This may have come out when I was incommunicado, but Baseball America is getting ready to name their Minor League Player of the Year and our own Chris Archer is on their list of candidates. Now I can promise you that he isn't going to win, but to just be mentioned is quite an honor an a sign of how high his stock has risen this season.
Carlos Silva had a rehab start tonight in Peoria.
The Iowa Cubs hung on to beat the Omaha Royals, 9-8.
Jay Jackson pitched the first six innings and got the textbook quality start, allowing three runs. Jackson gave up six hits. He walked two and struck out five.
Hung-Wen Chen and the Cubs had a six run lead in the eighth inning, but it was 9-7 when Jeff Gray entered the game with no one out and a man on second in the ninth inning. Gray allowed the runner on second to score, although it was on an error by Bryan LaHair. He then got a flyout and a double play to end the game. It was Gray's first save for Iowa.
The I-Cubs pounded out four home runs tonight, including DH Jason Dubois' three-run home run in the fifth. It was his 14th home run of the year and his 82nd in his Iowa career. He's now eight home runs off the Iowa record. Doesn't look like he's going to get it this season, but he's putting on a finishing kick. Dubois was 1 for 5.
Catcher Robinson Chirinos also hit a three-run homer in the first inning. It was his third homer for Iowa and his 18th on the year. Chirinos was 4 for 5.
First baseman Bryan LaHair hit a solo home run in fourth inning. LaHair went 3 for 5 and scored twice. He's hit 20 home runs this year. Finally, right fielder Brad Snyder hit a solo home run in the seventh inning, his 22nd homer this season. Snyder went 2 for 4 with a walk. He scored twice as well.
Third baseman Marquez Smith was 2 for 5 and scored once. Center fielder Sam Fuld was 2 for 5 with a double.
Memphis won again, so Iowa's lead in the division stayed at 1.5 games. Their magic number is ten. Iowa and Memphis easily have the two best records in the PCL and one of those two teams isn't going to the playoffs. Don't forget, Memphis is a Cardinals farm club too.
The Tennessee Smokies battered the Birmingham Barons, 5-2.
Rafael Dolis took the mound to start the game and picked up his fifth win for Tennessee. Dolis pitched 5.2 innings and allowed two runs on eight hits. He walked three and struck out four.
Esmailin Caridad threw 1.1 innings in a rehab appearance without allowing a run. He gave up one hit, walked no one and struck out three.
Blake Parker got his fourth save with 1.2 innings of hitless relief. Parker walked one and struck out one.
Catcher Steve Clevenger was 2 for 4 with a double. Clevenger scored three times and walked once. Second baseman Tony Thomas hit an RBI triple in a 2 for 4 game.
Left fielder Brandon Guyer stayed hot, going 2 for 4 with a double. He scored once.
Huntsville was rained out, so Tennessee's magic number has fallen to two. Huntsville has a double-header tomorrow, so either a Smokies win and a Huntsville split will clinch the title, or if Mobile sweeps Huntsville. But let's get Tennessee a win, because that would be Smokies manager Bill Dancey his 1600th career managerial win. (Thanks to the Smokies Radio Network for that tidbit.)
The Daytona Cubs were grounded by the Lakeland Flying Tigers, 5-1 in 11 innings.
Alberto Cabrera was great tonight, pitching 6.1 innings and allowing only one unearned run. Cabrera gave up only three hits and he walked only two. Cabrera struck out ten. That's pretty good, isn't it?
Mike Perconte took the loss in relief. He allowed four runs on five hits over 1.2 innings. Perconte walked one and struck out three.
Third baseman Ryan Flaherty hit a double in a 2 for 4 game. He scored once.
The Peoria Chiefs detasseled the Cedar Rapids Kernels 3-1.
Carlos Silva took the mound in a rehab start and pitched 2.2 innings of scoreless relief. Silva allowed two hits, walked no one and struck out one. From everything that I hear, Silva will make his next start for the Cubs. [Correction: Silva will make one more start for Peoria on Wednesday]
Robinson Lopez, acquired in the Derrek Lee trade, got his first win in the Cubs organization by allowing one run on three hits over 3.2 innings of relief. All the damage was done on a solo home run. Lopez walked one and struck out one.
Corey Martin pitched the ninth and got his sixth save. Martin didn't allow a run, but he did surrender a hit and issued one walk. Martin also struck out one.
Right fielder Jae-Hoon Ha hit a solo home run in the second inning. Ha was 1 for 3 on the night and now has seven home runs this year.
DH DJ Fitzgerald was responsible for the rest of Peoria's runs, hitting a two-run blast in the sixth. Fitzgerald was 2 for 4 and now has six home runs this season.
Shortstop Hak-Ju Lee was 2 for 3 with a walk. He also stole his 32nd base on the year.
Peoria is still three games out of a playoff berth with 11 games to play.
The Boise Hawks blew away the Tri-City Dust Devils, 3-2.
Cameron Greathouse started and lasted 4.1 innings. He gave up two runs on six hits Most impressively, he didn't walk anyone and struck out nine.
Eric Rice got his first win as a professional with 1.2 innings of perfect relief. Rice struck out two. (This was not a case of Rice getting the win because Greathouse didn't go five. The Hawks did not take the lead until Rice was in the game.)
I don't usually mention relievers who don't record a win or a save, but Aaron Kurcz threw two scoreless innings tonight and gave up two hits and walked one. That's not that impressive, but fact that he recorded all six outs he got by a swinging strikeout is.
Steven Grife got his sixth save with a scoreless ninth. He allowed one hit, walked no one and struck out two.
All told, Hawks pitchers recorded 19 strikeouts tonight.
Left fielder Jesus Morelli was 2 for 4 with a double and an RBI.