AAA-Iowa CubsDES MOINES, Iowa - It was a tough day for the Iowa Cubs, who won the battle but lost the war by out-hitting the Omaha Royals eight to six, while losing the game, 8-1. How does a team score eight runs on only six hits? How else but with what kills a team: walks and errors. The Cubs gave up three unearned runs in the second inning as spot starter Will Ohman took the loss for Iowa. The Cubs' bullpen, much like that of the parent club, had already taken a beating, so infielder Benji Gil pitched the ninth and may have found a new calling in his baseball career. Gil threw a perfect inning with a strikeout to go with it.
That was about the most impressive thing a Cubs position player did on Monday. The Iowa offense scratched only one extra base hit, a double by OF David Kelton. Kelton and teammate Jason Dubois each had a hit on the day for the first place Cubs.
PROSPECT WATCH: LHP John Koronka (2-0, 3.00) has been very impressive for the Cubs so far this year, going 21 innings with only seven runs allowed. Oddly, though, Koronka has given up a lot of base runners, with 31 combined walks and hits in that time. The key for Koronka has been the strikeout. He has fanned 25 batters this season to keep the run totals down. Koronka will pitch again on Thursday for the I-Cubs, who have had a bit of a left-handed intrigue this year, as four of their current five starters are southpaws. The lone exception is right-hander Jon Leicester (2-2, 4.62).
ON DECK: Iowa will take on the Royals again tonight when LHP Jimmy Anderson (1-1, 3.26) takes on Omaha's Brad Voyles at 7:05 CT. The Cubs are currently 14-11, one game ahead of Colorado Springs in the Central Division of the Pacific Coast League.
AA-West TennesseeHUNTSVILLE, Ala. - There's an old adage in baseball that says "speed never slumps." In the 10th inning of the Diamond Jaxx 4-2 victory over the Huntsville Stars Monday, OF Dwaine Bacon proved just that. In a 2-for-2 night, Bacon reached first base on a walk and proceeded to steal both second and third before second baseman Richard Lewis hit a bloop single to knock in Bacon and give the Jaxx the lead, and ultimately the victory.
RHP Chadd Blasko pitched six good innings, giving up only two runs on seven hits. Blasko struck out five while only walking two. The Jaxx bullpen was excellent once again, throwing four innings of one-hit ball. Right-hander Scott Chiasson, recently back from arthroscopic surgery, threw an inning in relief, giving up a hit and a walk to go with a strikeout. LHP Russ Rohlicek got the win by throwing the ninth, while right-hander Jermaine Van Buren recorded his third save of the year, striking out the side in the 10th.
Newly-activated third baseman Matt Craig was 2-for-4 on the night with a double and a run scored. Right fielder Mike Mallory also added some offense for the West Tenn attack with a pair of doubles and RBIs.
PROSPECT WATCH: The Jaxx best hitter so far this year has been IF Richard Lewis. Lewis is hitting .349 to lead the team, with a .627 slugging percentage and 15 RBIs to go with it. Highly touted AAA prospect Brendan Harris has played shortstop in the last two games at Iowa, possibly a sign that Lewis could be moving up to Des Moines. This is Lewis' second year in the Southern league. He is batting over 100 points better this season as opposed to last.
ON DECK: The final game of the series will start Tuesday at in Huntsville at 10:00 AM CT, when lefty Carmen Pignatiello (2-1, 6.11) goes up against Huntsville's Chris Saenz (2-1, 3.26). The Jaxx are now 11-13 on the year.
Class-A Daytona CubsLAKELAND, Fla. - Somehow Anderson Tavarez had gone 2-0 on the year entering play Monday despite giving up 15 runs in 21.2 innings. It all caught up to the right-hander on Monday, who gave up four runs in as many innings en route to his first loss of the year as the Daytona Cubs were blanked by the Lakeland Tigers, 9-0.
The right side of the Cubs' infield hit well. First baseman Brandon Sing and second baseman Luis Montanez each had two hits, though neither man had enough magic to plate any runs for Daytona, who was victimized by top Tigers pitching prospect and 2003 draft pick Kyle Sleeth. Sleeth went 8 2/3 innings, giving up seven hits while not walking a batter. RHP Lee Rodney came in to face the last batter of the game to close things out.
PROSPECT WATCH: IF/C Casey McGehee was the Cubs' hottest hitter for the month of April but has slowed down in the last few weeks. McGehee was hitting .333 just one week ago, but is now down to .301 on the year. McGehee may be fatigued from consistently moving from back and forth between third base and catcher. Despite the drop, he is still third on the team in hitting behind only OF's Adam Greenberg and Keith Butler.
ON DECK: After a four-game set with the Tigers, the Cubs are headed back home to Jackie Robinson Ballpark to face the Dunedin Blue Jays Tuesday. This will be just their seventh home game of the year. LHP Andy Sisco (0-3, 5.47) goes for his first win of the year in a 6:00 CT start. The Cubs are now 10-15 on the year.
Class-A Lansing LugnutsDAVENPORT, Iowa - The Lugnuts got off to an inauspicious start on Monday, as starter Billy Petrick walked six men in the first inning and gave up four runs in a 6-2 loss to Quad Cities. Petrick walked two of those runs in, with the other two scoring on an error by third baseman Alfredo Francisco. Petrick recovered to throw well but was taken out after four innings.
Center fielder Chris Walker had a good night at the plate for the Lugnuts, going 2-for-5 with a double and a run scored. Walker also recorded his 10th steal of the season.
Lansing had four starters in the lineup that were hitting under .200 on the season. Catcher Jake Fox is the only Lugnut batting over .300 for Lansing this year. First baseman Brian Dopirak is second on the team in batting average with a .297 mark.
PROSPECT WATCH: After an 0-for-4 day, Fox's average plummeted to .303 on the year. Despite hitting very well this year, Fox only has eight RBIs to show for it--a testament to Lansng's offensive struggles. The University of Michigan product has scored 11 runs on the year but is hitting mostly singles, with only a .461 slugging percentage.
ON DECK: The Lugnuts will face the Swing of the Quad Cities again on Tuesday at 7:00 CT when right-hander Randy Wells (1-2, 2.84) goes for his second win of the season. Lansing is now 13-11 on the year and four games behind first place South Bend (17-7).