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Cubs Minor League Wrap -- May 29

There was a lot of movement in the Cubs system over the past couple of days. I'll try to list as many as I can. But no, Josh Vitters was not promoted.

Catcher Steve Clevenger and pitcher James Russell were promoted from Tennessee to Iowa. Tennessee pitcher Jesse Estrada was released and pitcher Marco Carrillo was promoted from Daytona to Tennessee, only one day after being activated from Extended Spring Training. David Cales, who had struggled after being promoted from Daytona to Tennessee, was sent back to Daytona. Catcher Mark Reed was promoted from Daytona to Tennessee.

I remember back in April someone asked what had happened to Carrillo. There's your answer. He's back with the Smokies now.

Iowa Cubs

The Iowa Cubs, their ranks depleted by the demands of their parent club, shot down the Memphis Redbirds, 5-0.

Starter J.R. Mathes improved his record to 7-3 with an impressive start tonight. Mathes pitched eight innings and allowed only five hits and no walks. He struck out two. Mathes now leads both the Pacific Coast League and the Cub organization in wins.

Catcher Mark Johnson was 2 for 3 with a walk and a run scored.

Tennessee Smokies

The Smokies bullpen woes continue as they dropped a double-header to the Huntsville Stars, 4-2 and 3-0 in eight innings.

The story of the first game was starter Jay Jackson. Jackson had a no-hitter going into the sixth inning (remember, double-headers in the minors are only seven innings) when the first batter lined a shot off of his leg that ricocheted to first baseman Russ Canzler for the out. After a long deliberation with the trainers, Jackson was allowed to stay in the game and go for history. He retired the next batter on a fly out, but with two out in the sixth, he allowed his first hit. He then allowed a second hit to score the runner and was pulled from the game.

For the afternoon, Jackson's final line was 6.2 innings pitched with one run on two hits. Jackson has actually had better stuff in other games, as today he walked three Stars and struck out only one. Jackson did go 1 for 2 with an RBI single at the plate.

Brian Schlitter got the last out of the sixth and took the loss when he allowed three runs in the top of the seventh.

Right fielder James Adduci was 2 for 4 and third baseman Marquez Smith was 2 for 3.

In the second game it was the same story as good starting pitching was undone by a weak offense and a bullpen collapse. Jeremy Papelbon came off the DL and went three innings without allowing a run. He gave up four hits, didn't walk a batter and struck out one. (Note: It's normal in the minors for relievers to get the start in one game of a double-header so that the other starters stay on their normal rest. They didn't decide to make a starter out of Papelbon.)

Alex Maestri has been one of the few bullpen bright spots for the Smokies in May and he threw a shutout inning, although he did walk two Stars. But he didn't allow any hits and fanned two as well. Marco Carrillo had a successful first game as he pitched 2.1 innings without allowing a hit. He only walked one and he struck out two.

The bad news, besides the offense, was that Jake Muyco allowed three runs on back-to-back home runs in the top of the eighth inning to take the loss.

Adduci went 1 for 1 with two walks in the second game.

Daytona Cubs

The D-Cubs got red-faced after they were embarrassed by the Palm Beach Cardinals, 7-4.

Dan McDaniel got the his first loss after he allowed three runs in his 3. 2 inning start. McDaniel surrendered four hits and three walks. He did strike out five.

The Cubs had 14 hits, but managed only four runs because they only had one extra base hit and one walk. Both of those belonged to DH Jake Opitz, who was 2 for 3 with a double and a walk. Opitz scored twice.

Center fielder Tony Campana was 3 for 5. Left fielder Jonathan Wyatt went 2 for 5 and first baseman Ryan Keedy was 2 for 4.

Shortstop Starlin Castro was 2 for 5 with an RBI. He's now hitting over .300 on the season, and impressive feat for a 19 year old in the Florida State League. What's not so impressive is that he made two more errors tonight and has already committed 15 errors on the season.

Peoria Chiefs

The Chiefs were out-crazied by the Great Lakes Loons, 8-7 after a walk-off home run in the bottom of the tenth inning.

Justin Bristow was hammered for five runs on five hits over five innings, but still left the game in line for the win. Although Bristow didn't walk a batter, he did hit two batters. Bristow struck out three.

Chris Huseby surrendered the game-ending home run in the tenth. Huseby pitched 1.1 innings and allowed two hits. He did strike out three while walking none, although again he did hit one batter.

Shortstop Ryan Flaherty hit a two-run home run in the second inning, but had to be removed from the game with a "leg injury" after turning a double play in the fourth inning. It was his fifth home run of the year.

Josh Harrison hit a two-run home run in the first inning, his third on the season. Harrison went 1 for 5 with 3 RBI.

Catcher Michael Brenly had a double in a 2 for 5 night. Brenly scored once and had one RBI.