Plenty to Talk About

The first half division championships have already been decided as far as the Cubs' affiliates are concerned, but there's still plenty of streaks, first's and more to note at each level in our Inside The Ivy Minor League Notebook.

Iowa Notes

In Nashville, Tenn., Iowa fell 4-3 in their fourth one-run game in the past week on Friday night. SS Ronny Cedeno, 2B Mike Fontenot and OF David Kelton each collected two hits. Cedeno extended his hitting streak to seven games and stole two bases for the first time since Iowa's regular season opener at Albuquerque on April 7. (Kelton also stole two bases, the first time he had done so in a single game since May 22, 2002, at West Tenn.) Cedeno is 10-for-11 in stolen base attempts this season and is batting above .300 against both left- and right-handed pitching in his 43 games at Triple-A. LHP Ryan O'Malley yielded two runs and six hits in five innings to go with six strikeouts. Since being promoted from Double-A, O'Malley has made four starts with a 6.55 ERA. He has fanned 23 at Iowa, just three shy of his total of 26 at West Tenn in 16 appearances. LHP Russ Rohlicek's recent struggles continued. Rohlicek allowed one run (unearned) and suffered his third "blown save" of the season in the seventh inning. He has now allowed nine runs in his last six innings after beginning the year with a nine-game scoreless streak and a zero ERA throughout the entire first month.

West Tenn Notes

In Pearl, Miss., on Friday night, the first half Southern League North champion Diamond Jaxx went 15 innings and collected 15 hits with Mississippi winning 2-1 on a Matt Craig fielding error at third base. Craig went 1-for-5 at the plate to extend his hitting streak to seven games. He also drew two walks for just the second time in a game this season. Elsewhere, 2B Richard Lewis' three hits led the way for the Jaxx offense, but C Jose Reyes recorded the team's only run with his 21st RBI. Reyes has recorded only seven hits this month for a .184 average since June began. Lewis, on the other hand, is hitting .342 with eight walks to only seven strikeouts since joining the Jaxx in late May. 3B Casey McGehee collected two hits and stole his first base in almost a full year. (McGehee's last stolen base prior to Friday night was on June 30 of last year at Daytona.) Dwaine Bacon started in center in place of Felix Pie, who left Thursday's game after sliding into third base on a seventh inning triple. Bacon also tallied two hits for his first multi-hit game of the month. He is batting a hefty .396 against right-handed pitchers at West Tenn, but only .222 against southpaws. OF Matt Murton finished with two hits as well, his league-best 88th and 89th of the year, respectively.

Starting pitcher Ricky Nolasco remains unbeaten following another outing. Nolasco went only 4 2/3 innings, but struck out six to go with one run and five hits allowed. Nolasco remains a perfect 6-0 this season, but is winless in six straight outings following a string of six consecutive starts with a ‘W.' The Jaxx used five pitchers in relief, including RHP Federico Baez, who has posted a 2.08 ERA in his last 8 2/3 innings. In ex-Cub farmhand news, former Diamond Jaxx infielder Josh Arteaga started at short for Mississippi and went 2-for-4. Arteaga finished with a .256 average and 23 RBIs in 32 games for Class-A Peoria this season. He batted .219 in 84 games with the Jaxx a season ago and was the Cubs' 20th round draft pick out of Virginia Commonwealth in 2001.

Peoria Notes

In Peoria, LHP Sean Gallagher lost for only the second time this year in a 5-1 Chiefs loss to Quad Cities. Gallagher (7-2) went seven innings and gave up two runs on three hits, but the Chiefs' offense left eight on base and were 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position. Gallagher's 1.56 ERA and 82 strikeouts still lead the Midwest League. C Alan Rick recorded just his fourth two-hit game of the season to unofficially lead the offense. Rick has batted below .200 in every game since April 29. This month, he has fanned 13 times while drawing only two walks. OF Luis Montanez's nine-game hitting streak came to a close on Thursday night, and the first round pick in 2000 went hitless again on Friday. The Chiefs wrap up the first half schedule this Sunday against Quad Cities before the 2005 Midwest League All-Star Game at O'Brien Field in Peoria next Tuesday (June 21).


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