Normally I lead with Triple-A and go down the system, but I think the big story is in High-A Daytona. Besides, we could all use some good news.
The Daytona Cubs keelhauled the Bradenton Marauders (Pirates), 4-3. The Daytona Cubs have now won eleven games in a row.
Aaron Kurcz has been outstanding this month, but he had a bad start today as he allowed three runs on five hits over only three innings. All three runs scored on a pair of home runs in the second inning. Kucz walked one and struck out three.
After that, the bullpen shut Bradenton down the rest of the way. Juan Serrano threw three perfect innings, striking out four. Eduardo Figueroa had to pitch around three hits and two errors over two innings, but he didn't allow a run. And Brett Ebinger got his fifth win with a perfect ninth inning. Ebinger did not strike out anyone.
Matt Cerda led off the bottom of the ninth with a ground ball to the pitcher, who threw the ball down the right field line. Cerda did not stop running until he reached third base. Evan Crawford then singled him home with the winning run. Cerda was 1 for 5 and scored twice. Crawford went 3 for 4 with a double and a walk. He also scored one run in addition to having the game-winning RBI.
Catcher Mario Mercedes went 2 for 4.
The Daytona Cubs have now played 50 games and their record stands at an incredible 38-12.
The Iowa Cubs scored three in the ninth inning to rob the Round Rock Express (Rangers), 6-4.
Starter Austin Bibens-Dirkx was cruising along with five shutout innings until he came out for the sixth and allowed four runs on a solo home run and a three-run home run. Overall he pitched six innings and allowed the four runs on four hits. He walked one and struck out one.
John Gaub was perfect over the final two innings for the win. He struck out one.
Right fielder Tyler Colvin's RBI single in the ninth gave the I-Cubs the lead for good. Colvin went 2 for 5.
Shortstop Jonathan Mota went 3 for 4 with a double and three RBI. He scored once. Third baseman Scott Moore doubled and scored in a 2 for 4 game. First baseman Bryan LaHair went 2 for 4 with a double.
Second baseman Bobby Scales homered for the second straight game. It was a solo home run in the eighth inning. Scales was 2 for 4 and scored twice. He was intentionally walked in the ninth inning to set up Colvin's single.
The Smokies were shut out by the Mississippi Braves, 3-0.
Trey McNutt threw seven shutout innings tonight, allowing only three hits. McNutt walked two and struck out two.
Chris Carpenter took the loss in relief when he allowed a three-run home run in the ninth inning. Overall he pitched two innings and allowed the three runs on two hits and a walk. He did not record a strikeout.
The Smokies only managed three hits. Shortstop Marwin Gonzalez was 2 for 4.
The Peoria Chiefs lost to the Cedar Rapids Kernels (Angels) 6-5.
Starting pitcher Dallas Beeler threw four innings and allowed two runs on six hits. He only walked one and struck out five. The Chiefs broadcast crew insist that the two runs should be unearned, as one clear error was ruled a hit.
Casey Harman gave up a long, walk-off home run in the bottom of the ninth to take the loss. He pitched two-thirds of an inning.
Center fielder Matt Szczur went 4 for 5 with two doubles and a stolen base. Szczur scored twice and had one RBI. Szczur is now hitting .344 on the season.
Third baseman Greg Rohan was 2 for 4. He scored once and batted two in.