Minor League Notebook: May 13

The only thing that could stop the Cubs farm system from being perfect again on Wednesday was Mother Nature. The Lansing Lugnuts were victimized by rain, but every other club in the system performed up to par, as pitching in three different games allowed just five runs total.<BR><BR> Meanwhile, Angel Guzman's much anticipated 2004 debut is only hours away.

The minor league teams went 3-0 on the day and are now 73-59 on the year, a season-high 14 games over .500.

AAA-Iowa Cubs

DES MOINES, Iowa - The I-Cubs drew even with the Fresno Grizzlies, beating them 5-2 after a three-run seventh inning Wednesday night at Sec Taylor Stadium.

Starter David Manning did not allow a hit through 4 1/3 innings. Manning left the game after giving up only one run with four walks and four strikeouts after 5 2/3 innings. LHP Nate Bland picked up his third win of the year after pitching an inning and a third, and right-hander Mike Wuertz worked a perfect ninth to record his fourth save since being demoted by the parent club.

Cubs pitching held the Fresno offense to only three hits on the night, while the Iowa offense kicked in to high, as every starter with the exception of shortstop Benji Gil recorded a hit. First baseman Jason Dubois had a pair of hits, including a double, and also scored a run. Third baseman Donny Leon was the biggest offensive contributor, however, with three RBIs on the night.

PROSPECT WATCH: Forgive me if I sound like a broken record, but Jason Dubois is hot, folks. Red hot. Smoldering hot. Blazing hot. You get the picture. Dubois has hit safetly in nine straight games (16-for-35) with three doubles, four homeruns and 10 RBIs. Think that's good? In his last 16 games, he has gone 27-for-59 with 10 homers, four doubles and 23 RBIs. Iowa has been riding his hot hitting lately to maintain their lead in the PCL.

ON DECK: The Cubs will play game three of a four-game set with the Grizzlies on Thursday at 6:05 CT. 26-year-old right-hander Shawn Sedlacek is expected to make his second start for the Cubs. Iowa is now 19-15 on the year, still a game ahead of the Albuquerque Isotopes for first place in the Central division of the Pacific Coast League.

AA-West Tennessee

JACKSON, Tenn. - No pitcher wants to be the one who breaks up a winning streak, and Bobby Brownlie made sure he wasn't the man to do it Wednesday as the West Tennessee Diamond Jaxx won their seventh straight, beating the Tennessee Smokies 7-2.

Brownlie dominated the Tennessee lineup from top to bottom, going eight strong innings and allowing just one unearned run on two hits while striking out four. The Jaxx jumped on the board early, scoring a trio of runs in the bottom of the first. Left fielder Mike Dzurilla, fresh off the disabled list with a strained groin, homered and drove in three runs.

First baseman Micah Hoffpauir contributed with a triple and a pair of RBIs, while IF Jemel Spearman also had a pair of hits, including a triple and a pair of runs scored. Every Jaxx starter scored a run with the exception of catcher Geovany Soto and right fielder Mike Mallory.

PROSPECT WATCH: IF Ronny Cedeno has been hitting well this year at AA, and is one of five Jaxx hitters with a .300 average or better. Cedeno has not been much in the way of a run-producer, however, driving in only four runs and scoring just 10. He has also struggled in the field with a team-high six errors at short.

ON DECK: LHP Renyel Pinto will look to up the Jaxx winning streak to eight on Thursday night, when West Tenn finishes their four-game series with the Smokies. The Jaxx are currently 18-14, one game ahead of the Birmingham Barons for first place in the Western Division of the Southern League.

Class-A Daytona Cubs

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Well, after what was one of the worst starts in the minor league system earlier this season, the Daytona Cubs are at .500 for the first time all season, and relied on solid pitching and clutch hitting Wednesday night to beat the St. Lucie Mets, 2-1.

Left-hander Jon Connolly made his third start for Daytona and continued to dominate, allowing just one run on five hits in six innings while striking out eight Met hitters in a no-decision.

Cubs reliever Craig Green picked up his second win in his third scoreless outing of the season, while Chris Mowday worked the eighth and ninth innings to pick up his first save of the year.

The Cubs scored the go-ahead run in the bottom of the seventh on an RBI double from second baseman Ryan Theriot, which scored outfielder Keith Butler.

In what was a great pitchers duel, the Cubs managed just seven hits on the day, with third baseman Casey McGehee recording two of them.

PROSPECT WATCH: Although he has yet to pitch this season, 22-year-old right-hander Angel Guzman will make a rehab stint with Daytona Thursday. Guzman has a 2.35 ERA in his minor league career, and has never had an ERA higher than 2.81 for a single season. He had shoulder surgery last July and remains one of the top pitching prospects in all of baseball.

ON DECK: Angel Guzman will make his 2004 debut at Daytona on Thursday when the Cubs play game two of a four-game set with the St. Lucie Mets beginning at 6:00 CT. Daytona is now 17-17 on the year, 3.5 games behind the Palm Beach Cardinals in the Eastern dvision of the Florida State League.

Class-A Lansing Lugnuts

BURLINGTON, Iowa - The Lugnuts were hoping to gain some ground on scorching hot South Bend, who lost on Wednesday night. Unfortunately, heavy rains in Iowa postponed play. The game will be made up Thursday as part of a doubleheader. Both games will be traditional seven-inning affairs. RHP Ronald Bay is expected to start game one, which will get underway at 6:00 CT, while Carlos Marmol is expected to go in the second. There will be a quick 20-minute break in between games.

NOTES: RHP Jason Szuminski was returned from San Diego after being dropped from the Padres' 25-man roster. Szuminski was a Rule V draft pick from the Cubs over the winter, and will join the Iowa Cubs later today.

Top pitching prospect Angel Guzman and outfield prospect Nic Jackson will join the Daytona Cubs on Thursday. Jackson has been recovering from a bruised shoulder suffered earlier this season at Iowa. LHP Carlos Vazquez has been placed on the DL to make room on the Daytona roster.

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