Game 1—Southern League Playoffs—Birmingham 3, Tennessee 1
Tennessee was held to just four hits as Birmingham took the first game of the North Division playoffs.
At the Plate: The only run of the game came in the fifth on Rubi Silva's 16th homer of the season that tied the game at 1-1. John Andreoli was 2-3 with a stolen base and Christian Villanueva ripped his 42nd double. Barons pitching held the Smokies to four hits and didn't issue a walk.
On the Mound: Nicholas Struck, the Cubs Minor League Pitcher of the year in 2012, got the start in Game 1 after beginning the year in AAA Iowa where he made 20 starts (6-8 6.17 ERA) before being demoted. It was his sixth start for Struck in AA (1-2 3.95) and the second against Birmingham. Struck gave up a solo homer in the fourth and two more runs in the fifth, ending the night yielding six hits and three walks with three strikeouts....The Smokies bullpen did a great job tossing three scoreless innings. RHP Yeiper Castillo worked a scoreless sixth with two strikeouts and RHP A.J. Morris kept the Barons of the board in the seventh....RHP Tony Zych got three ground ball outs in the ninth.
Smokies Notes: Dae-Eun Rhee (5-1 3.34) will start Game 2 for the Smokies and the Barons will counter with Christopher Beck (2-2 2.89). The Smokies got 11 hits and scored six runs in five innings off the right-hander on Aug. 19. Rhee faced Birmingham twice giving up five hits and four runs in 13.1 innings.
Game 1—Florida State League Championship—Daytona 5, Charlotte 0
At the Plate: Daytona peppered Stone Crab pitching for 10 hits. The Cubs got on the board in the first as Pin-Chieh Chen singled and took third on Zeke DeVoss' double. Chen then scored on Dustin Geiger's ground out. The D-Cubs loaded the bases in the second as Anthony Giansanti doubled and took third on a pitch in the dirt, as Wes Darvill struckout but reached first when the throw went to third, Giansanti was safe with Darvill standing on first. Elliot Soto walked to fill the bases and Chen cleared them with a double, his second hit of the game. Zeke DeVoss, who was on base four times, doubled and Geiger followed with his second RBI of the night, one of five from Daytona.
On the Mound: RHP Pierce Johnson continued his dominance in the FSL tossing five shutout innings with five hits and six strikeouts. Johnson got some help in the fourth when Giansanti gunned down a runner at home from left field. Johnson has not allowed a run over his last 23.2 innings.....LHP Jeffrey Lorick gave up four hits but didn't allow a run in the three innings as he was helped by two inning-ending double plays....RHP Zach Cates loaded the bases in the ninth on three walks but fanned the final batter of the game.
Cubs Notes: Cubs have won 14 of their last 15 games....Daytona's pitching staff has not allowed an earned run in 27 playoff innings.....It was the Cubs 18th shutout on the season, adding to their team record.....The win was the first over Charlotte this year for Daytona coming into the game with a 0-6-1 record against the Stone Crabs.
Northwest League Championship—Boise vs. Vancouver
Game 1 of the Northwest League Championship gets underway at 6:45 p.m. MT on Friday, Sept. 6 as Boise hosts Vancouver at Memorial Stadium. Starters had not been named as of early Thursday night.
OF Dave Sappelt cleared waivers and was assigned to Iowa. Sappelt is expected to play winter league ball and compete for an outfield spot in spring training.