A seriously weird night tonight. Players out of position, pitchers pinch-hitting for outfielders, first basemen pitching, ejections and phantom errors (at least according to the boxscore). Some big prospects had big nights and some didn't. Some big guy in Iowa continues to lead all of baseball in home runs.
I do believe this may be the longest Minor League Wrap ever tonight.
The Iowa Cubs colonized the Salt Lake Bees, 12-3.
Starter J. R. Mathes improved his record to 6-3 with a textbook "quality start": three runs over six innings. Mathes gave up eight hits, walked one and struck out five.
Kevin Hart impressed and picked up his third save by pitching the final three innings. Hart didn't allow a hit or a run. He didn't walk anyone, although he did hit two batters. Hart struck out five. Hart also had an RBI double.
Catcher (yes, catcher) Jake Fox hit his baseball leading 17th home run tonight in the Beehive State. It was a three-run home run in the 7th inning. Fox was 2 for 4 tonight with a double, the homer and four RBI. Fox scored twice and walked once. Defensively, Fox had two passed balls and was 1 for 3 throwing out base stealers; nailing first baseman Matthew Brown trying to steal third on a busted hit and run play.
Shortstop Andres Blanco also homered in the seventh inning, a solo shot that was his fourth of the season. Blanco went 2 for 4 with two runs scored.
Second baseman David Macias got promoted from Peoria a few days ago and got his first hits in AAA tonight. Macias went 2 for 4 with a walk. He scored three times and had one RBI.
Right fielder Brad Snyder was 1 for 3 with a triple and a run scored, but he must have hurt himself because I can't think of any other reason why he would be pinch-hit for by pitcher Mitch Atkins.
In the first game, starter Casey Coleman got battered around a bit. He allowed four runs on six hits over four innings. Coleman walked one and struck out one.
Reliever Jake Muyco returned to the Smokies tonight for the first time since quitting catching for pitching last summer. Unfortunately, his return was not a happy one as he allowed three runs in the only inning he pitched.
John Gaub was awarded the win by pitching a scoreless inning of relief. He didn't allow a hit but he did walk two. Gaub failed to record a strikeout. Brian Schlitter got his fifth save with a perfect seventh inning. Schlitter struck out one.
Third baseman Marquez Smith hit his first AA home run of the season in the first game. He went 3 for 4 in the game with two RBI and three runs scored.
Shortstop Darwin Barney was 2 for 3 with a walk, an RBI and a run scored. Right fielder Richie Robnett was 2 for 4 with two RBI and a stolen base. Catcher Steve Clevenger went 2 for 3 with a walk and a run scored.
In the second game, James Russell was masterful for five innings, allowing only one run on a solo home run. Russell gave up three hits total, walked only one and struck out seven. It was easily Russell's best appearance of the year.
He didn't get the win though because David Cales got rocked for three runs in the one inning he pitched. Cales gave up four hits, walked two and struck out two.
The loss went to first baseman Blake Lalli, who took the mound in an emergency capacity and allowed a run in the bottom of the seventh.
Third baseman Marquez Smith continued his big night in the second game by going 3 for 4 with a home run again. Smith scored twice and knocked two in. His solo home run in the seventh tied the game.
Shortstop Darwin Barney was 3 for 4 with a double and a run scored. However, he struck out in the top of the seventh and both he and manager Ryne Sandberg were then ejected for arguing the call. In the bottom of the inning, Gameday then claimed that Barney made the error that led to the winning run after he had been ejected from the game. I notice the boxscore has now been updated to show the error was made by Marquez Smith playing out of position at shortstop.
Second baseman Tony Thomas hit his eighth home run in the second game. Thomas was 1 for 3 with a walk and the solo home run. Thomas has now homered in three of the past four games. He went 2 for 7 for the evening in both games.
Right fielder Jonathan Mota was 2 for 3 with an RBI.
Andrew Cashner had his worst appearance of the season, allowing two runs in his two-inning start. Cashner gave up four hits, walked two and struck out four.
Henry Williamson got the win in relief. Williamson allowed one run on three hits over 3.1 innings. Williamson showed great control as he didn't walk (or hit) a batter and fanned six.
Center fielder Tony Campana was back in the field after his collision and went 2 for 4 with two walks. Second baseman Nate Samson had a 2 for 3 night with two walks. Samson had a pair of RBI and a pair of runs scored.
Third baseman Jovan Rosa was 2 for 3 with a double, a triple and two runs scored.
Marcus Hatley didn't have a good start, but it was good enough for the win. Hatley allowed six runs, three earned, in his five-inning start. He was rocked for six hits, two of which were home runs. But the worst mark was the five walks he issued as compared to only two strikeouts. Still, it was good enough for the win.
Chris Huseby is finally starting to show some of the promise that made the Cubs give him that 1.3 million dollar bonus a few years ago. Huseby picked up the save with two shutout innings. He did allow three hits, but he didn't walk anyone and struck out four.
Josh Vitters continues to pummel the MWL. Tonight he was 3 for 5 with his sixth home run and his third in three games. Vitters also had a double. Vitters had three RBI and scored twice.
Kyler Burke was 2 for 5 with a double and two RBI. Shortstop Ryan Flaherty was 2 for 5 with two runs scored. Left fielder Josh Harrison had a 2 for 4 night with a double two runs scored and an RBI.
DH Cliff Andersen had his first big game since returning from the disabled list and went 2 for 4 with a double and two runs scored.
Right fielder Nelson Perez hit his sixth home run of the season. Perez was 1 for 3 with two RBI.
Boise Hawks and AZL Cubs
Don't even think about it. They're on hiatus until late June.