Pacific Coast League—AAA—Tacoma 2, Iowa 1
I-Cubs were held to four hits as they dropped the opener in Tacoma.
Pitching Chart: Ryan Williams gave up a solo homer, one of six hits he allowed over five innings. He threw 78 pitches and fanned two for a game score of 53. C.J. Riefenhauser took the loss, allowing a run on two walks in the sixth. Felix Pena tossed 1.1 scoreless frames and Spencer Patton blanked the Rainers in the 8th.
I-Cubs Notes: Jake Buchanan (3-1, 3.86 ERA) gets the start on Friday night in Tacoma.
Southern League—AA—Tennessee 7, Biloxi 2
Rob Zastryzny tossed seven plus innings to lead the Smokies to a win in the series opener.
Hitting Recap: 3B Jeimer Candelario and RF Billy McKinney knocked in runs in the first to give the Smokies a lead they would never relinquish. LF Mark Zagunis (.291) doubled in two runs while Candelario and McKinney both finished with two hits and two RBI. 2B Chesny Young had two singles and scored twice. Making his first rehab start since going on the DL for the Chicago Cubs with a hamstring injury, Matt Szczur went 0-for-1 with a walk and a run scored.
Pitching Chart: Rob Zastryzny hasn’t had a lot of highlights during his minor league career since the Cubs took the Missouri product in the second round in 2013. But Thursday night he had one of his best outings, retiring 17 straight after giving up a solo homer and a walk in the first inning. A one-out single in the 7th broke the streak and another single allowed a run to score. The left-hander fanned six and only needed 72 pitches to get through the seven frames. He had a game score of 71 and pitched a career-high 7.2 innings. Starling Peralta got the final four outs.
Smokies News: Duane Underwood toes the rubber for his fifth start on Saturday night at Smokies Stadium......C Benjamin Carhart has joined the Smokies from Iowa and IF Ryan Dent has been released. Dent was signed as a free agent before the 2015 season and spent last year between Tennessee and Iowa. He was hitting .138 (8-58) in 25 games with Tennessee this year.....Cubs OF Matt Szczur started his rehab on Thursday night with the Smokies. Szczur was placed on the DL May 3 with a strained right hamstring.
Carolina League—High A—Myrtle Beach 4, Winston-Salem 3
Yasiel Balaguert’s two-run homer in the fifth provided the difference as the Pelicans (22-17) won the rubber game of the series.
Hitting Recap: 1B Yasiel Balaguert (.263) smacked his fourth homer in the last seven games and his seventh of the season, leading the Cubs minors. Balaguert has knocked in 12 runs in his last seven games. SS Gleyber Torres (.255) continues to find his groove, going 3-for-4 with two doubles and his hitting .342 over his last 10 games and .349/.397/.571 in 16 games in May. CF Rashad Crawford (.271) and LF Charcer Burks (.204) both knocked in runs.
Pitching Chart: Erick Leal (5-2, 3.93 ERA) got 12 ground ball outs and won his fifth game, allowing three runs on seven hits and no walks. The right-hander fanned one and threw 84 pitches. Ryan McNeil (3.79 ERA) worked around two hits for a scoreless 8th and James Farris (1.27 ERA) fanned two for his seventh save.
Pelicans News: Jeremy Null (1-0, 0.00 ERA) makes his second start on Saturday night as Lynchburg comes to town.
Midwest League—Low A—Great Lakes 5, South Bend 3
Playing during breakfast, the Loons used a two-run homer in the bottom of the 7th to take the series.
Hitting Recap: Cubs faced 19-year-old Dodger prospect Imani Abdullah, the 11th round pick last June that received half-million over-slot to turn pro. The right-hander commanded a sharp breaking curve ball in his MWL debut but LF Eloy Jimenez crushed a curve over the left-field wall for a two-run homer in the first, flying 422-feet with an exit speed at 109 MPH. After retiring eight in a row after the homer, Abdullah battled Jimenez in a long at-bat and the Cubs prospect lined another homer over the left-field wall in the eight-pitch at-bat. Jimenez extended his hitting streak to six games and is 13-for-26 during the streak. Heading into Thursday morning’s game, Jimenez had a slash of .381/.409/.524 in previous 16 games He has 15 multi-hit games. 2B Andrew Ely went 2-for-4 with a run scored as the Cubs only had five hits.
Pitching Chart: Kyle Twomey isn’t going to blow anyone away with his fastball (uppers 80s) but to be successful he needs to get ahead in the count and command his breaking ball. The left-hander made the Loons put the ball in play and while the defense committed an error to allow one of the two runs to score, they did turn double plays in the 4th and 5th. Twomey only threw 59 pitches in the five-innings outing, allowing five hits with two strikeouts. Game score 53.......Casey Bloomquist (2-1, 3.41 ERA) entered Thursday’s game without allowing a run in 18 innings and coming off a seven-strikeout, three-inning outing on May 13. Bloomquist features a fastball in the low 90s, with a plus breaking ball. An error and a single led off the 6th but a strikeout and the Cubs third twin-killing ended the threat. A leadoff single and a two-out blast over the left-field wall gave the Loons a 4-3 lead the 7th. Bloomquist gave up a triple in the 8th and then uncorked a wild pitch. He finished with a line of 3 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 3 K.
SB-Cubs News: Adbert Alzolay (4-0, 2.43 ERA) gets the start on Friday night as the Cubs face first-place Lake County (Indians).