Nightmarish Season Continues for Hill

DES MOINES – Rich Hill couldn't find the strike zone – again. The struggling southpaw got on the hook in the first inning while pitching for Class AAA Iowa on Friday, giving up six runs to the New Orleans Zephyrs in the first inning and recording just two outs in front of 11,395 fans – the largest crowd of the season at Principal Park.

Hill (2-4, 5.88 ERA) walked four, hit a batter, threw two wild pitches that careened into the backstop, and even made an errant throw on a pickoff attempt.

He threw 45 pitches, only 23 of which were strikes.

At one point, the sequence went as follows: walk, throwing error, wild pitch, hit batsman, walk, two-run single, RBI single, walk, RBI walk, strikeout, wild pitch.

The first batter of the game, New Orleans shortstop Anderson Hernandez, hit a fly ball after only two pitches for the game's first out.

But Hill wouldn't record the second out of the inning until he struck out Zephyrs pitcher Ruddy Lugo – on a run-scoring wild pitch, no less.

Hernandez, batting for the second time in the inning, then forced Hill out of the game with a weak infield grounder that scored a run and capped the six-run first inning.

New Orleans went on to win, 12-8.

Hill entered the season in Chicago but struggled with control in five starts before being sent to the minors. He was not available for comment at press time Friday.


At Sevierville, James Russell (2-2, 4.41) tied a season-high five runs allowed over 4 2/3 innings. The left-hander gave up two home runs and walked three.

OF Tyler Colvin hit his 14th double of the season to extend his hitting streak to four games and also drew his 28th walk. INF-OF Matt Camp, starting at short, picked up his third multi-hit game in the past week to lead the Smokies (29-45) with two hits.


At Viera, Fla., Daytona (36-36) pounded out 12 hits in a victory. Blake Lalli led the way with three hits, including his fifth home run, to extend his hitting streak to eight consecutive games. Since being promoted from Single-A Peoria in late April, Lalli is batting .335 with 20 doubles. INF Tony Thomas continued his hot hitting with another multi-hit showing – his third in the last five games – to raise his average to .282 in 64 games. RHP Billy Muldowney (2-0, 1.26) earned his second straight win by tossing five shutout innings and yielding two hits. He struck out two batters.


At Peoria, RHP Hung-Wen Chen (1-4, 3.31) allowed two runs and six hits over six innings in a losing effort. The Taiwan native, signed by Cubs Pacific Rim Scouting Supervisor Steve Wilson in April, 2007, struck out a career-high six batters.

OF Cliff Andersen tied a season-high three hits and reached base four times for the Chiefs (30-40) to raise his average to .256 through 59 games.


At Boise, the Hawks (2-2) tallied nine hits, including two from third baseman Josh Vitters, who recorded his first career triple. Cubs 2008 draft picks Ryan Keedy and Rebel Ridling drove in two runs, and Marwin Gonzalez tied a career-high three RBI.

LHP James Leverton, the Cubs' eighth-round pick from Texas Tech in this year's draft, started his pro debut and tossed three scoreless innings, walking two batters. LHP Harol Tolentino picked up the win in relief with two scoreless innings.


In the Dominican Summer League, RHP Edilmar Infante started and tossed six innings in a no-decision, allowing one run and three hits. RHP Roderick Pichardo (0-2, 6.75) allowed a season-high four runs in just a third of an inning for the loss.

INF Nelson Pierre picked up his fourth two-hit game to lead the Cubs' (11-6) bats and raised his average to a season-high .286 through 15 games.

Pierre also stole his 14th base in as many attempts.


Also in the Dominican Summer League, Cubs2 (8-10) tallied 15 hits in a victory, including a season-high four hits from OF Manny Pestana, who has reached base safely in all 17 games this season. Pestana also has a team-high 12 walks.

RHP Enyelberth Pena (2-2, 3.97 ERA) picked up his second win in relief, tossing two innings and yielding one earned run. RHP Ramon Reyes started and tossed three innings, allowing an unearned run and two hits to lower his ERA to 0.47 in 19 innings. Reyes leads his team with 28 strikeouts – good for fifth in the DSL.

--Combined Reports

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