Huntsville Stars pitcher Tyler Thornburg retired the first 22 Smokies he faced before Mike Burgess hit one past the shortstop and into center field. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Everyone down in Arizona is talking about Javier Baez hitting for the cycle today and making a nice play at SS. He's showing some plus power down there. But those extended Spring Training games are just slightly-elevated scrimmages, so keep that in mind.
The I-Cubs head to Albuquerque tomorrow, so be nice to me, please. Also, I'm currently planning on heading to the ballpark tomorrow, so the wrap will likely show up late tomorrow night. I won't be tweeting the Cubs scores tomorrow, but I hope to have some updates from the Visalia Rawhide/Bakersfield Blaze game, assuming I make it. So you can check out future Diamondbacks and Reds.
The Iowa Cubs stopped the Round Rock Express (Rangers), 3-2, splitting their four-game series in Texas.
Casey Coleman started and improved his record to 2-1 by giving up two runs over 5.1 innings. Coleman allowed four hits and walked three while striking out three. Jeff Beliveau relieved him and tossed two shutout innings.
Blake Parker pitched the final 1.2 innings and got his second save of the year. He gave up a hit and a walk, but pitched out of trouble in the ninth. Parker struck out Julio Borbon with two men to end the game. It was his lone strike out.
The Iowa Cubs only had five hits tonight, but won because they walked six times and reached once on a hit-by-pitch. Center fielder Brett Jackson was 1 for 3 with a double. He walked twice and stole a base. Left fielder Tony Campana was 1 for 3 with a walk and two steals. He scored once.
Right fielder Dave Sappelt tripled and scored in the sixth inning. He was 1 for 4.
The Tennessee Smokies were blinded by the light of the Huntsville Stars (Brewers), 5-2.
The story of tonight's game was Stars pitcher Tyler Thornburg, who retired the first 22 Smokies batters he faced, striking out 11 of them, before allowing a single to Mike Burgess in the 8th inning. He exited immediately after the hit. Against that, Smokies starter Trey McNutt had no chance. McNutt allowed only one run on four hits over four innings, but naturally he got the loss. McNutt walked one and struck out three.
The woes down in Florida continue as the Daytona Cubs were tarred and feathered by the Dunedin Blue Jays, 6-3. The loss drops the D-Cubs record on the season to 2-9.
Starter Eric Jokisch got hammered for three runs in the first inning, but then settled down and pitched fairly well after that. Jokisch took the loss, but his final line was four runs on six hits over six innings. He walked three and struck out seven.
Third baseman Greg Rohan homered with the bases empty in the seventh inning. It was his second home run this season. Rohan also doubled in a 3 for 5 effort. He had two RBI and scored twice.
Center fielder Matt Szczur broke out of his early season slump by going 4 for 5 tonight. He scored once.
The Peoria Chiefs reaped the Cedar Rapids Kernels (Angels), 6-2.
Chiefs starter Michael Jensen was strong tonight, giving up only one run over six innings. Jensen allowed only three hits and the one run scored on a fourth inning home run. Jensen walked two and struck out five. Jensen is now 3-0 with a 2.12 ERA after three starts. Don't get excited yet, but keep an eye on him.
The big man in Peoria tonight is first baseman Ryan Cuneo, who went deep not once, but twice tonight. He hit a two-run home run in the third inning and another one with a man on in the fifth. Cuneo now has three home runs this season. He was 3 for 4 with the four RBI and the two runs.
Left fielder Oliver Zapata homered for the second time in as many nights. It was in the sixth inning with the bases empty. Zapata was 1 for 2 with two walks.
DH Paul Hoilman doubled twice in a 2 for 2 game. He also got hit by pitches twice. Catcher Rafael Lopez was 2 for 4 and scored twice.
Peoria improved their record to 5-6.