Minor League Notebook: April 29

Half of the Cubs farm system was taking a break Wednesday as Iowa and Lansing got the day off. Picking up their slack for the day, West Tennessee evened up their series against Birmingham, while Daytona came just shy of pulling one out against the Sarasota Red Sox. Inside is a closer look at how West Tenn and Daytona fared, plus updated statistics through Wednesday's action.

AAA-Iowa Cubs

The I-Cubs had the day off Wednesday. They will play again Thursday night in Albuquerque. IF Brendan Harris is expected to rejoin the team then and start at second base. Iowa left-hander Jimmy Anderson is set to go up against RHP Aaron Small at 8:11 CT.

AA-West Tennessee

JACKSON, Tenn. - RHP Chadd Blasko took the mound for the Diamond Jaxx Wednesday in a 4-2 victory over the Birmingham Barons. After a rough two-run first inning, Blasko (2-2) settled in, giving up just three hits in seven innings. The former Purdue pitcher struck out six, while walking three on the night.

West Tenn tied the game in the bottom of the first with a two-run homer off the bat of DH Matt Creighton and then took the lead for good in the fourth on an RBI single by 3B Jemel Spearman. OF Dwaine Bacon had a nice game, going 2-for-3 with a walk and a run scored. Bacon has now safely reached base in his last eight games. LF Aron Weston had a pair of doubles to increase his average to .333 on the year.

PROSPECT WATCH: 2B Richard Lewis is starting to prove he may have been the best part of the Juan Cruz trade as far as the Cubs are concerned. Lewis is hitting .328 on the year with three doubles, four triples, and two homers. He has a pair of stolen bases along with 11 RBIs and 13 runs scored. The only problem for Lewis is with Brendan Harris returning to AAA, he has no place to move up unless he is willing to change positions. For now, though, Lewis will likely continue feasting on Southern League pitching.

ON DECK: LHP Carmen Pignatiello will take on another southpaw, Heath Phillips, in the third of four games with Birmingham. The Diamond Jaxx are now 8-9 on the year, 1.5 games behind first place Huntsville.

Class-A Daytona Cubs

SARASOTA, Fla. - The Cubs came close, but just couldn't muster their third straight win on Wednesday as LHP Andy Sisco suffered his third loss of the year after giving up five runs in as many innings. Sisco (0-3) struck out six, but was victimized by wildness, giving up four walks.

The Cubs got some good offense from LF Keith Butler, who went 2-for-3 on the day with a double and two runs scored on the day. Butler is now hitting .315 on the year. 3B Casey McGehee continued to be one of the toughest outs in the Cubs lineup, going 1-for-3 on the night with a double and a walk while also scoring a run. McGehee has come back down to earth lately with the bat, but is still hitting .329 on the year. Expect him to move to stay at the hot corner on a more regular basis once Jacob Fox gets the inevitable call-up from Mid-A.

PROSPECT WATCH: Daytona starting pitching hasn't been what it was billed to be so far this year. There are currently three starters on the team with an ERA of over 5.00. Wednesday night's outing jumped Andy Sisco's ERA nearly a point and a half. Sisco has only given up 11 walks in 26.1 innings, but has given up 26 hits in that time. He is striking out nearly one batter per inning, but needs to fool hitters a bit more to force more popups and grounders.

ON DECK: The Cubs will wrap up their 4-game set with Sarasota on Thursday night when RHP Rocky Cherry takes the mound at 6:00 CT. The Cubs are 8-13 on the year, 6.5 back of first place St. Lucie (Mets).

Class-A Lansing Lugnuts

The Lugnuts also had Wednesday off to rotate the tires (pardon the pun) and travel back to Lansing. They will host the Dayton Dragons at Oldsmobile Park on Thursday in the first of a four-game series. Starters have not yet been named. Game time is set for 5:05 CT.

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