Chicago Cubs Minor League Wrap: August 21

Javier Baez - USA TODAY Sports

The Cubs top prospect went 4 for 4 with 2 home runs and five RBI as the Smokies are close to clinching a second-half title. The Hawks got a big win over the team ahead of them. Kane County is out of it and Iowa is almost out of it, and they both lost.

Iowa Cubs

The Iowa Cubs were blasted by the Memphis Redbirds (Cardinals), 7-1.

Yoanner Negrin had a good start tonight, allowing only one run on four hits over five innings. Negrin struck out two and walked one.

Alberto Cabrera's third season in Triple-A is proving to be a rough one. Cabrera's record fell to 0-3 and his ERA rose to 8.31 after he allowed four runs on five hits in the sixth inning, the only inning he pitched. One of those five hits was a three-run home run. Cabrera walked one and struck out one.

Right fielder Ty Wright was 1 for 3 with a triple and a walk.

Tennessee Smokies

Behind another amazing performance from Javier Baez, the Tennessee Smokies blitzed the Birmingham Barons (White Sox), 10-8.

Starter Matt Loosen allowed three runs on five hits over the first 5.2 innings. Loosen struck out five and walked nobody.

Tony Zych blew a three-run lead in the bottom of the eighth, but ended up getting the win when the Smokies scored four times in the top of the ninth. Zych allowed four runs, two of which were earned, on three hits over two-thirds of an inning. Zych walked one and struck out one.

Frank Batista had to come in when Zych allowed a run on the top of the ninth without recording an out. Batista allowed one inherited runner to score, but none of his own in a one-inning save. He gave up one hit but didn't walk anyone. He had one strikeout in his 17th save.

Shortstop Javier Baez hit another two home runs tonight, a three-run blast over third inning and a solo home run in the seventh. Baez was 4 for 4 with a sacrifice fly that broke the tie in the ninth inning, giving him five total RBI. Baez now has 16 home runs in Tennessee and 33 on the season, which is second to George Springer among all minor leaguers this season. The 4 for 4 line also raised his batting average in Tennessee over .300 to .307.

Second baseman Arismendy Alcantara went 2 for 3 with a double and two walks. He also stole a base. Alcantara scored twice and had one RBI.

Left fielder Brett Jackson was 2 for 5 with a double.

The Jackson Generals lost both end of a doubleheader, so the Smokies magic number dropped all the way to four with 11 games to play.

Daytona Cubs

They got one inning in before the rains came. Double-header tomorrow. Lakeland was also rained out, so no change in the magic number there (10), although Clearwater lost so their magic number over the Threshers dropped to nine.

Kane County Cougars

The Kane County Cougars fought back from a 5-0 deficit, but then fell to the the Beloit Snappers (Athletics), 8-5 in ten innings.

James Pugliese got a rude welcome to the Midwest League as he allowed five runs over five innings in his Low-A debut. He allowed ten hits, including a home run to Matt Olsen in the second inning. On the bright side, Pugliese did strike out six and walk nobody.

Michael Hamann took the loss when he gave up a three runs in the top of the ninth, including a two-run home run to Matt Olsen again. Hamann allowed three runs on three hits over one inning. He struck out one and did not walk anyone.

DH Giuseppe Papaccio hit a base-loaded triple in the bottom of the eighth inning to get Kane County to within 5-3. Papaccio was 2 for 5.

Shortstop Marco Hernandez was 2 for 5 with a double. Third baseman Jeimer Candelario went 2 for 5 with an RBI single in the ninth inning to cut the lead to 5-4. He later scored the tying run on a Rock Shoulders sacrifice fly.

With the loss, Kane County was officially eliminated from post-season contention.

Boise Hawks

The Boise Hawks capped the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes (Giants), 5-2.

Starter Jose Rosario got the win after allowing two runs on five hits over five innings. Rosario struck out five and walked two.

Jose Arias pitched 3.2 scoreless innings in relief of Rosario, but exited after allowing a single and walk with two outs in the ninth. But Eddie Orozco struck out the only batter he faced for his first save.  Arias gave up three total hits. He struck out four and walked only one.

Right fielder Yasiel Balaguert was 2 for 4 with two RBI. Second baseman Danny Lockhart was 2 for 4 and scored a run. Catcher Lance Rymel went 2 for 3 with two RBI. He also scored one run.

The win gets Boise to within a game of first place Salem-Keizer. Unfortunately, Hillsboro also won and they tied Salem-Keizer for first place, one game ahead of the Hawks. Boise will make the playoffs if either they or Salem-Keizer win the second-half title.

AZL Cubs

Lost to the Diamondbacks, 4-3.

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