Larry Kave/Myrtle Beach Pelicans

News, Notes and Game Recaps from May 6

Shane Victorino made his Cubs debut for Iowa, Chesny Young and Paul Blackburn were honored, and South Bend and Iowa picked up wins on Friday night

Victorino added to Iowa roster

Shane Victorino was added to the Iowa roster on Friday and made his Cubs debut in Omaha, going 1-for-4 with a double, a run scored, and a RBI. Signed to a minor league deal during the off-season, the 35-year-old has recovered from back surgery, is back to switch-hitting, and is looking to get back in the majors for his 13th season. Victorino has a career 275/.340/.425 slash in 1,299 games with Padres (2003), Phillies (2005-012) Dodgers (2012), Red Sox (2013-15) and Angels (2015).

Young, Blackburn honored

Second baseman Chesny Young and right-hander Paul Blackburn were named the Chicago Cubs Minor League player and pitcher of the month for April.

Young, 23, hit .402/.505/.524 in 22 games for Tennessee  with two doubles, one triple, two homers, 13 runs scored and nine RBI. He drew 16 walks and led the Southern League in batting average and on-base percentage, ranked second in stolen bases (11) and tied for third in total bases (43).

Young was named Southern League Player of the Week, April 18-24, and followed that up by batting .636 (14-for-22) with a triple and four walks in a five-game stretch, April 24-29. He was also named as the Southern League Player of the Month for April.

The Cubs 14-round pick in ’14 out of Mercer University, has played in 200 minor league contests over three seasons, hitting .326  with 34 doubles, seven triples, three homers and 90 walks. Last season, Young was the Carolina League batting champ, hitting .321 to earn post-season All-Star honors for Myrtle Beach after staring the year in South Bend.

In his first AA season, the 22-year-old Blackburn went 3-0 with a 0.29 ERA, only allowing one earned run in 31 innings (five starts). After allowing one earned run in 5.0 innings in his season debut, Blackburn did not allow an earned run in his next four starts (26.0 innings). Blackburn struck out 15 and walked five with a BAA of .210.

The California native was named Southern League Pitcher of the Week, April 18-24, after going 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA in 15.0 innings. He tossed a career-high eight innings, April 23 at Mobile, as the Smokies claimed a 5-2 victory. His 0.29 ERA in the month ranked tops among Southern League pitchers.

Blackburn was selected by the Cubs in the sandwich round (56th overall) in 2012 out of Heritage High School. In five seasons, the right-handed pitcher is 23-12 with a 2.93 ERA in 69 games, all but four as a starter. He has walked just 94 batters in 304.1 innings, while fanning 204.

Pacific Coast League—AAA—Iowa 13, Omaha 7

Cubs (13-13) blasted three homers and scored seven times in the 6th to beat Omaha (16-11). 

Hitting Recap: RF John Andreoli (.204), SS Kris Negron  (.295) and C Willson Contreras (.350) all homered for the I-Cubs. Andreoli went 2-for-5 and knocked in three runs while Negron was 3-for-4 with two runs scored and three RBI. Contreras plated a pair while 2B Arismendy Alcantara  (.258) went 3-for-5. LF Juan Perez (.241) had four hits, scored twice and knocked in a pair.

Pitching Chart: Drew Rucinski earned his first win despite allowing 12 hits over 5.1 innings. He surrendered six runs and fanned two in the 86pitch outing. Game score was 21. Miguel Mejia allowed a run over 1.1 innings while Carl Edwards, Jr. (1.1 IP) and C.J. Riefenhauser (1 IP) both kept the Omaha off the board.

I-Cubs Notes: Iowa has not named a stater for Saturday night’s game in Omaha.....OF Matt Murton (oblique strain) and RHP Pierce Johnson (lat strain) were both placed on the DL. Its the second time on the DL for both players. LHP Scott Barnes was activated from the DL.

Southern League—AA—Mississippi 6, Tennessee 3

Mississippi scored a run in the 8th and added two more in the 9th to down the Smokies.

Hitting Recap: Smokies scored twice in the first on back-to-back doubles by Jeimer Candelario and Mark Zagunis, and then Victor Caratini added a RBI single. Tennessee made in 3-0 in the second when Bijan Rademacher walked, took second on a wild pitch, and scored on a two-out single from Jacob Hannemann

Pitching Chart: After having the best month of his career and being named Cubs of Minor League Pitcher of the Month for April, Paul Blackburn made his sixth start on Friday night. After facing the minimum after the first three innings, two errors by SS Carlos Penalver opened the 4th and enabled the Braves to plate three unearned runs before the inning was over, adding two RBI singles and a run-scoring ground out. Blackburn worked three more frames, retiring nine of 10 hitters, to lower his ERA to 0.24. He had a line of 7 IP, 3H, 3 R, 2 BB, 4K, 82 pitches, Game Score 67. David Garner took the loss, allowing a run in the 8th on two walks, a hit batter and a wild pitch. Josh Conway surrendered two runs in the 9th.

Smokies News: Tyler Skulina (1-2, 4.07 ERA) toes the rubber on Saturday night against the Braves. The right-hander has given up fewer hits (22) than IP but walked 14, 12 over his last 13.1.

Carolina League—High A—Myrtle Beach @ Wilmington—Postponed

Myrtle Beach and Wilmington were rained out Friday night and the two teams will play a doubleheader on Saturday beginning at 5:05 p.m. EST. Erick Leal (2-2, 5.94 ERA) gets the ball in Game 1 and  Tommy Thorpe (2-1, 3.44 ERA) makes his fourth start in Game 2. The 8th round pick out of Oregon in 2014 fanned five in 2.2 relief innings on May 2....C Erick Castillo has re-joined Myrtle Beach from South Bend. 

Midwest League—Low A—South Bend 6, Beloit 1

Hitting Recap: C P.J. Higgins (.291) had two hits, including a RBI single in the 3rd and a two-run double in the 7th. RF Eddy Martinez slugged his third homer, a solo shot in the 8th and added a single. Jesse Hodges had two hits and scored twice while Bryant Flete went 2-for-3 with a run scored and a RBI. After hitting over. 350 for most of the month of April, Donnie Dewees is just 4-for-23 in last six games entering play on Friday. After getting Thursday off, the Cubs second-round pick went 0-for-4 and saw is average slip to .300.

Pitching Chart: Only six-feet tall and already working out of the stretch, Adbert Alzolay may be destined for the bullpen as a future major leaguer but the 21-year-old Venezuelan has been one of the top arms in South Bend. Making his fifth start, Alzolay improved to 3-0 with five shutout innings in the 68-pitch outing He allowed three hits, a walk, fanned and had a game score of 62. Kyle Miller allowed a run in 2.1 innings and added four strikeouts for his first hold. James Norwood fanned four over 1.2 shutout innings.

SB-Cubs News: Preston Morrison (1-2, 5.23 ERA) takes the hill on Saturday night for the first time since earning a three-inning save on May 2, his first relief appearance in five games. Morrison has 20 K in 20.2 IP but sports a 1.74 WHIP.....Series of roster moves for the SB-Cubs. C Erick Castillo was assigned to Myrtle Beach and 2B Carlos Sepulveda was placed on the DL. C Ian Rice and 2B Sutton Whiting were both activated from the DL.

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