Cubs first-round pick Ian Happ has been promoted to South Bend and should make his Midwest League debut Friday night at West Michigan. Happ played in 29 games in the MWL, hitting .283/.408/.491 with 4 HR, 8 2B, and 9 SB after being drafted with the ninth overall pick.
Javier Baez returned to the diamond for the first time since he slid head first into second on June 7 at Principal Park and broke his finger. Baez was hitting .314/.386/.536 with 8 HR in 37 games before the injury.
Here’s a look at the rest of the action in the minors:
Pacific Coast League—AAA—Round Rock 3, Iowa 2
Round Rock (56-41) won on a get-a-way day and took the final three games of the four-game set from Iowa (52-46).
In the Box: CF Matt Szczur (.289) is batting .341 over his last 10 games and added three more hits on Thursday, his second three-hit game during the stretch. LF Mike Baxter (.292) went 2-for-4 and plated the I-Cubs only runs of the game with a two-run homer in the third. 1B Mike Olt (.244) and 2B Chris Valiaka (.248) added singles.
Pitching Chart: Felipe Paulino (2-6, 4.71 ERA) fanned eight over 6.1 innings but made a throwing error in the 7th that allowed the winning run to score. The 31-year-old right-hander gave up three runs on six hits and two walks in his 12th start, a 99-pitch outing.....RH Ben Rowen stranded an inherited runner in the seventh and worked 1.2 perfect frames with two punchouts. The side-winding Rowen has not allowed a run since joining the I-Cubs, 6 G, 8 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 7 K.....Brian Schlitter (2-0, 0.67 ERA) worked a scoreless ninth despite allowing a hit and two walks. He fanned two and has appeared in 27 games, 30 IP, 15 BB, 23 K.
I-Cubs Notes: Carlos Pimentel (7-5, 3.14 ERA) gets the ball on Friday night as the I-Cubs head to Memphis for the start of a four-game series.
Southern League—AA—Tennessee 4, Chattanooga 1
Tennessee (11-15, 50-45) made the most of their six hits and evened the series at Chattanooga (9-16, 52-41).
In the Box: 1B Jacob Rogers (.200) collected his first AA hit and finished 2-for-4 with a RBI. Albert Almora’s RBI groundout gave the Smokies a 1-0 lead in the first. DH Willson Contreras (.316) and RF Billy McKinney (.276) drove in runs in the three-run eighth.
Pitching Chart: Rob Zastryzny (0-3, 4.82 ERA) lasted five innings, allowing a run on seven hits. He fanned five and threw 86 pitches, 55 for strikes, and was the second straight quality start for the left-hander......Zach Cates (2-4, 4.58 ERA) worked two scoreless frames for the win, his first appearance in a week....Chicago relief pitcher Zac Rosscup fanned the side in his second game, and has 6 K in 2 IP in two AA rehab appearances.....P.J. Francescon (0.97 ERA) earned his 14th save with a scoreless ninth.
Smokies News: Ryan Williams (4-1, 2.61 ERA) gets the start on Friday night in Chattanooga.
Carolina League—High A—Lynchburg 7, Myrtle Beach 3
Lynchburg (13-15, 46-52) slugged three homers and beat Myrtle Beach (15-13, 56-41) for the second straight night.
In the Box: Chesny Young (.353) continues to feast on Carolina League pitching as he collected three hits, including a double. Young extended his on-base streak to 42 games, his hit streak to 12, and it was his 29th multi-hit game...... LR Kevin Brown (.258), RF Mark Zagunis (.284) and C Cael Brockmeyer (.136) all knocked in runs.
Pitching Chart: For the second straight night, the Hillcats played long ball with the Pelicans starting pitcher, hitting three homers off Daury Torrez (7-6, 3.98 ERA). The right-hander allowed seven runs on eight hits and a walk with five strikeouts in his 84-pitch outing......Josh Conway (3.25 ERA) didn’t allow a ball in play. He got the first hitter to foul out and then fanned the next five, working around four walks in two innings. David Berg (3.60 ERA) tossed a 1-2-3 ninth.
Pelicans News: Sutton Whiting’s journey around the Cubs minors continued as the 24th round pick out of Louisville has been assigned to South Bend. Whiting has already played at Mesa (5), Eugene (1), and Tennessee (8) for a total of 14 games .
Midwest League—Low A—Great Lake 13, South Bend 0
Great Lakes (11-17, 49-47) took the deciding game of the series, blanking South Bend (14-14, 43-52) on four hits.
In the Box: Four singles for the Cubs, one each from SS Gleyber Torres (.317), LF Charcer Burks (.276), 3B Jesse Hodges (.245) and CF Rashad Crawford (.284). RF Jeffrey Baez (.239) had his 11-game hitting streak come to an end, going 0-for-4.
Pitching Chart: Michael Wagner (2-1, 2.61 ERA), who started year in the bullpen in AAA and then moved to Tennessee, made his fifth start for South Bend, lasting 5.2 innings. The right-hander allowed four runs on eight hits and a walk with three strikeouts.....Tyler Ihrig (3.03 ERA) got the final out of the sixth but surrendered five runs in the seventh while only retiring one batter. Sam Wilson (7.04 ERA) yielded four runs (one earned) in 1.2 innings and infielder David Bote tossed a scoreless ninth.
SB-Cubs News: Tommy Thorpe (2-5, 4.38 ERA) gets the start on Friday night in West Michigan......South Bend placed OF Kevin Encarnacion on the 7-day DL. The 23-year-old is hitting .277/.347/.400 in 38 games since joining the team in late May. Encarnacion missed the entire 2014 season after an auto accident.
Northwest League—Short-Season—Eugene 2, Salem-Keizer 1
Donnie Dewees smacked a two-run homer in the bottom of the 8th to give Eugene (17-18) the win over Salem-Keizer (18-17) and snapped their four-game losing streak.
