AAA—Oklahoma City 9, Iowa 8—12 innings
Oklahoma City (35-29) jumped out to a 6-0 lead after four innings and eventually beat Iowa (30-36) in 12 innings.
At the Plate: After being held without a hit for the first five innings, Iowa finally got on the board in the sixth on a RBI single from Brent Lillibridge. A RedHawks error and a two-run single by Donnie Murphy made it 6-4 and Dave Sappelt smacked a three-run homer to pull Iowa to within 8-7 in the eighth. Steve Clevenger’s RBI double tied the game in the ninth. Brett Jackson should have scored from first on the two-bagger but somehow thought the line drive into the corner had been caught, started back to first and only reached third.
Cubs Lineup: Watkins 2B (1-4 R 2BB), Jackson LF (1-5), Clevenger C (2-5 R 2B RBI), Boscan C (0-1), Nelson DH (1-4 R 2BB), Lake 3B (1-6 R), Bogusevic RF (1-4 2R BB), Sappelt CF (2-6 2R 2B HR 4RBI), Murphy SS (2-6 2RBI), Lillibridge (1-6 RBI)
On the Mound: Nicholas Struck’s AAA struggles continued as the right-hander allowed seven hits, six runs (five earned) and walked four in five innings It was his fourth straight start the 23-year-old has surrendered at least four earned runs. His ERA is 6.46 with a BAA of .341. Michael Bowden (0-0 6.75) gave up four hits and two runs in 1.1 innings before Hisanori Takahashi (0-0 2.13) took over. The left-hander was dominate, tossing 3.2 hitless innings with two walks and two punchouts. Marcus Hatley survived a leadoff walk in the 11th but a leadoff single in the 12th scored after a wild pitch and a two-out walk-off single.
AA—Mississippi 3, Tennessee 2
Mississippi scored the eventual winning in the top of the eighth on a double play ground ball to beat Tennessee (32-33)
At the Plate: The Smokies got both their runs in the seventh on a RBI single from pinch hitter Matt Szczur and Jonathan Mota plated Anthony Giansanti on a ground out. Rubi Silva singled and doubled, the Smokies only extra base hit of their seven. Tennessee stranded six runners and were 1-8 with RISP.
Smokies Lineup: Torreyes 2B (1-4), Alcantara SS (0-4), Silva CF (2-4 2B), Wright 1B (1-4 R), Lopez C (0-3 BB), Giansanti RF (1-4 R), Chen LF (1-2), Szczur LF (1-2 RBI) ,Mota 3B (0-4), Cabrera P (0-2), Villanueva PH (0-1)
On the Mound: Alberto Cabrera (5-3 3.94) didn’t figure in the decision but he pitched well enough to earn a win tossing seven quality innings. He fanned seven and walked just one with five hits, one a two-run homer. Trey McNutt (2-5 4.61) took the loss giving up a pair of singles in the eighth as a double play grounder scored the deciding run. Hunter Cervenka (1-0 6.00) worked a scoreless ninth with a strikeout.
High A—Daytona 5, Fort Myers 1
Six Cubs pitchers held Fort Myers (43-21) to six hits as Daytona (33-30) moved to within one game of first place with three games left in the first half.
At the Plate: Daytona got on the board in the third as Zeke DeVoss doubled, took third on a fly ball to right field off the bat of Javier Baez, and scored when Jorge Soler was robbed of a hit by the shortstop on a ground out. The D-Cubs were back at it in the fifth as Tim Saunders doubled with two outs and scored on Yaniel Cabezas single. Cabezas took second on the throw home and raced home on John Andreoli’s single. Krist gave Daytona some breathing room with a two-run double, scoring Soler and Dustin Geiger.
Cubs Lineup: Andreoli LF (1-4 RBI), DeVoss CF (1-3 R 2B), Baez SS (0-4), Soler RF (1-4 R RBI), Geiger 1B (2-4 R 2B), Carhart 3B (1-4 2B), Krist DH (1-4 2B 2RBI), Saunders 2B (2-3 R 2B SB), Cabezas C (1-3 R RBI)
On the Mound: The last game before a three-game break, the Cubs got six arms into the game against Fort Myers. After making eight appearances out of the pen, Yao-Lin Wang got his first opportunity as a starter Thursday night. The right-hander from Taiwan (2009 FA) allowed just one run in his first 11 innings but went on the DL on April 30 returning to the mound on May 26. Wang (1-1 2.42 ERA) walked three and allowed three hits but kept the Miracle off the board. He fanned four and now has 27 strikeouts in 26 innings. It will be interesting to see Wang’s role in the second half as he has been one of Daytona’s most successful pitchers with a BAA of .188 and a WHIP around 1.0, however a small sample size due to the injury. Kyler Burke (3-0 3.09) gave up a run in the fifth behind one hit that went about 15-feet. A strikeout on a wild pitch, sacrifice bunt, stolen base, and a “nubber “ in front of home scored the run. Despite the tough luck inning, Burke got the win. P.J. Francescon (4-4 4.78) threw an inning, walking a pair with two strikeouts in the sixth. Jeff Lorick (2-0 3.09) tossed a scoreless frame allowing two walks and a hit but got bailed out on a double play. Eduardo Figueroa (1-3 4.85) was on his way to tossing the final two innings of the game but took a line drive off the face and had to leave the game in the ninth. Figueroa was able to chase down the ball after getting hit and throw to second for the force play. He allowed a hit and a walk. All-Star Frank Del Valle (3-1 2.64) came in and fanned the final two hitters, running his season total to 43 in 30.2 IP
Cubs Notes: Daytona will now have three-days off for the All-Star break and will end the first half with a big three-game series at Clearwater that will determine the Cubs fate. The Cubs trail first-place Clearwater by one game and Brevard County by a 1/2 game…... Tim Saunders and John Andreoli are in a battle for the team’s stolen base lead. When Saunders found out Andreoli has swiped his 20th base on Wednesday night to take the lead, he told Robbie Aaron, Cubs play-by-play announcer “that won’t last long.” Saunders got on with a single in the third and promptly stole second, tying his teammate. And was then nailed at third trying to get the lead. They have both been caught three times…..The all-star break may be coming at the wrong time for Zeke DeVoss. The center fielder has been struggling at the plate hitting .091 in May but is (8-18) in his last seven games..
Low A—Kane County 4, Burlington 1
Albert Almora had three hits with three RBI and Tayler Scott held Burlington in check for the win.
At the Plate: Almora continued his assault on Midwest League pitching with a RBI triple in the third and a run-scoring single in the fifth. He added a RBI double in the seventh and then scored on Daniel Vogelbach’s 44th RBI of the season. Almora is now hitting .430/.465/.595 in his first 19 games.
Cougars Lineup: Rademacher 2B (1-2 2R 2BB), Almora CF (3-4 R 2B 3B 3RBI), Vogelbach 1B (0-4 RBI), Candelario 3B (0-4), Shoulders DH (1-3 2B), Hernandez SS (0-4), Escobar C (1-4), Golden LF (1-3), Zapenas 2B (1-3 R)
On the Mound: Tayler Scott (3.84 ERA) made his 12th start (tied with Pierce Johnson) and the MWL all-star threw a season-high 7.2 innings allowing just two hits and three walks. He fanned a pair and upped his record to 4-2. Stephen Perakslis (1-2 3.06) continues to impress out of the pen extending his earned run scoreless streak to 15.2 innings recording the final four outs. The right-handed Boston Bruins fan allowed two hits and fanned a pair to earn his second save. Perakslis surrendered 12 hits and nine runs in his first 10.2 innings in the MWL but since then has given up just three runs, two earned, in his last 21.2 frames.