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Minor League Wrap--Opening Night--April 8

Welcome to a new season of minor league baseball and the Minor League Wrap!

If you're new to BCB, every night I do a recap of the day's games in the Cubs minor league system. It's also important for you to contribute if you go to see a minor league game. Tell us what you did and who you saw play. Don't worry if you're not a scout: I'm not a scout either. If you don't know what to look for, you can either email me privately or ask here on the board.

Tonight, Andrew Cashner made a statement down in Mississippi.

Iowa Cubs

The Iowa Cubs were drowned out by the Nashville Sounds, 6-3.

J. R. Mathes got the opening night start and got into trouble early. He allowed three runs in the first inning and the I-Cubs never recovered. Mathes lasted five total innings, surrendering five runs on nine hits, including two home runs. Mathes walked only one (the first batter of the season) and struck out five, so at least that was a positive.

Mitch Atkins threw two shutout innings of relief. He didn't allow a hit, walked one and struck out two.

Third baseman Bobby Scales was 1 for 1 with three walks for a perfect night. He scored once. Shortstop Matt Camp was 2 for 4.

Tennessee Smokies

The Chicago Cubs beat the Atlanta Braves tonight and the Tennessee Smokies doubled that by chopping down the Mississippi Braves, 4-3.

The story of tonight was starting pitcher Andrew Cashner. Cashner started the game by striking out the first seven batters of the game. Let me repeat that: Cashner struck out the first seven batters he faced. He struck out ten of the first twelve batters he faced. Cashner did get into trouble in the fifth. He walked the first two batters he faced and then allowed a three-run home run. Cashner's final line was 4.1 innings pitched, allowing three runs on three hits. He struck out ten and walked two.

David Cales relieved Cashner in the fifth and got out of the inning without any further damage. He got the win because Cashner didn't go five. Cales went 1.2 innings and allowed no runs and one hit. He struck out one.

Dustin Sasser entered the game with two out in the ninth and a man on first. He then allowed a single and a walk to load up the bases for ending the game by getting a pop up to first.

Shortstop Starlin Castro had a pretty good night too. He went 2 for 4 with a triple and a stolen base. Castro scored once and had an RBI. Center fielder Tony Campana picked up where he left off on the basepaths last season. Last year he had 66 stolen bases. Tonight he had another two. Campana was 1 for 2. He walked twice and scored twice.

Daytona Cubs

The Daytona Cubs were capsized by the Brevard County Mantees, 3-0.

Starting pitcher Rafael Dolis dominated for five innings, allowing only two hits. He didn't walk anyone and struck out five.

Dae-Eun Rhee relieved Dolis and threw two shutout innings. Unfortunately, he got in trouble in the bottom of the eighth when he started his third inning of work. The Manatees scored three runs in the inning and Rhee took the loss. He pitched 2.1 innings total, allowing three runs on two hits and a walk. One of the runs was unearned. Rhee did not strike anyone out.

It was a pitcher's duel tonight and the Daytona Cubs were held to one hit. Bob will be happy to know the only Cub hit was by catcher Michael Brenly, who was 1 for 3.

Peoria Chiefs

The Chiefs usurped the Clinton Lumber Kings, 5-4.

Starter Robert Whitenack allowed a lone run in each of the first three innings and one in the fifth, but he battled to keep the Chiefs in the game and he eventually got the win. Whitenack allowed four runs on seven hits over five innings. He struck out three and didn't walk a batter.

Jordan Latham pitched a perfect ninth for the save. He struck out two.

DH Greg Rohan hit the first home run of the season for the Cubs minor league system. It was a two-run home run in the fourth inning. Rohan was 1 for 4.

Third baseman Matt Cerda was 2 for 4 with a walk and a double. He had one RBI. Center fielder Jose Valdez was 2 for 4 with a triple and a stolen base. Valdez scored twice.