News, Notes and Game Recaps from May 21

Jeimer Candelario knocked in a career-high seven runs, four coming on a grand slam, as Tennessee rallied past Biloxi on Saturday night. South Bend moved into first place in the MWL while Myrtle Beach knocked off Lynchburg.

Cubs activate Szczur, designated Ramirez

The Chicago Cubs activated OF Matt Szczur from the disabled list and have designated right-hander reliever Neil Ramirez for assignment. Szczur went on the DL May 3 with a right hamstring strain and played in one rehab game in Tennessee on May 19. Ramirez has appeared in eight games for the Cubs (0-0, 4.70 ERA) with 10 K and 8 BB in 7.2 innings.

Pacific Coast League—AAA—Tacoma 7, Iowa 6

A bases-loaded RBI single in the bottom of the ninth gave Tacoma (26-16)  the walk-off win over Iowa (18-22).

Hitting Recap: Iowa scored four times in the 4th when CF Albert Almora (.321) led off with a double and scored on DH Matt Murton’s RBI single. After a single by C Willson Contreras (.328), LF Juan Perez (.293) smacked a three-run homer to cut the deficit to 5-4. 1B Daniel Vogelbach’s seventh homer of the year tied the game at 6-6 in the 6th. Perez and 2B Arismendy Alcantara (.248) both went 2-for-4. 

Pitching Chart: Alex Sanabia allowed six runs on nine hits and two walks in 4.1 innings. He fanned two in the 86-pitch outing and saw his ERA rise to 20.65. Gerardo Concepcion tossed 1.2 scoreless frames but did allow one of three inherited runners to score in the fifth. Carl Edwards, Jr. and Spencer Patton both threw a scoreless inning. Giovanni Soto fanned two in the ninth but two walks and two hits ended the game.

I-Cubs Notes: Drew Rucinski (2-3, 6.18 ERA) makes his team-high ninth start on Sunday in Tacoma.

Southern League—AA—Tennessee 10, Biloxi 9

The Smokies (20-22) rallied from a 7-1 deficit and beat Biloxi (24-17) as Jeimer Candelario knocked in a career-high seven runs.

Hitting Recap: 3B Jeimer Candelario (.218) went 4-for-5 with two doubles and a grand slam, his third homer, and knocked in a career-high seven runs to lead the offense. Candelario gave the Smokies a 1-0 lead in the first with a RBI double, ripped a two-run double in the four-run 7th, and cleared the base with a grand slam over the right-field wall for a 10-8 lead in the 8th. He leads the Southern League with 15 doubles. LF Mark Zagunis (.292) was 1-for-3 and scored three times while Benjamin Carhart made his AA debut and went 2-for-2 with a RBI and two runs scored. 2B Chesny Young (.311) was 2-for-5 and scored twice.

Pitching Chart: Smokies used five pitchers, they all gave up runs. Duane Underwood made his fifth start and threw 74 pitches over five innings, allowing three runs on four hits and three walks. He gave up a solo homer and had a game score of 44. Michael Jensen allowed three runs over 1.1 frames and Juan Paniagua got charged with a run in ? of an inning. David Berg won his first AA game, allowing a run in the 8th, and Miguel Mejia got the save, surrendering a run in the 9th.

Smokies News: Paul Blackburn (3-1, 1.08 ERA) and Tyler Skulina (2-2, 3.76 ERA) are set to start the twin-bill on Sunday.....Heading into Saturday’s contest, RF Billy McKinney was hitting .343/.415/.457 with six runs and five RBI over his last nine games. He batted .206 in April.

Carolina League—High A—Myrtle Beach 6, Lynchburg 4

The Pelicans (23-18) scored four runs in the bottom of the first and hung on to beat the Hillcats (28-14).

Hitting Recap: DH Jeffrey Baez (.241) smacked his first homer of the year, a two-run blast in the first. Baez finished 2-for-3 with two runs scored and swiped his team-high 16th base. SS Gleyber Torres (.255) tripled with one-out in the first and scored on 2B Ian Happ’s RBI single. Happ (.275) went to third on a single from 1B Yasiel Balaguert (.262) and scored on a sacrifice fly from 3B Jason Vosler (.302). CF Rashad Crawford (.257) and RF Trey Martin (.153) added RBI singles in the 4th.

Pitching Chart: Jake Stinnett (4-0, 3.18 ERA) didn’t have his best stuff but battled for six innings, holding the Hillcats to three runs on four hits and a season-high five walks. He fanned six and had a game score of 53. Daury Torrez gave up a run in an inning while Jordan Minch faced two hitters, striking one out. Jose Rosario earned his fifth save, getting the final five outs. No one in the Cubs system is throwing harder than Rosario, who was clocked at 99 during his last outing. The 25-year-old missed all of 2015 season with Tommy John surgery after getting injured in spring training. 

Pelicans News: Jonathan Martinez (3-2, 3.64 ERA) gets the start on Sunday against Lynchburg.

Midwest League—Low A—South Bend 10, Lake County 6

South Bend (24-16) scored seven runs in their final two at-bats to rally past Lake County (24-18) and grab sole possession of first place. 

Hitting Recap: For the sixth straight game, 2B Andrew Ely (.327) got on base to leadoff with a single in the first. He took third on a base hit from C P.J. Higgins (.276) and scored on the third straight single off the bat of LF Donnie Dewees (.289). 1B Matt Rose (.157) made it 2-0 in the second with his second straight at-bat with a homer. He homered in the 10th in Friday night’s win. Trailing 6-3 in the 8th, Ely tied the game with one swing, his second homer of the series. The Cubs loaded the bases in the ninth on three singles and Rose gave South Bend the lead with a two-run single. A sacrifice RBI bunt by Ely and a RBI double from Higgins plated two more runs. RF Eloy Jimenez (.325) extended his hit streak to eight games with a single. Ely finished 4-for-5 with 4 RBI while Rose was 3-for-4 with two runs scored and three knocked in. Higgins matched his career-high with four hits and Dewees was 2-for-6 with two knocked in. South Bend had 18 hits in the win.

Pitching Chart: Ryan Kellogg got tagged for six runs (four earned) over five innings. He walked four, allowed six hits and fanned three in the 85-pitch outing. The Cubs bullpen closed the door. Kyle Miller tossed two shutout frames and Scott Effross (2-0, 4.34 ERA) got the final six outs, four on strikes, to earn the win. 

SB-Cubs News: Preston Morrison (2-2, 4.3 ERA) makes his seventh start on Sunday in game three of the battle for first.

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