I had a real nice chat today with Mike Safford, the fine play-by-play man for the Boise Hawks. We talked about the entire Cubs system with a focus (although not exclusively) on former Hawks players. You can listen to it during tomorrow's (or tonight's if you're reading this on Tuesday) Hawkstown Tonight pre-game show at 8pm Chicago time.
Javier Baez was named Florida State League Player of the Week.
The Iowa Cubs chased away the Omaha Storm Chasers (Royals), 2-0.
This game was all about starter Chris Rusin, who just dominated Omaha all game. Rusin tossed Iowa's first nine-inning, complete game shutout since Sergio Mitre in 2004. Rusin scattered five hits, all singles, and only walked one batter. He only needed 93 pitches to finish out the game. The walk came with two out in the ninth inning, and it was the only batter Rusin even went to three balls on. He struck out eight.
Both Iowa runs came on solo home runs. Shortstop Donnie Murphy gave Iowa a 1-0 lead in the fifth inning with his sixth home run. Right fielder Brian Bogusevic hit his ninth in the eighth inning. Both hitters were 1 for 3.
The Tennessee Smokies played spoiler against the Mississippi Braves, 2-1. Tennessee's win eliminated Mississippi from the first half Southern Division title.
Another great start for Eric Jokisch, who allowed only one run on three hits over six innings. He walked three and struck out three.
Frank Batista pitched the ninth inning and got his ninth save. He gave up one single, but nothing else. Batista fanned two.
Despite Jokisch's strong start, he was in line for the loss until left fielder Pin-Chieh Chen came up with two outs and two runs scored on an infield single to first base and a missed catch error by the Braves pitcher in the bottom of the sixth. Chen was 1 for 5 with the one RBI.
Right fielder Anthony Giansanti and catcher Chad Noble both scored on that play. They were both 2 for 4. First baseman Jonathan Mota also had a 2 for 4 night.
The Daytona Cubs were chum for the Clearwater Threshers (Phillies), 9-2.
It was a rough start for Zach Cates, who had trouble finding the plate. Cates allowed four runs on five hits over five innings. Cates walked five hitters and struck out four.
First baseman Dustin Geiger accounted for all of Daytona's runs with a two-run home run in the fourth inning that temporarily tied the game at two. It was Geiger's eighth home run. He was 1 for 4 on the night.
Third baseman Ben Carhart was 2 for 4 with a double. Right fielder John Andreoli was 1 for 4, and now you know who got all four of the D-Cubs hits.
The loss puts Daytona in fourth place. They're only two games out of first, but there are also only two games to play in the first half.
Kane County Cougars
The Cougars hit the all-star break.
The Boise Hawks were sacrificed to the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes (Giants), 8-6.
Starter Duane Underwood went 3.2 innings and allowed three runs on six hits. Underwood walked two and struck out three.
Orbandy Rodriguez's Cubs debut wasn't pretty. He took the loss after allowing four runs in the sixth inning. His final line was 2.1 innings, allowing four runs on six hits. Rodriguez struck out one and didn't walk anyone, but he had two wild pitches in the sixth, both of which scored runs.
This was one of those games that remind you that the Northwest League is at the bottom of the minor league totem pole. Between the two teams, there were seven wild pitches and at least two or three other balls that got past the catcher but bounced off the back wall, preventing any runners from advancing.
Right fielder Yasiel Balaguert went 2 for 4 with a two-run double in the fifth inning. He also had a sacrifice fly for three total RBI.
First baseman Jacob Rogers was 2 for 4 with a walk and a run.