News, Notes and Game Recaps for April 20

South Bend’s Justin Steele earned his first MWL win and Zach Hedges tossed seven solid innings for Myrtle Beach on Wednesday night.

Pacific Coast League—AAA—New Orleans 3, Iowa 2

New Orleans made it two straight over Iowa with a walk-off double in the bottom of the ninth.

Hitting Recap: Only runs for Iowa came on a solo homer by Albert Almora in the 7th and another solo shot in the 8th off the bat of Juan Perez. Almora finished a triple shy of the cycle and upped his average to .368. Perez finished 2-for-5. LF Matt Murton had two singles in his first start while SS Munenori Kawasaki (.286) singled and walked twice.

Pitching Chart: Drew Rucinski fanned 10 over six innings, throwing 100 pitches in his best outing. The right-hander allowed two runs on five hits and two walks, including a solo homer. Carl Edwards, Jr.. and Spencer Patton both tossed a scoreless inning. Brandon Gomes only got one out in the 9th as a double scored the winning run from first.

I-Cubs Notes: A starter for Iowa has not been announced. The I-Cubs have lost Eric Joksich to the Marlins on a  waiver claim and two other starters—Stephen Fife (left side strain) and Pierce Johnson (right forearm strain)—have gone on the DL. Both are eligible to come off the DL. The I-Cubs will be facing former Cubs farmhand Ivan Pineyro on Thursday night in New Orleans.

Southern League—AA—Montgomery 6, Tennessee 5

A three-run homer in the top of the ninth gave the Biscuits  (7-6) the win over Tennessee (6-8).

Hitting Recap: After getting shut out over the first six innings, Smokies scored in the 7th when SS Carlos Penalver (.178) led off with a walk and scored on a double by RF Billy McKinney (.217). Smokies took a 4-3 lead in the 8th scoring three times. Jacob Hannemann was hit with the bases loaded and 2B Chesny Young (.326) followed with an infield single scoring one, and a throwing error allowed another run to come home. Young finished the day 4-for-4 and LF Bijan Rademacher (.429) added a RBI double in the ninth. 

Pitching Chart: Tyler Skulina (1-1, 3.68 ERA) had retired eight straight heading into the fourth but didn’t make it out of the inning as he lost his command—issuing three walks, a run scoring double and a leadoff homer on a 3-0 count.  Gerardo Concepcion (1-0, 0.00 ERA) came in with the bases loaded and two outs but gave up an infield single before getting the third out. Concepcion is quickly becoming one of the Cubs top left-handed arms out of the bullpen in the minors. He struggled in AA last year (8.24 ERA in 31.3 innings) but threw the ball well at spring training and has continued that stretch to start the year, allowing just three hits in 9.1 innings. It was his fourth game this year, all lasting at least two frames. Making his fifth appearance, Juan Paniagua tossed two scoreless frames, yielding three hits and a walk. David Garner allowed a double, a walk, and a homer to lead off the ninth, and took the loss. He finished the inning, fanning a pair.

Smokies News: Jen-Ho Tseng (0-1, 2.57 ERA) will be looking of his first AA win when he takes the mound Thursday morning at Smokies Stadium against Montgomery. The Cubs have released RHP Jonathan Pettibone. The right-hander was signed as a free agent during the off-season and started the year on the Tennessee DL.

Carolina League—High A—Myrtle Beach 4, Winston-Salem 1

Zach Hedges went seven strong innings and David Bote smacked his first homer and knocked in two runs to lead the Pelicans (7-7) over the Dash (4-10).

Hitting Recap: Pelicans tied the game in the fifth when SS Daniel Lockhart (.143) singled, advanced to third on a single by C Cael Brockmeyer (.167), and scored on a David Bote ground out. In the 8th, Bote (.294) gave Myrtle Beach the lead for good with his first homer and 1B Yasiel Balaguert (.276) added a two-run single for a 4-1 lead. 3B Jason Vosler (.313) had his eight-game hitting streak come to an end and Jeffrey Baez (.239) had his 12-game on-base streak snapped. Lockhart went 2-for-4 with a run scored. DH Gleyber Torres (.122) was 0-for-3 while LF Ian Happ (.296) finished 1-for-3 with a walk.

Pitching Chart: Zach Hedges (1-2, 2.37 ERA) held the Dash to one run over seven innings, yielding four hits and a walk in his efficient 79-pitch outing. He fanned four and recorded eight ground ball outs. The Cubs 28th round pick in 2014 features a fastball (90-93), slider (80-83), change-up (78-83) and curveball (78-83). James Farris fanned three in two shutout frames to earn his second save. 

Pelicans News: Trevor Clifton (0-2, 5.87 ERA) makes his third start on Thursday night as Carolina comes to town.

Midwest League—Low A—South Bend 8, Bowling Green 4

Cubs pounded Hot Rod pitching for 13 hits and Justin Steele earned his first win.

Hitting Recap: DH Daniel Spingola (.405) continued his torrid pace with two hits and two RBI. Spingola was 8-for-14 in the series. RF Eddy Martinez (.224) had two singles, scored twice and knocked in two runs while 1B Tyler Alamo (.455) had three hits with a RBI. LF Eloy Jimenez (.250) ripped two singles, walked once and scored twice. C P.J. Higgins extended his on-base streak to 12 games with a single and CF Donnie Dewees  (.391) doubled in four at-bats.

Pitching Chart: Justin Steele (1-2, 7.24 ERA) earned his first MWL victory as the lefty went five innings, allowing three runs on four hits and a walk. Steele fanned six and threw 92 pitches, 62 for strikes. Craig Brooks set five Hot Rods down on strikes in two shutout frames and Scott Effross tossed the final two innings, getting charged with an unearned run with two strikeouts. South Bend pitchers fanned a season-high 13 hitters. 

SB-Cubs News: Ryan Kellogg (1-1, 3.86 ERA) will be trying to shut down the Fort Wayne offense as the Tin Caps open a four-game series on Thursday night at Four Winds Field.

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