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Cubs Minor League Wrap: July 31

Javier Baez homered again as the Smokies evened their series with Birmingham. Daytona got great pitching to end a two-game losing streak and the Cougars won their second in a row. The Hawks fall and Iowa dropped their sixth straight.

Rock Shoulders
Rock Shoulders
Jason Zenda

Iowa Cubs

The Iowa Cubs lost their sixth straight game, 6-3 to the Salt Lake Bees (Angels).

It was a better second Cubs start for Justin Grimm, but he got the loss anyway after he allowed two runs on four hits over five innings. He walked three and struck out five.

Almost all of the Iowa offense came from the bottom three hitters in the order. Center fielder Jae-Hoon Ha was 2 for 3 with a walk. Ha scored one run.

Left fielder Darnell McDonald was 2 for 4 with a double. He scored one run and had one RBI. Catcher J.C. Boscan was 2 for 3 with a double and a walk

Tennessee Smokies

The Tennessee Smokies choked the Birmingham Barons (White Sox), 3-2.

Starter Matt Loosen allowed two runs on three hits over 5.1 innings. His big problem was control, as he walked four and hit two batters. Loosen struck out three.

Jeffry Antigua entered the game with the bases loaded and only one out in the sixth. He allowed one run on a sacrifice fly, but otherwise pitched out of the jam. Antigua got the win after pitching 2.2 innings and allowing only one hit and no runs of his own. Antigua walked three and struck out three.

Frank Batista pitched the ninth inning and recorded his 14th save, although not before giving heartburn to everyone at Smokies Park. Batista put runners on first and third with one out and loaded the bases with two outs, but the game ended on a ground ball that first baseman Jonathan Mota deflected to second baseman Arismendy Alcantara who then completed the 3-4-1 ground out. Batista allowed one run on one hit and one walk. He got one big strikeout with runners on the corners and one out.

Shortstop Javier Baez crushed his 28th home run with a man on in the third inning. It was his eleventh homer with the Smokies. Baez was 1 for 3 with a walk and two strikeouts.

The win evened the five game "Chitown Showdown" series at two games apiece and put Tennessee back in first place by half a game. They'll decide the series tomorrow.

Daytona Cubs

The Daytona Cubs edged the Ft. Myers Miracle (Twins), 2-1.

Another impressive start for Ivan Pineyro, who is pitching better than anyone traded even-up for Scott Hairston has a right to be. Today he threw six scoreless innings, allowing only three hits. He struck out seven and walked nobody. In four starts with Daytona, Pineyro has struck out 21 and walked only one.

Austin Reed blew Daytona's one run lead with after he gave up one run on one hit over two innings. However, he ended up getting the win when Daytona pushed a run across in the top of the ninth. Reed walked one and did not have a strikeout.

Frank Del Valle pitched a scoreless ninth for his seventh save. He made it interesting when he gave up two two-out singles, but he struck out the final batter to end the game. Del Valle just had the one strikeout.

DH Dustin Geiger hit a solo home run in the fourth inning, his eleventh of the season. Geiger was 1 for 4.

Right fielder Pin-Chieh Chen entered the game in the third inning and went 3 for 3 and he scored the eventual winning run in the 8th inning on a single by shortstop Elliot Soto, who was 1 for 4 with a walk.

Kane County Cougars

The Kane County Cougars defanged the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers (Brewers), 6-3.

Felix Pena pitched the first seven innings and allowed three runs, only one of which was earned, on seven hits. Pena walked three and struck out one.

Sheldon McDonald pitched the top of the eighth inning and got the win when Kane County scored three times in the bottom of the eighth. He allowed no runs but one hit. McDonald had one strikeout and didn't walk anyone.

Michael Hamann collected his seventh save, and fourth with the Cougars, after a scoreless ninth inning. He gave up a one-out single, but got a double-play to end the game. Hamann did not strike out a batter.

The Cougars went up for good when third baseman Jeimer Candelario and first baseman Rock Shoulders hit back-to-back home runs. Candelario's home run came with a man on and was his seventh of the season. Shoulders's blast was his 17th. Candelario went 2 for 4 and Shoulders was 2 for 3 with a walk.

Second baseman Gioskar Amaya was 2 for 4 with a double. He scored one run and had one RBI.

Boise Hawks

The Boise Hawks were doused by the Everett AquaSox (Mariners), 7-4.

Starter Paul Blackburn gave up a two-run home run in the first inning, which were the only two runs he gave up over two innings. He gave up two hits and a walk. He had one strikeout.

Duane Underwood took the loss. He allowed four runs on four hits over four innings. Underwood walked two and struck out two.

Right fielder Yasiel Balaguert hit a two-run home run in the third inning, his fifth of the season. Balaguert was 2 for 4 with three total RBI.

Center fielder Kevin Encarnacion was 3 for 5 and scored a run. First baseman Jacob Rogers was 2 for 3 with a walk. He scored once and had one RBI.

AZL Cubs

Beat the Giants, 2-1.

Gerardo Concepcion tossed two scoreless innings in his 2013 debut.