the loss.


Low A—Kane County 6, Clinton 1

Paul Blackburn tossed seven shutout innings as Kane County opened its home stand with a win over Clinton.

At the Dish: Benjamin Carhart upped his hit streak to seven games with a single, a double, and a RBI to raise his average to .281......Carlos Penalver had two hits, knocked in a run, and scored once. Yasiel Balaguert smacked his second homer and Jacob Hannemann was 1-2 with a RBI and a run scored....Jacob Rogers walked three times and scored twice....Cael Brockmeyer was 1-3 with a RBI double and a walk.

On the Hill: Paul Blackburn improved to 5-1 and pitched a career-high seven shutout innings in his ninth start. He was on top of his game, commanding the zone, changing speeds with his breaking ball, and limiting the Lumberkings to four hits. He fanned six and coaxed eight ground ball outs.....Jose Arias allowed a run in the eighth and pitched a scoreless ninth, surrendering four hits with a strikeout. Arias has allowed four earned runs in 21.2 innings.

Cougars Notes: Kevin Durley, one of the Kane County beat writers for the Kane County Chronicle, reported Jen-Ho Tseng's shoulder injury was not serious and manager Mark Johnson said they were being careful and taking their time.....Tyler Skulina takes the mound since combining with Nathan Dorris to no-hit Quad Cities on Friday night.


Venezuelan Summer League—Cubs 10, Phillies 4

Cubs snapped a six-game losing streak with 14 hits in the win.

At the Dish: Big day at the plate for Hennry Pedra, who was 4-5 with two RBI, two runs and three stolen bases. Luis Ayala went 2-5 with a triple and three RBI while Jose Gonzalez and Wladimir Galindo both had two hits and a RBI....Victor Gomez scored twice and Humberto Garcia was 1-3 with two runs and a pair of stolen bases, giving his 8......Luis Hidalgo, 18, extended his hitting streak to eight games with a single an dis hitting .355.........P>

On the Hill: Yapson Gomez earned the win as he went six innings, allowing three runs, one earned, on six hits and no walks. He fanned one and got seven ground ball outs......Yeiker Lovera earned the save, scattering six hits and a walk over four innings. He yielded one earned run and fanned five.


Cubs Minor League box scores May 22

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