Pacific Coast League—AAA—Iowa 8, El Paso (Padres) 3
Iowa’s (24-24) offense pounded out 15 hits as they evened the series with El Paso (25-24)
Hitting Recap: With rumors swirling about the Cubs going after Oakland’s super utility player Ben Zobrist, infielder/outfielder Arismendy Alcantara (.271) is trying to make the decision easy for the Cubs front office. Sent down to AAA earlier in the season, the 23-year-old hit .217/.284/.446 in his first 24 games at Iowa but has turned it around at the plate. On Saturday night, Alcantara went 2-for-5 and launched his team-leading 7th homer. Over his last 12 games the Dominican native is batting .375/.434/.625 and could find himself back in Wrigley soon.....Another player pushing to get back to the Friendly Confines is outfielder Matt Szczur, who went 3-for-5 and swiped three bases in the win. Since his last demotion, the 25-year-old is batting .417/.488/.611 with seven stolen base in 11 games.....SS Javier Baez went 2-for-4 with a double, a run scored, and a walk, He’s hitting .292/.372/.481 with 5 HR, 10 BB and 32 K in 121 plate appearances.....Chris Valaika (.231) and Rafael Lopez (.252) had two hits each.
Pitching Chart: Carl Edwards Jr. made his AAA debut Saturday night but the right-hander got charged with two runs as he walked three and gave up a hit in the 7th. Edwards threw 28 pitches in the frame, only 11 for strikes, and faced seven hitters......Relief pitcher Drake Britton got the emergency start on Saturday and tossed four innings, allowing a run on two hits and a walk. He threw 46 pitches and had a game score of 54.....Blake Cooper improved to 4-1 with two shutout innings of relief. He gave up two hits and a walk with one punchout.....Armando Rivero continues to show signs that he may be ready for a promotion to Wrigley as the right-hander only issued one walk in two scoreless frames. Rivero threw 25 pitches, 17 for strikes.
I-Cubs Notes: Felipe Paulino (0-2, 10.57) makes his third start for the I-Cubs Sunday night in El Paso.
Hitting Recap: Kyle Schwarber is good at hitting baseballs. The Cubs first-round pick last year swatted a pair of long balls over the right-field wall at Smokies Stadium on Saturday night and finished the game 2-for-3 with three runs scored, three RBI and a walk. In 44 AA games, Schwarber is batting .322/.453/.636 and leads the league in homers (12), walks (36), on-base percentage and slugging. And while he has his critics, he’s also excelling behind the plate, throwing out his 10th runner in the win...... Overshadowed by the seasons of Schwarber and Daniel Vogelbach (currently on Smokies DL), catcher Willson Contreras doesn’t show any signs of slowing down. Playing third base to keep his bat in the lineup, the 23-year-old went 1-for-2 with two walks and is hitting .316/.388/.506 (all career highs) in 43 games. The Venezuelan native has also been tough on base runners, throwing out 12 while only allowing 15 steals...........Smokies only had six hits in the win. RF Billy McKinney (.278/.316/.407) singled and knocked in a run while CF Albert Almora (.248/.290/.333) went 0-for-4 with a walk and a run scored.
Pitching Chart: Tayler Scott made the most of his AA debut, getting the win with three shutout innings of relief. Scott only surrendered one hit, walked two and fanned two. He threw 39 pitches, 21 for strikes, to 11 hitters, and made his pro debut with the bat, striking out. A starter since being drafted in 2011, the South African made the transition to the bullpen this year after tossing 134.2 IP last season at High A Daytona. Scott pitched in 11 games for the Pelicans, 10 out of the bullpen and only entered two games with runners on, allowing two of the five inherited runners to score. He had a line of 23 IP, 18 H, 5 ER, 6 BB, 27 K. Although its a small sample size, his 10.6 K/9 is nearly double his career average......Felix Pena got the start but only lasted four innings after 87 pitches. The right-hander was charged with three runs on four hits and two walks. He did fan six and has 15 strikeouts over his last 10 innings......Stephan Perakslis worked around two hits in the 8th for his first hold since joining Tennessee and P.J. Francescon threw the ninth in a non-save situation.
Carolina League—High A—Myrtle Beach 11, Potomac (Nationals) 1
For the second time, Myrtle Beach (30-16) roughed up Potomac’s Reynaldo Lopez and won by their largest of the season.
Hitting Recap: There’s talk that Reynaldo Lopez may be good enough to help Washington this season. If he makes it to the majors, he better hope he doesn’t have to face any Myrtle Beach hitters. Facing the Pelicans for the second time in eight days, the hard-throwing right-hander gave up nine hits and five runs in five innings and got beat for the second time. In two starts against Myrtle Beach, Lopez has a line of 7.2 IP, 14 H, 10 ER, 2 BB, 8K......RF Kevin Brown was a double shy of the cycle, going 3-for-3 with two walks and his first homer of the year. He scored twice and knocked in three runs......After not hitting a homer for almost a year, Jeimer Candelario (.267) took a Lopez fastball over the right-field wall for his third of the season, all against the P-Nats. Candelario finished 1-for-4 with two runs scored and drew one of the Pelicans 10 walks.......Leadoff hitter Mark Zagunis (.307/.436/.427) went 1-for-4 with a double, a two walks and a RBI....Chesny Young (.340/.438/.377) continues to show his versatility in the field playing LF for the third time and his fourth in the outfield. He went 1-for-4 with a walk......1B Jacob Rogers broke an 0-for-18 stretch with a single in the second, and scored twice with two walks.
Pitching Chart: Paul Blackburn (4-2, 4.26 ERA) was sharp in his eighth start, limiting the Nationals to one run on four hits and two walks in five innings. He matched his season-high with six strikeouts, including the side in his final inning. The bullpen was nearly perfect. LH Michael Heesch allowed a hit in two shutout innings and James Pugliese fanned three and walked one over the final two frames.
Pelicans News: Tyler Skulina (1-3, 4.25 ERA) gets the start on Sunday afternoon.
Midwest League—Low A—South Bend @ Lake County (Indians)
Game was rained out and the two teams will play a double header on Sunday with a 1:30 EST start. Jeremy Null (5-1, 1.89 ERA) and Erick Leal (3-3, 4.79 ERA) will start for South Bend in the twin-bill.
Dominican Summer League—Mets II 2, Cubs 0
Cubs were shutout by the Mets II in the DSL season opener.
Pitching Chart: Deibi Torres was solid for five innings but took the loss, surrendering a run on three hits and two walks with two strikeouts. Luis Aquino allowed an unearned run in two frames and Luiz Escanio threw a scoreless 8th.
Venezuelan Summer League—Tigers 4, Cubs 1
Tigers (4-7) used a two-run 7th to beat the Cubs (4-7).
Hitting Recap: 1B Roberto Vahlis (.200) went 2-for-4 with a double and knocked in the Cubs only run. 2B Rafael Narea (.239), C Gustavo Polanco (.295), Jose Rojas (.283) and DH Fidel Matos (.200) all had hits. The Cubs are hitting .233 as a team after 11 games.
Pitching Chart: Carlos Rodriguez has the best outing for any Cubs pitcher this season, fanning seven in six innings. He allowed a run on three hits and had a game score of 69.....Andres Bonalde (2-1, 5.63 ERA) got the loss, surrendering three runs (two earned) on four hits and a walk.