Pacific Coast League—AAA—Iowa
Iowa had the day off and start a four-game series in Tacoma on Thursday night. At 18-19, the I-Cubs are three games behind Oklahoma City (Dodgers) in the PCL’s American Northern division.
Hitting Recap: Albert Almora leads the PCL with 49 hits and 22-year-old may be on his way to his best season since the Cubs drafted him in the first round back in 2012. While he already plays a major league centerfield, Almora’s slash of .333/.355/.483 shows he’s figuring it out at the plate. .....1B Daniel Vogelbach (.320/.420/.525) ranks fourth in the PCL with 29 RBI and leads all the Cubs minors in homers (6) and RBI. The 23-year-old had a similar start last year in Tennessee but injuries limited him to just 81 games. The Florida native may just hit himself right out of the Cubs organization, especially if the North SIders make a deal at the trade deadline......C Willson Contreras continues to show off his arm in the PCL and he’s not doing to bad with the bat, hitting .339/.437/.500 in 33 games.
Pitching Chart: Iowa’s used 11 different starters and its May 18. Pierce Johnson’s currently on the DL, his second stint and is 0-2 with a 5.17 ERA in four starts, 15.2 innings. RH Ryan Williams has been the ace of the staff, going 4-1 with a 3.49 ERA in seven starts. He gets the ball in the opener at Tacoma on Thursday night......The bullpen is ready if needed in Chicago as Spencer Patton is 5-for-5 in save opportunities, hasn’t allowed a run in 13 innings, and has recorded 21 strikeouts. Carl Edwards, Jr. has 21 punchouts in 14.1 innings but has issued eight walks in his 13 appearances.
Southern League—AA—Birmingham 5, Tennessee 0
Smokies out-hit the Barons 7-6 but couldn’t score, going 0-for-7 with RISP and leaving seven on.
Hitting Recap: LF Mark Zagunis (.293) matched his career-high with four hits, three singles and a double. The 23-year-old is hitting .342 over his last 10 games and batting .357 in May after hitting .239 in April. C Victor Caratini (.281), RF Billy McKinney (.225) and DH Stephen Bruno (.143) had the other three hits.
Pitching Chart: Brad Markey (4-1, 2.59 ERA) worked seven innings, allowing six hits, including a solo homer. He surrendered five runs, only two earned, and walked two with three strikeouts. Markey threw 93 pitches and had a game score of 52. Josh Conway fanned three in two scoreless frames.
Smokies News: Rob Zastryzny (2-2, 4.02 ERA) gets the start on Thursday night as Biloxi (Brewers) come to town for the first of five games.
Carolina League—High A—Game 1— Winston-Salem 9, Myrtle Beach 5; Game 2—Myrtle Beach 2, Winston-Salem 0
Trevor Clifton blanked the Dash for five plus innings as the Pelicans earned the split
Hitting Recap: GAME 1—Pelicans took a 4-2 lead in the first when the first three hitters reached and all scored on 1B Yasiel Balaguert’s sixth homer of the season. Balaguert (.260) leads the Cubs minors with 32 RB and his six homers is tied with Daniel Vogelbach. DH Daniel Lockhart (.288) went 3-for-3 and knocked in a run in the 5th. Rashad Crawford went 3-for-4 with a double and RF Jeffrey Baez (.223) was 2-for-4 and collected his second straight multi-hit game. ; GAME 2—Only four hits for the Pelicans as Crawford led off the first with a double and scored on a throwing error by the catcher.l Lockhart (.290) launched a fastball over the right-field wall in the second, his first homer of the season.
Pitching Chart: GAME 1— Zach Hedges didn’t make it out of the second innings as the right-hander had his roughest outing of the season. He allowed seven runs (five earned) on seven hits and two walks, including a three-run homer. Hedges threw 57 pitches and had a game score of 17. James Pugliese fanned four in 3.1 innings of relief (one run), his longest outing, and Daury Torrez allowed a run over the final two frames.......GAME 2—For the second straight game against the Dash, Trevor Clifton was dealing. After fanning ten Dash hitters in six shutout frames on May 12, Clifton blanked Winston-Salem over 5.1 innings, allowing three hits and a walk. He struckout seven and had a game score of 68. Jose Rosario earned his fourth save, getting the final five outs as the right-hander was touching the upper 90s on the radar gun. He allowed a hit and a walk and fanned three.
Pelicans News: Erick Leal (4-2, 3.94 ERA) gets the ball in the series finale on Thursday.
Midwest League—Low A—Great Lakes 5, South Bend 4
Great Lakes built a 5-1 lead and hung on to even the series.
Hitting Recap: Cubs outhit the Loons 9-4 as DH Eloy Jimenez (.321) matched his career-high with four hits. He knocked in a run, scored once, and stole his fourth base. CF Donnie Dewees (.302) went 1-for-4 with two runs scored. SS Andrew Ely (.290), LF Eddy Martinez (.230) and 1B Matt Rose (.132) all plated runs.
Pitching Chart: Justin Steele (2-5, 6.49 ERA) fanned a career-high ten hitters but took the loss in the six-inning, 103-pitch outing. The lefty gave up three runs in the first but two of those scored on a ground ball to second that should have ended the inning. He allowed a two-run homer in the fifth to Cuban Omar Esteves, the youngest player in the MWL. Steele gave up four hits and issued four free passes. Kyle Miller and Scott Effross both threw a scoreless frame.
SB-Cubs News: LH Kyle Twomey (0-3, 5.23 ERA) gets the ball on Thursday morning at Great Lakes....... Donnie Dewees leads the MWL with 28 RBI, 69 total bases and eight triples; P.J. Higgins is second with 27 walks; and Eloy Jimenez is third with 11 doubles.null