Pacific Coast League—AAA—Iowa 6, Round Rock (Rangers) 3
Ian Happ slugged his sixth homer and Eddie Butler tossed six frames as Iowa (6-5) downed Round Rock (5-6) to even the series.
Hitting Recap: Cubs made the most of their six hits with 2B Ian Happ smacking his PCL best sixth homer, all from the left side of the plate. Happ’s two-run bomb in the fourth gave Iowa a 2-0 lead. The Cubs 2015 first-round pick has only had eight at-bats from the right-side this season as the I-Cubs are seeing a steady diet of right-handers. Happ is slashing .351/.415/.838 batting left-handed (13-for-37). Iowa added four more runs in the fifth, two scoring when Happ’s infield fly was dropped by the third baseman. LF John Andreoli (.263) and SS Chesny Young (.237) were both 1-for-3 with a run scored and a RBI.
Pitching Chart: Eddie Butler (1-0, 1.45 ERA) won his first game at at Iowa, yielding two runs on four hits and two walks over three innings. Butler threw 93 pitches, 58 for strikes, and recorded seven ground ball outs for a game score of 61…..LH Rob Zastryzny made his third appearance and allowed a run over two innings on three hits and a walk to up his ERA to 8.22. RH Pierce Johnson worked around a single in the ninth to record his second save.
I-Cubs Notes: Ryan Williams (0-1, 5.79 ERA) gets the start on Monday afternoon for Iowa……Cubs placed RHP Jake Buchanan and RHP Jose Rosario on the DL. RHP Williams Perez has been assigned to Iowa from extended spring training and RHP Miguel Mejia has been activated from the DL.
After splitting a twin-bill on Saturday night against Mississippi, the Smokies (4-6) had Sunday off and are back in action on Monday when they host Birmingham (White Sox) in the first of a five-game series.
Hitting Update: IF David Bote is showing the end of his 2016 season was no fluke as he led Myrtle Beach to the title and was named the MVP of the Mills Cup. The 24-year-old is hitting .316/.381/.368 over the first 10 games and is second on the team with five RBI. One player that keeps getting better with every season is outfielder Charcer Burks, the Cubs ninth-round pick in 2013 out of high school in the Houston area. The 22-year-old is hitting .308/.371/436 with two stolen bases and a team-high 17 total bases. Known more for his glove than his bat, OF Trey Martin leads the Smokies with a .320 average (8-for-25, 8 G) and is also tops in slugging (.640) and OPS (1.033). SS Andrew Ely is hitting a respectable .286/.407/.429 over 10 games, playing short and third. Not off to hot start are Ian Rice (.190), Yasiel Balaguert (.162) and Jason Vosler (.115). Tennessee is sixth in the Southern League with a team batting average of .220.
Pitching Update: Smokies have used five pitchers in their ten games and all five have thrown at least 10 innings—Preston Morrison (0-0, 1.69 ERA), Jen-Ho Tseng (0-0, 2.70 ERA), Duane Underwood (0-1, 4.50 ERA), Trevor Clifton (1-1, 4.50 ERA) and Zach Hedges (0-2, 5.40 ERA). A starter last year, Brad Markey has been impressive out of the pen, fanning 10 in six shutout innings in four games. Tennessee is ninth in the league with a 4.22 ERA.
Carolina League—High A—Lynchburg (Indians) 5, Myrtle Beach 4
A two-run homer in the top of the seventh gave Lynchburg (5-6) the win as they left town taking three of four from the Pelicans (5-6).
Hitting Recap: Myrtle Beach took a 1-0 lead in the first as RF Eddy Martinez (.167) collected the third straight hit, a single plating C P.J. Higgins (.250), who doubled with one-out and took third on a single from SS Trent Giambrone (.297). After Martinez reach on an error to open the fourth, 1B Matt Rose (.214) gave the Pelicans a 3-1 lead with a two-run homer over the left field wall, his third. DH Bryant Flete (.308) singled with one out in the ninth and took third on a double from 3B Jesse Hodges (.212). A balk plated Flete but the Hillcats retired the next two hitters to preserve the win with Hodges still at third. Giambrone finished 3-for-4 and Hodges had two hits.
Pitching Chart: Adbert Alzolay (1-0, 4.40 ERA) made his third start and lasted five innings, allowing three runs on seven hits with four strikeouts. The right-hander threw 72 pitches and had a game score of 51. Tommy Thorpe (0-1, 4.26 ERA) took the loss as the lefty gave up a two-run homer in the seventh. Thorpe tossed 2.2 frames, yielding four hits with two strikeouts. RH Scott Effross retired all four hitters he faced.
Pelicans News: Thomas Hatch (0-1, 2.79 ERA) gets the start Monday night at home against Buies Creek.
Midwest League—Low A—South Bend
Cubs (5-5) had Sunday off as they return home and get ready for a seven-game home stand, three games with Great Lakes (Dodgers) and four more with Dayton (Reds).
Hitting Update: 19-year-old switch-hitting second baseman Yeiler Peguero isn’t having any problems with MWL pitching over the first nine games, slashing .343/.395/.371 and leads the team in average. C/1B Alberto Mineo tops the Cubs with nine RBI, slashing .296/.411/.481 in nine games. SS Isaac Paredes and OF Luis Ayala are both 10-for-37 (.270) while Vimael Machin is batting. 313 in five games (5-for-16). Outfielders Kevonte Mitchell (.194), Darryl Wilson (.185) and Chris Pieters (.114) are all off to slow starts but have hit the only homers, one apiece.
Pitching Update: Tyson Miller, who gets his third start on Monday night against Great Lakes, leads the staff as the right-hander has not allowed an earned run in 9.2 innings. He’s fanned 13 and sports a 1.03 WHIP. Hard-throwing Dylan Cease is off to great start, fanning a team-high 15 over nine innings with a 1.00 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP. Manuel Rondon, the NWL Pitcher of the Year in 2016, is 1-0 with a 3.72 ERA in two starts (9.2 IP, 13 K). Duncan Robinson, Kyle Miller, Jose Paulino and Erling Moreno have all made starts for South Bend. Wyatt Short (0-0, 2.45 ERA, 3.2 IP) leads the team with two saves and Chad Hockin (0-0, 0.0 ERA, 3 IP) has one.