In the Box: CF Donnie Dewees (.230) picked a good time for his first pro homer, winning the game for Eugene with a two-run 400-foot blast over the RF wall. Matt Rose (.229) delivered a pinch-hit single to leadoff the inning and scored when Dewees hit a 1-0 pitch out of the park. A double by 2B Frandy Delarosa (.277) and a single from C Tyler Alamo (.302) were the only other hits.
Pitching Chart: Kyle Twomey (3.86 ERA) made his third start and allowed a run on two hits and two walks over two innings, He faced 10 batters, retiring two on strikes.....Eighth-round pick Preston Morrison (1.59 ERA) pitched in his third game, tossing two scoreless frames with four punchouts......Right-hander Pedro Araujo (3.08 ERA) continues to be impressive out of the bullpen, fanning five in three shutout frames. Araujo has 42 K in 26.1 innings.....Tyler Peitzmeier (2-0, 0.00 ERA) won for the second time in three NWL games, holding S-K without a hit the final two frames.
Emeralds Notes: Ryan Kellogg (0-0, 1.29 ERA), Cubs fifth round pick in June, gets the ball on Friday night against the Volcanoes.....First-round pick Ian Happ is on his way to South Bend and will join the SB-Cubs on Friday......OF Alex Batista and RHP Scott Frazier have been promoted from Mesa to Eugene while IF Sutton Whiting was sent to Myrtle Beach.
Arizona Rookie League—Cubs
Javier Baez made his first rehab start in Mesa but the White Sox (17-10) rallied past the Cubs (13-12).
In the Box: Javier Baez singled in three trips with a RBI, and left the game after five innings.....2B P.J. Higgins, the Cubs 12th round pick out of Old Dominion, made his pro debut and collected his first hit, a single in his third at-bat. He went 2-for-4 and added a double in the 8th.....LF Michael Foster (.394) had two hits and plated a run while RF Robert Garcia (.371) doubled in four at-bats.
Pitching Chart: Dylan Cease (0.63 ERA) faced 11 batters in his sixth game (14.1 IP), allowing a hit and three walks while fanning one in 2.2 frames......Michael Knighton (6.36 ERA) had his best and longest outing of the season, blanking the White Sox over 2.1 innings as well as stranding two inherited runners in the third.......M.T. Minacci (6.00 ERA) walked the first two hitters he faced in the sixth and after a double play, a single plated a run......Heath Dwyer (13.50 ERA) struckout the side in the 7th but not before two runs scored after two singles and two errors.....Mark Malave (1-1, 0.82 ERA) blanked the Sox in the 8th but gave up a triple and threw a wild pitch to allow the winning run to score in the 9th. It was the first run he’s allowed in 11 innings.
Dominican Summer League—Cubs 11, Tigers 9
Cubs (25-21) scored nine runs in the 7th and then survived the Tigers )22-24) six-run 9th for their fourth straight win.
In the Box: Cubs had 16 hits and 1B Chris Pieters (.310) led the offense again with four hits, including a pair of doubles and three RBI. SS Yeiler Peguero (.309) ripped three hits and scored twice while Samir Lara (.233) went 3-for-3 and slugged his second homer, a two-run shot. CF Yovanny Cuevas (.248) and RF Wander Feliz (.250) had two hits each. 3B Rafael Mejia (.246) delivered a bases-clearing double in the 7th.
Pitching Chart: Andri Rondon (2-2, 3.55 ERA) got the start and worked five innings, allowing three runs on seven hits to go along with five strikeouts. Rondon, 19, was making his 7th start (33 IP, 12 BB, 38 K). Jose Morel (2-2, 5.48 ERA) got the win, tossing two scoreless innings. Luis Aquino (0.35 ERA) worked a scoreless 8th. Wagner Disla (10.95 ERA) gave up a homer, one of two hits, walked four and allowed six runs before departing with two outs in the 9th. Aneuris Rosario (0.00 ERA) got the final out for his fourth save. Rosario has not allowed an earned run in 8.2 innings, nine games.
Venezuelan Summer League—Game 1—Rays 10, Cubs 4; Game 2—Rays 7, Cubs 1
Rays (39-19) swept the Cubs (23-35) in a twin-ball on Thursday.
In the Box: Game 1—LF Jose Rojas (.253) collected two singles, scored a run and knocked one in. 1B Fidel Matos (.256) and CF Jose Gonzalez (.246) plated runs while RF Luis Ayala (.280) and SS Francisco Garay (.141) doubled. .....Game 2—Cubs had three extra base hits—doubles from Ayala, Gonzalez and Garay—but the only run came on a sac fly from Rojas in the sixth. Ayala finished 2-for-4 and is hitting .323 in his last 10 games, and has 20 stolen bases, tops in the VSL.
Pitching Chart: Game 1—In his 10th start, 17-year-old Riger Fernandez (0-4, 7.14 ERA) is still looking for his first win as the left-hander allowed four runs in two innings on three hits, including a homer. Bryan Molina (7.22 ERA) gave up four runs in 1.1 frames, Omar Ventura (5.06 ERA) let two cross home in 2 IP, and Mauro Vides (8.82 ERA) got the final two outs without any more damage......Game 2— Freddy Tineo (0-4, 5.66) threw 3.1 frames, allowing five runs on six hits, one leaving the park. Moises Ramirez (2.36 ERA) gave up two runs over the final 3.2 innings.
Cubs Notes: The Cubs and the Phillies are tied for last place at 23-35, eight games behind the Tigers (31-27) and 16 in back of first-place Rays (39-19). Fourteen games remain in the season. The Cubs were alone in second place on July 9 but have lost 11 of their last 12.