AAA—Iowa 4, Nashville 1
Iowa won their second straight game as Tsuyoshi Wada pitched into the seventh in his Cubs' debut and Christian Villanueva ripped a 3-run homer in the 4-1 win over Nashville in the series opener at Principal Park.
At the Dish: Brett Jackson got the offense started in the fifth with a one-out triple and scored on Eli Whiteside's RBI single. With two outs in the sixth, Matt Szczur singled, Chris Coghlan walked, and Villanueva blasted his first AAA homer over the left field wall. Jackson finished with two hits and Javier Baez went 0-3 with a walk, despite hitting the ball hard three times
On the Hill: Tsyoshi Wada made his Cubs' debut on Monday night and pitched a strong game, allowing one run (a solo homer in the second) in 6.2 inning with 8 strikeouts. The left-hander threw 94 pitches and only yielded three hits....Neil Ramirez got the final out of the seventh in relief of Wada and then held Nashville scoreless in the 8th.....Blake Parker pitched around a pair of hits in the ninth, recording two strikeouts to earn his first save of the year.
I-Cubs Notes: 45-minute rain delay before the start of Monday night's game....Chris Rusin makes his second start of the year on Tuesday.....Josh Vitters left the game after falling awkwardly catching a fly ball in left field. According to a tweet from Tommy Birch, Des Moines Register, after the game, manager Marty Pevey said Vitters tweaked something around his knee and is day-to-day and will now more about injury tomorrow.
AA—Pensacola 3, Tennessee 2
Pensacola beat Tennessee for the fourth time in five games as the Wahoos grabbed a 3-0 lead and hung on.
At the Dish: The Smokies bats were quite for seven innings and they finally got on the board in the 8th with a RBI double from Jeudy Valdez and Dustin Geiger smacked a solo homer over the left field wall in the ninth. Geiger and Valdez both finished with two hits as Tennessee only had six on the night. Anthony Giansanti had a pinch-hit single and Rafael Lopez doubled, his second.
On the Hill: Six hits and three walks led to three Wahoo runs off RHP Matthew Loosen (0-1 5.40 ERA). One of those hits left the park, something that plagued Loosen in AA last season. He threw 85 pitches in five innings, recording a pair of strikeouts.....The bullpen was perfect as Ryan Searle got all four hitters he faced, Hunter Cervenka fanned two batters, and Tony Zych worked a 1-2-3 8th with two punchouts.
Smokies Notes: Kris Bryant had the night off due to a tender ankle. Manager Buddy Bailey said he could have played but decided to give him a night off to rest and he's expected to back in the lineup for the home opener on Wednesday night.
High A—Brevard County 5, Daytona 4
Daytona grabbed a 3-0 lead but Brevard County rallied to win, taking three of four in the FSL opening series.
At the Dish: Daytona took a 3-0 lead in the second on a two-run double from Rock Shoulders and a sacrifice fly from Gioskar Amaya. Albert Almora singled, took third on a error and scored on Jeimer Candelario's groundout for a 4-2 lead in the 4th.....Brevard County pitching retired 19 in a row before a triple by Candelario with one out in the ninth. Willson Contreras (1-4) popped out and Shoulders (2-4) fanned to end the game.
On the Hill: LHP Rob Zastryzny made his Florida State League debut and had runners on every inning, three of the four leadoff hitters reaching. Tyrone Taylor was Zastryzny's nemesis going 3-3 with 3 doubles, two RBI and a run. Zastryzny fanned six, but surrendered four runs on six hits and two walks......Yao-Lin Wang took the loss but Marco Hernandez's inability to catch a pop up gave the Manatees the winning run in the fifth. Wang worked one frame, allowing the unearned run.....Zach Cates tossed two scoreless frames, allowing two hits with one strikeout.....Arodys Vizcaino was hitting the high 90s on the gun as the right-hander worked a 1-2-3 eighth with a strikeout. One source told me that Vizcaino may be in Wrigley sometime in May......RHP Austin Reed got all three hitters he faced in the 9th.
D-Cubs Notes: Rain delay # 1. #Delaytona.......Daytona Cubs announcer Robbie Aaron is going to donate 25 center per minute for every delay this year for the D-Cubs. His tally is already at $9 after the 36 minute rain delay. I'll try to get more info, find out the exact charity, and where you can donate if you are interested.......Felix Pena, Jose Rosario and Tayler Scott are the scheduled starters the next three nights as the Tampa Yankees comes to town.
Low A—Kane County
Had the day off and the Cougars hold their home opener Tuesday night with Jen-Ho Tseng taking the mound. The 19-year-old will be making his pro debut after signing a $1.6 million bonus as an international free agent last summer. He's part of the Cubs impressive '13 international haul that included over $8 million in bonuses. Here's more on Tseng