AAA-Iowa CubsCOLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - The game of baseball features nine innings. In order to play a great game, all nine must be well executed on both sides of the ball. Iowa did just that for eight innings on Sunday, but unfortunately the seventh inning was not one of them. The Cubs used three pitchers in the seventh, each recording one out, however LHP Jimmy Anderson and right-hander Andrew Shibilo allowed three runs each to put the game out of reach and give the Sky Sox a 6-1 victory.
A lack of offense also hurt the Cubs, who managed only five hits on the afternoon. Anderson (2-2) was pitching very well before the seventh, having given up just three hits before the inning. He soon ran out of gas, though, and the flood gates opened.
A pair of defensive errors also caused two unearned runs to hurt the Cubs in the seventh. The Cubs didn't help themselves much at the plate, but were leading the game for much of the game thanks to a solo shot from center fielder Calvin Murray in the third. First baseman Jason Dubois managed a double on the day, and shortstop Benji Gil also scratched out a pair of singles, but it wasn't enough for the scoring-disabled Cubs.
PROSPECT WATCH: OF David Kelton's nine-game hitting streak was broken up Sunday with his 0-for-4 day at the plate. Kelton was hitting .324 during the streak with three homeruns, three doubles and eight RBIs. His batting average is currently .257 for the season. Kelton's hitless day at the plate Sunday gave him a 10-point drop for the year.
ON DECK: The Cubs will finish off their four-game road trip on Monday night at 8:05 CT against the Sox. Iowa is now 17-14 on the year, a game ahead of the Sky Sox and Albuquerque Isotopes for first place.
AA-West TennesseeThe Diamond Jaxx were idle Sunday after playing a pair of back-to-back doubleheaders over the weekend with the Montgomery Biscuits. West Tenn will return to action on Monday night at Pringles Park when LHP Carmen Pignatiello goes for his third win against the Tennessee Smokies beginning at 6:35 CT.
Class-A Daytona CubsDAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - The Cubs got off to a terrible start this Mother's day, as their pitching allowed 11 runs in the game's first four innings en route to an 11-2 loss to the Brevard County Manatees.
LHP Richard Hill (1-3) suffered his worst outing of the year, giving up nine runs - eight earned - in just three innings. Hill was hit hard, giving up nine hits and a pair of walks on the day. His ERA bloomed all the way from a stellar 0.70 to 3.14, and his record dropped to 1-3 after being victimized by poor hitting for many of his starts.
The Manatees pounded out 17 hits on the day, while the Cubs didn't hit too poorly themselves, recording 11 on the afternoon. Daytona failed to use those 11 hits to their advantage, stranding 10 on base throughout the game.
Shortstop Ryan Theriot had a great day at the plate, going 4-for-5 with a double, a run scored and an RBI to raise his average 55 points in one game to .228 for the seas. Much like the Florida sun, center fielder Felix Pie is getting hot. Pie went 2-for-4 Sunday, but his teammates failed to drive him in. RF J.J. Johnson improved his average to .281 for the season with a 2-for-4 day Sunday, raising his average nine points in the process. The 3-5 part of the lineup was weak, however, only managing one hit and one walk on the day while striking out five times.
PROSPECT WATCH: Casey McGehee has been struggling a bit later after a strong start. McGehee's average has dropped to .294 on the year, although he does have 10 walks this season. He is currently leading the team in hits and doubles with 35 and 10, respectively. McGehee has shown great patience at the plate, striking out only 14 times in 119 at-bats. McGehee has been spending most of his time at third base and the DH's role lately.
ON DECK: The Cubs will resume their road series with Brevard County on Monday at 6:05 CT. LHP Andy Sisco will shoot for his second win of the year. Daytona is now 14-17 on the year, 4.5 games behind the Palm Beach Cardinals.
Class-A Lansing LugnutsLANSING, Mich. - The Lugnuts got the sole win for the Cubs' farm system on Mother's Day, beating the Peoria Chiefs, 6-4, thanks to a great pitching performance from 20-year-old Billy Petrick (3-2). The loss knocked the Chiefs out of first place in the Western division of the Midwest League, while moving the Lugnuts up a game in the Eastern division.
Saturday's hero, Chris Walker, got the game started off on the right foot by singling off Chiefs starter Wayne Lundgren, and then stealing second base. Walker would come in to score on a wild pitch to give the Lugnuts a lead they would never relinquish.
Petrick continued to dazzle opposing hitters, going six strong innings and only allowing one run and five base runners while striking out five. RHP Adalberto Mendez worked the ninth for his ninth save of the year.
Brian Dopirak and Kevin Collins continued to out-best each other in the homerun department, as Collins hit a solo shot for his eighth on the year, which is tied with Dopirak for the Midwest League lead.
Struggling hitters, catcher Alan Rick and third baseman Drew Larsen, broke out of their respective slumps Sunday, each recording three hits on the day, while hitting a double and scoring a run. Newly activated RF Carlos Meija continues to hit well in his first week at Lansing, going 2-for-4 with a pair of RBI's and a double.
PROSPECT WATCH: Its Justin Jones time in Lansing again. The 19-year-old started 16 games for Lansing in 2003 with a 2.28 ERA. Jones had 87 strikeouts in 71 innings pitched. He also had a good WHIP at 1.23. In two years in the Cubs' system, Jones has a 2.07 ERA, and is averaging 1.22 strikeouts per inning.
ON DECK: The Lugnuts will finish off a four-game series against the Peoria Chiefs Monday morning at 9:35 AM CT. LHP Justin Jones will make his first start of the year for the Lugnuts Peoria's Mark Michael. Jones was activated by the Lugnuts this past Saturday.