Josh Vitters was 4 for 4 tonight. (Photo by Rob Tringali/Getty Images)
Tomorrow night's Wrap will likely be late. Just a heads up. It will be up before morning in Chicago.
I'm going to switch things up a bit tonight because I think people want to hear good news first.
The Tennessee Smokies bounced the Birmingham Barons (White Sox), 2-1.
Starter Eric Jokisch kept the Barons at bay, allowing but one run over six innings. The run scored on a first inning solo home run, which was one of only four hits he gave up. Jokisch walked one and did not have a strikeout.
Marcus Hatley pitched the next two scoreless innings, allowing only one hit. Hatley did not have a walk or a strikeout.
Frank Batista pitched the ninth inning for his tenth save. The Fireman allowed a two-out single, but no other baserunners. He struck out one.
Left fielder Rebel Ridling cranked an opposite field solo home run in the bottom of the eighth to give the Smokies the lead. Ridling was 1 for 3 with a walk. It was one of only four hits the Smokies had. It was his eighth home run of the year.
With the win, the Smokies have now won 11 of their last 12 games and have improved their record to 35-34. The Smokies are the only team in the Cubs system above .500. Unfortunately, Jackson had clinched the Northern Division first-half title some time ago. They'll play the final game of the first half tomorrow.
The Iowa Cubs were nuked by the Albuquerque Isotopes (Dodgers), 9-1.
Chris Rusin got in trouble early in this game and the I-Cubs never recovered. Rusin pitched 3.1 innings and allowed eight runs on nine hits. Rusin walked three and struck out four.
Third baseman Josh Vitters was 4 for 4 with a double. He scored the lone Iowa run.
Austin Kirk started the game for the North and pitched a perfect inning. He did not have a strikeout.
Shortstop Arismendy Alcantara struck out in his only trip to the plate.
The Chiefs game was suspended by rain in the fourth inning, trailing the Clinton LumberKings 5-2. When play resumes tomorrow, the Chiefs have the bases loaded, one out, with Yaniel Cabezas at the plate.
The Boise Hawks were buried by the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes (Giants), 7-4.
James Pugliese started and went the first five innings, giving up three runs on six hits. He walked two and struck out one. (Welcome to the Minor League Wrap, James.)
First baseman Rock Shoulders hit the first Hawks home run of the season on the first pitch of the second inning. It was a tremendous blast to right field that Hawks announcer Mike Safford thought landed on Interstate 5.. Shoulders was 1 for 4.
Catcher Willson Contreras hit the second home run of the year for the Hawks with the bases empty in the seventh inning. Contreras was also 1 for 4.