April 8, 2016, will be remembered but not for good reasons. It was announced that Kyle Schwarber will miss the rest of the season after tearing his ACL in a collision with Dexter Fowler on Thursday night in Arizona. The action on the field wasn’t any better as Chicago dropped its first game while Iowa, Tennessee, Myrtle Beach and South Bend all lost. Here’s the minor league recap.
Pacific Coast League—AAA—Round Rock 4, Iowa 3
Round Rock jumped out to a 4-0 lead and hung on for the win.
Hitting Recap: Albert Almora collected his first two AAA hits against the Express, going 2-for-4 with a double and a run scored. Daniel Vogelbach doubled and Willson Contreras was 1-for-3. Tim Federowicz knocked in a pair of runs with a double and a sac fly. Cubs scored a run in the ninth and had the bases loaded but Logan Watkins struckout to end the game.
Pitching Chart: Stephen Fife made his Cubs debut and needed 82 pitches to get through three innings, allowing four runs on five hits and three walks. He fanned five......For the second straight night, the I-Cubs bullpen blanked the Express for the final six innings. Jean Machi and Felix Pena both tossed two no-hit innings while C.J. Riefenhauser and Miguel Mejia both threw a scoreless frame.
I-Cubs Notes: Eric Jokisch gets the start on Saturday night at Principal Park with first pitch set for 5:08. The Illinois native was limited to 14 AAA starts last year after taking the ball 26 times in 2014......IF Munenori Kawasaki was promoted to Wrigley to take Kyle Schwarber’s spot on the roster and Sutton Whiting was added to the Iowa roster.
Southern League—AA—Mobile 2, Tennessee 1
Mobile pitching held the Smokies to four hits and pushed across the winning run in eighth.
Hitting Recap: Billy McKinney had a good night at the plate with a single and a double, as well as scoring the only run. Taylor Davis knocked in the run with a RBI single in the fifth. Jeimer Candelario and Chesny Young were both 0-for-3 with a walk.
Pitching Chart: Paul Blackburn battled for five innings in his AA debut, allowing a run on five hits with no walks. Blackburn retired eight straight at one point and also picked off a runner from second in his 81-pitch outing.....Michael Jensen worked two scoreless relief innings, surrendering two hits and a walk with one punchout....Corey Black took the loss, yielding a run in the 8th on two hits and a walk.....Andury Acevedo pitched a 1-2-3 ninth in his Cubs debut.
Smokies Notes: Brad Markey makes his AA debut Saturday night against the BayBears. Markey excelled in the starting role after being promoted to Myrtle Beach last year, compiling a 7-0 record with a 1.15 ERA in eight starts.
Carolina League—High A—Frederick 7, Myrtle Beach 5
Frederick scored four times in the sixth and handed the Pelicans their first loss of the season.
Hitting Recap: Charcer Burks and Cael Brockmeyer both homered but it wasn’t enough, despite collecting 11 hits and drawing five walks. Pelicans were just 1-for-9 with RISP......Burks had a big game as he was a double away from the cycle, going 3-for-4 with a run scored. Brockmeyer smacked a two-run bomb in the 7th and finished 1-for-4. DH David Bote had a pair of doubles and Rashad Crawford went 2-for-4 with a walk. Crawford had a rough night on the bases as he was picked off twice. Gleyber Torres was 0-for-3 with two walks and Ian Happ fanned four times and walked once. Happ also committed two errors.
Pitching Chart: Zach Hedges was solid to start the game, retiring 12 of the first 13 hitters he faced, five on strikes. The Keys scored an unearned run in the fifth and then added a two-run triple after another error in the sixth. Hedges threw 73 pitches in the outing and finished with a line of 5.1 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 6 K..... Dillon Maples couldn’t put out the fire, and after giving up a hit and walk, left the game with an apparent arm injury. Ryan McNeil got charged with a run in 2.1 frames and Jordan Minch surrendered a run in the ninth on two hits and a walk.
Pelicans Notes: Trevor Clifton makes his Carolina League debut Saturday night as the right-hander gets the start against the Keys. Clifton made 22 starts last year in South Bend, logging 108 .2 innings with a 8-10 mark and 103 strikeouts.
Midwest League—Low A—West Michigan 6, South Bend 3
West Michigan beat South Bend for the second straight night in a game that featured a snow delay and only lasted seven innings due to cold temperatures and snow.
Hitting Recap: Bryant Flete’s two-run triple in the sixth was most of the offense for the Cubs as they were held to four hits. Flete finished 2-for-3. Donnie Dewees went 0-for-3 but did steal a base and scored on a wild pitch. Eloy Jimenez was 0-for-3 but hit the ball hard twice. Matt Rose and Ian Rice both singled.
Pitching Chart: Considering the weather, Justin Steele had a decentnight throwing the ball to home plate. His three throwing errors were a different story and led to four unearned runs. An errant throw on a dribbler down towards third and two pickoff attempts spoiled the left-handers MWL debut. Steele fanned three and allowed six hits in 3.2 innings, throwing 71 pitches....Casey Bloomquist stranded two inherited runners in the fourth but allowed two unearned runs in two frames. South Bend had six errors in the game.....James Norwood got the final four outs, three on strikes.
SB-Cubs Notes: Cubs fifth-round pick last June, Ryan Kellogg will make his Midwest League debut on Saturday afternoon in West Michigan. The left-hander was a three-time, first team-All Pac 12 pitcher at Arizona State and threw 21.2 innings in 10 games in Eugene last year.