Remember, the minor league season ends Labor Day weekend, so we're in the home stretch for the playoff pushes for at least four of the Cubs minor league teams. None of them qualified by winning their first half title. (The Pacific Coast League doesn't use half-seasons.)
The Iowa Cubs were litter for the Sacramento River Cats (Athletics), 9-1.
Brooks Raley started and took the loss. Raley allowed four runs on seven hits over six innings. He struck out seven and walked only one.
Shortstop Edwin Maysonet went 2 for 4 with a double. He scored Iowa's only run.
Omaha also lost, so Iowa remains four games out of first place.
The Tennessee Smokies sneaked past the Chattanooga Lookouts (Dodgers), 4-3.
Nick Struck started and allowed three runs on six hits over 6.2 innings. Struck struck out four. His control issues continued as he walked five.
A.J. Morris got the win in relief. Morris threw 1.1 innings of scoreless relief, without allowing a hit. He walked one and struck out one.
Frank Batista pitched a scoreless ninth inning for his sixteenth save. He gave up one hit. Batista had neither a walk nor a strikeout.
Shortstop Javier Baez broke a 3-3 tie in the bottom of the eighth inning with a solo home run, his 30th of the season. It was his 13th home run for the Smokies. Baez also doubled and walked in a 2 for 3 game.
First baseman Justin Bour was 2 for 4 with a two-run single in the fifth inning. He also scored a run.
Catcher Rafael Lopez was 2 for 3 with a run scored.
Birmingham won, so Tennessee's second-half lead in the North Division stayed at five games.
The Daytona Cubs were bitten by the Clearwater Threshers (Phillies), 4-2.
Another dominating start for C.J. Edwards, who threw five scoreless innings, allowing only only one baserunner on a leadoff single in the third inning. Edwards struck out three.
Austin Reed took the loss with two innings of relief. Reed allowed three runs on six hits. He walked one and struck out one.
Ryan Searle allowed a run over two innings in his first appearance since April after coming off the disabled list.
Third baseman Kris Bryant went 2 for 4 with an RBI.
Lakeland won, so Daytona's second-half lead in the North Division was cut to four games.
Kane County Cougars
The Kane County Cougars smoked out the Burlington Bees (Athletics), 1-0.
Tyler Skulina pitched the first three innings and allowed only two hits. He struck out four and didn't walk anyone.
He was relieved by Rob Zastryzny, who got his first professional win because Skulina didn't go five innings. Zastryzny allowed two hits. He walked two and struck out four.
Nathan Dorris pitched the next two innings of the shutout without allowing a hit. He walked two and fanned four.
Finally, Stephen Perakslis pitched the ninth inning without allowing a hit for his sixth save. The leadoff runner in the inning reached second on an error by shortstop Marco Hernandez, advanced to third on a fly out but then was tagged out after being caught in a rundown trying to score on a ground ball. Perakslis struck out the next batter to end the game.
He may have made an error, but Marco Hernandez provided all the offense in this game with a home run in the second inning. It was Hernandez's fourth home run of the season. He was 1 for 3.
Kane County only had three hits in this game.
Kane County is 14.5 games out of first place, so they're not going to make the postseason this year. The Cubs organization hasn't made the playoffs in the Midwest League since Peoria in 2006. Two current Cubs were on that team: Jeff Samardzija, although he only pitched two games before going back to Notre Dame to play football his senior season, and Blake Parker, but he only played seven games and he was still an infielder.
The Boise Hawks swept the Eugene Emeralds (Padres), 8-3.
It was the best start of his career for Dillon Maples, who improved to 5-0 in Boise after allowing only one hit over five innings. Maples struck out nine and only walked two.
Catcher Lance Rymel hit his first home run of the season with a man on in the third inning. Rymel was 1 for 4.
DH Rony Rodriguez went 2 for 5 with a double and a run scored.
Shortstop Carlos Penalver was 2 for 3 with a double and a walk. He scored twice. On July 8, Penalver was batting .184 when he was temporarily demoted to Arizona because of a visa issue. Since returning to Boise after the Vancouver series, hes hit .304.
Shawon Dunston returned to the Boise lineup. He was 0 for 3 with a walk and an RBI ground out.