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Cubs Minor League Wrap: May 23

Great starting pitching in the upper minors today. Not nearly as good was the starting pitching in A ball, although Kane County did get some excellent relief pitching. Just not excellent enough. And Albert Almora had four more hits.

Chris Rusin
Chris Rusin
Mike McGinnis

After two games in the Midwest League, Albert Almora now has seven hits.

Iowa Cubs

The Iowa Cubs dissected the Las Vegas 51s (Mets), 4-0.

Chris Rusin controlled the 51s for six shutout innings, allowing six hits. Rusin walked two and struck out four. He even doubled and scored in the fifth inning.

Second baseman Logan Watkins led off the bottom of the first with his fourth home run of the season. He hit an RBI single in the sixth that scored Josh Vitters. Watkins was 2 for 4.

Vitters was 2 for 3 with a walk. Left fielder Dave Sappelt went 2 for 3 with a walk and an RBI.

Tennessee Smokies

The Tennessee Smokies eclipsed the Huntsville Stars (Brewers), 2-0.

Starter Kyle Hendricks dominated the Stars, allowing just three hits, all singles, over seven innings. Hendricks walked one and struck out seven. The win improved his record to 4-2 and lowered his ERA to 2.44. Most of that has been at home, as he's allowed only one run in 16 innings at Smokies Park.

Marcus Hatley got his second save, but it wasn't without drama. He allowed a double and a walk with one out to bring the go-ahead run to the plate in the ninth, but the game ended when Brock Kjelgaard hit a line drive that second baseman Ronald Torreyes made a spectacular diving catch on and then threw to second base while sitting on his rear for the game-ending double play. Hatley did have one strikeout. He just pitched that one inning.

Shortstop Arismendy Alcantara hit a solo home run in the fourth inning to break a scoreless tie. It was his sixth home run of the year. Alcantara went 1 for 2 with two walks. He also stole his 14th base of the season.

The other run scored later in the fourth when first baseman Tim Torres hit an RBI double, scoring Rafael Lopez. Torres was 1 for 3.

Daytona Cubs

The Daytona Cubs were chum for the Jupiter Hammerheads (Marlins), 8-4.

Zach Cates started and took the loss. Cates allowed four runs on eight hits over five innings. Cates walked one and struck out four.

Center fielder John Andreoli was 3 for 5 with a triple. He scored twice. First baseman Dustin Geiger was 2 for 3 with a sacrifice fly.

Kane County Cougars

The Kane County Cougars were outlasted by the Peoria Chiefs (Cardinals), 9-8 in 14 innings.

Dillon Maples started and allowed four runs in the first inning and four runs in the fourth. His final line was 3.2 innings pitched, allowing eight runs on six hits. Three of the eight runs were unearned. He walked three, hit two batters and had two wild pitches. Maples struck out four.

Lendy Castillo completely shut down the Chiefs for the rest of the scheduled nine innings. Castillo had 5.1 scoreless innings, giving up five hits. Castillo struck out nine and walked two.

Castillo was relieved by Jeffry Antigua, who retired all six batters he faced. He struck out four.

Justin Amlung took the loss. He pitched 2.1 innings and allowed one run on one hit. He struck out three and walked no one.

The Chiefs won in the bottom of the 14th when Gerwuins Velazco led off the 14th with a triple and scored two batters later on a suicide squeeze.

Both teams struck out twenty times in this game. The game was tied 8-8 after four innings and no team scored again until the bottom of the 14th.

Center fielder Albert Almora had four more hits tonight in a 4 for 7 night. He had two doubles. Almora scored one run and had one RBI. He was also one of only three players in this game (two Cougars and one Chief) who did not strike out.

Third baseman Jeimer Candelario had a two-run double in the first inning and a two-run single in the third. He was 2 for 7.

Left fielder Pin-Chieh Chen was 1 for 5 with two walks. He scored three runs and had two batted in. He was also the other Cougar who did not strike out.