Pierce Johnson promoted to Chicago
Right-handed relief pitcher Pierce Johnson has been promoted to Chicago and 3B Jeimer Candelario was optioned to Iowa. Johnson was the Cubs first-round pick in 2012 (43rd overall) and has spent most of his minor league career as a starter. After battling injuries for the past two years, Johnson made the switch to the bullpen and improved his numbers as well as his velocity. As Iowa’s closer, Johnson converted four of five save opportunities and went 2-0 with a 3.21 ERA in 12 games. He fanned 21 in 14 innings while walking 11. Candelario appeared in six games for the Cubs (3-for-21) with two RBI in his second stint in the majors. He’s slashing .340/.443/.649 in 28 games for Iowa with four homers, 12 doubles and 22 RBI.
Pacific Coast League—AAA—Iowa 5, Las Vegas (Mets) 4
Iowa built an early 5-0 lead and hung on for their second straight win in Las Vegas.
Hitting Recap: 1B Taylor Davis (.295) gave Iowa a 2-0 lead in the second with a two-run double and SS Elliot Soto’s sacrifice bunt plated the third run of the frame. They added two more in the third on a two-run single off the bat of CF Jemile Weeks (.222). C Victor Caratini (.358) went 3-for-5 while Davis and Soto (.267) both finished with three hits. 3B Chris Dominguez (.346) had two hits and scored twice while LF Mark Zagunis (.232) went 2-for-4 with a run scored.
Pitching Chart: RH Casey Kelly (1-0, 3.60 ERA) was solid in his Cubs debut, allowing two runs on five hits and a walk over five innings. Kelly fanned six and threw 80 pitches, 57 for strikes, for a game score of 52. Stephen Perakslis allowed one run in his first game for Iowa this year, giving up three hits and a walk over two innings with a pair of punchouts. Miguel Mejia allowed a run in 1.1 frames and David Rollins got the final two outs for his first save, stranding the tying run.
I-Cubs Notes: RH Jake Buchanan (1-2, 5.71 ERA) gets the start on Thursday night in Las Vegas…..RHP Stephen Perakslis has been promoted from Tennessee to Iowa. Perakslis recorded one save in Tennessee and sported a 7.15 ERA in 11.1 innings…..RHP Casey Kelly has been activated from the disabled list. Once traded by Boston with Anthony Rizzo to San Diego for Adrian Gonzalez, Kelly made his pro debut in 2012 for the Padres as a starter and went 2-3 with a 6.21 ERA in six starts. Considered one of the top right-handed pitching prospects back in 2011 after being a first-round pick in 2008, Tommy John surgery sidelined his career and he returned to the bigs in 2015. After becoming a free agent, he signed with the Braves in 2016 and appeared in 10 games with Atlanta before going on the DL at the end of July and not pitching again. Cubs signed Kelly to a minor league deal with an invite to spring training and he’s been in Mesa after starting the year on the disabled list.
Southern League—AA—Montgomery (Rays) 3, Tennessee 2
Montgomery (22-17) held Tennessee (23-17) to five hits and pushed across the go-ahead run in the sixth.
Hitting Recap: Smokies scored both of their runs in the fifth, the first coming on DH Cael Brockmeyerr’s fifth homer of the season, a one-out solo blast. 2B David Bote’s single led to CF Jacob Hannemann scoring as the catcher dropped the throw home and was charged with an error. RF Jeffrey Baez (.248) had a pair of doubles.
Pitching Chart: Zach Hedges (5-3, 2.79 ERA) pitched into the seventh and finished the night with a line of 6.2 IP, 7 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 6K. He threw 98 pitches, 61 for strikes, and had a game score of 59. James Pugliese (1.23 ERA) retired all four hitters he faced, stranding the bases loaded in the seventh. Andury Acevedo (0.00 ERA) worked around a pair of walks in a scoreless ninth. Acevedo extended his scoreless streak to 10 innings.
Smokies News: A starter has not been named but its Jen-Ho Tseng’s (3-1, 3.15 ERA) spot in the rotation as the Smokies head to Birmingham…… Tennessee has placed OF Charcer Burks on the 7-day disabled list. In 38 games, Burks is hitting 304/.414/.459 with four homers and six stolen bases.
Carolina League—High A—Buies Creek (Astros) 6, Myrtle Beach 2
Buies Creek (25-15) scored three times in the second and handed Myrtle Beach (21-19) their third straight defeat.
Hitting Recap: CF Eddy Martinez (.218) tied the game at 1-1 in the bottom of the first with a two-out RBI single, scoring SS Trent Giambrone (.211), who walked and took second on a walk to LF Eloy Jimenez (.333). DH Tyler Alamo (.250) smacked his fifth homer, a solo shot in the second.
Pitching Chart: Thomas Hatch (0-4, 6.27 ERA) had another rough outing, allowing five runs (four earned) on five hits and four walks. Hatch surrendered a run-scoring triple in the first and then got into trouble in the second, walking in a run and then giving up a two-run single. The Astros added a unearned run in the fifth. Hatch recorded seven strikeouts in the 95-pitch outing. Game score 44….RH Kyle Miller (5.68 ERA) gave up one run on four hits and walk in two innings of relief. Scott Effross (4.57 ERA) worked a scoreless eighth and Dillon Maples (1.57 ERA) fanned one in the ninth.
Pelicans News: LH Justin Steele (1-3, 2.87 ERA) is expected to get the ball in the series finale against Buies Creek.
Midwest League—Low A—South Bend 7, Dayton 5
South Bend jumped out to an early lead and hung on to take the series from Dayton.
Hitting Recap: SS Isaac Paredes (.254) gave South bend the lead for good in the first with a two-run homer, his second of the season. CF Darryl Wilson (.214) made it 4-1 in the second with a two run double, that scored DH Kevonte Mitchell (.242) and LF Luis Ayala (.269). The Cubs added two more in the fifth when 3B Wladimir Galindo (.315) doubled and scored on a single from Alberto Mineo. Mitchell followed with another double that scored Mineo. Paredes added a RBI single in the seventh and finished 3-for-4 as the Cubs collected 12 hits. Galindo, Mineo and Mitchell had two each.
Pitching Chart: LH Manuel Rondon (5-1, 4.72 ERA) tossed five innings, allowing three runs, two coming on solo homers. The lefty fanned six, allowed six hits and didn’t walk anyone in the 64-pitch outing. Rondon had a game score of 43……RH Dakota Mekkes loaded the base in the sixth but fanned the side to get out of the jam and added two more punchouts in the seventh to lower is ERA to 0.87…..LH Wyatt Short (2.25 ERA) gave up a run in the eighth and another in the ninth on four hits and a walk.
SB-Cubs News: Dylan Cease (1-1, 2.23 ERA) takes the mound on Thursday night as Lansing comes to Four Winds Field.