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If you're new around here, this is how it works. Every night I do a recap of that night's minor league games. It's not a nightly prospect ranking--such a thing would be foolish. I tell you who won, who lost and which players did well. I tell you about the starting pitcher and, except in rare occasions, who got the win, the loss and the save for the Cubs affiliate. I will give more attention to the big prospects, but this is not a nightly Javier Baez watch. Some nights, we're going to leave Javy on the sidelines and let some other player have the spotlight for the evening.
If a player isn't mentioned, it's safe to assume he didn't do anything remarkable. But if you want to know for sure, just click on the link and it will take you to the box score.
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I won't stop to breathe until Labor Day.
And away we go. . .
The Iowa Cubs ended up red-faced against the Memphis Redbirds (Cardinals), 10-2.
It was a rough night for starting and losing pitcher Chris Rusin, who allowed two home runs in the first inning. Rusin lasted 3.2 innings and gave up five runs on six hits. He walked four and struck out two.
Casey Coleman also had a rough night in relief. He was tagged for five runs, four earned, on four hits and two walks in the inning he pitched. Coleman had one strikeout.
Left fielder Josh Vitters hit the first home run of the year for the I-Cubs when he hit a solo blast in the third inning. Vitters was 2 for 4.
Third baseman Christian Villanueva singled and scored in the bottom of the ninth for the other run. Villanueva was also 2 for 4 with a double.
This isn't going to be a nightly Javier Baez watch, but it is Opening Day. Baez was 0 for 3 with a walk and two strikeouts in his Triple-A debut.
The Tennessee Smokies were capsized by the Pensacola Blue Wahoos (Reds), 6-5.
Starter Dae-Eun Rhee pitched four innings and allowed three runs, two earned, on two hits. Rhee walked four and struck out four.
Tony Zych took the loss when he couldn't hold a one-run lead in the bottom of the eighth. In one inning, Zych allowed two runs on five hits. He neither walked nor struck anyone out.
Mat Latos was the starting pitcher for Pensacola on a rehab assignment. In the top of the first inning, third baseman Kris Bryant greeted him with a tremendous two-run blast to left-center field in what was Bryant's first AB in Double-A. (Baez homered in his first Double-A AB last season as well.) Bryant was 1 for 3 with a walk and he was hit by a pitch. Bryant scored twice and stole one base.
Center fielder Zeke DeVoss was 2 for 5 with an RBI triple.
Right fielder Jorge Soler doubled in his only AB. He exited the game in the third inning with hamstring tightness.
Starter Felix Pena took the hard-luck loss after he allowed only one run over six innings. Pena surrendered only three hits and a walk. He hit one batter and that runner later came around to score the game's only run. Pena struck out three.
Second baseman Gioskar Amaya was 2 for 2 with a walk and a stolen base. Daytona only had five hits, but that was one more hit than the Manatees had.
Kane County Cougars
The team from which the least was expected delivered the most tonight as the Kane County Cougars brought the Quad City River Bandits (Astros) to justice, 8-4.
Starter Paul Blackburn only lasted four innings and he gave up four runs on nine hits. On the positive side, he struck out three and didn't walk anyone.
Blackburn left with the lead, but since he didn't go five innings Nathan Dorris got the win with two scoreless innings of relief. Dorris gave up one hit. He walked one and struck out two.
James Pugliese also had two scoreless innings of relief and Jose Arias was unscored upon in his one inning.
The big bat for the Cougars was Yasiel Balaguert, who was 4 for 5 with three doubles. Balaguert had two RBI.
Shortstop Carlos Penalver was 3 for 3 with a walk and two stolen bases. He scored one run and had one RBI.
Center fielder Jacob Hannemann scored twice in a 2 for 5 evening.