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Cubs Minor League Wrap: May 24

Daytona swept a doubleheader from a reeling Clearwater team. Iowa got a great start from Chris Rusin and beat Colorado Springs.

Al Yellon

Iowa Cubs

The Iowa Cubs smoked the Colorado Springs Sky Sox (Rockies), 8-3.

Starter Chris Rusin was brilliant over six shutout innings, giving up just four hits. He walked two and struck out eight as he improved his record to 3-6.

First baseman Chris Valaika put the game out of reach when he  hit a three-run home run in the fourth inning that made the score 8-0. It was Valaika's fourth home run this year. Valaika was 2 for 5 with a double and the homer. He scored twice and had four total RBI.

Right fielder Logan Watkins went 3 for 5 with a triple and a stolen base. He scored two runs and had two batted in.

Center fielder Brett Jackson also had three hits, including a double, in a 3 for 4 game. He also walked once.

Left fielder Casper Wells was 3 for 5.

Shortstop Javier Baez was 1 for 4 with a double and a walk. He scored twice and had one RBI.

Tennessee Smokies

The Tennessee Smokies fell to the Mobile BayBears (Diamondbacks), 2-1.

Newly-signed Joe Gardner made his Smokies and Cubs debut and pitched pretty well, keeping the BayBears off the board for the first five innings. He exited after issuing a one-out walk in the sixth. Gardner allowed one run on two hits. He walked two and struck out two.

Austin Kirk relieved Gardner and allowed the inherited runner and one run of his own to score on a two-out double in the sixth. Kirk took the loss after he allowed a run on one hit and one walk over 2.2 innings. Kirk struck out one.

Smokies pitchers only allowed two runs on three hits, but that was enough for Mobile to win, because the only offense came from a solo home run from third baseman Kris Bryant in the fourth inning, his 13th of the season. Bryant went 2 for 3 with a walk.

Daytona Cubs

The Daytona Cubs swept a double-header from the Clearwater Threshers (Phillies), 5-4 and 8-4.

In the first game, Yao-Lin Wang pitched 4.1 innings and allowed three runs on three hits. He walked two and struck out one.

Wang gave way to Andrew McKirahan, who went the rest of the way and picked up his first win this year. McKirahan pitched 2.2 innings and allowed one unearned run one one hit. He walked two and struck out one.

After the Cubs blew the lead with an unearned run in the top of the sixth, first baseman Dan Vogelbach homered to lead off the bottom of the inning and give Daytona a lead that they would not relinquish. It was his third home run this season. Vogelbach was 1 for 3.

Catcher Willson Contreras was 2 for 3 and scored a run. Left fielder Bijan Rademacher went 2 for 3 with an RBI.

In the second game, the Cubs jumped all over Clearwater with four runs in the first and four runs in the second. Starter Starling Peralta was the beneficiary of this good fortune and got his second win after allowing two runs on four hits over five innings. He struck out five and did not issue a walk.

The Cubs scored those four runs in the bottom of the first thanks to three home runs. Center fielder Zeke DeVoss led off the bottom of the first with his first home run of the season for Daytona and second overall. DeVoss was 1 for 3 with a walk.

The next batter, Pin-Chieh Chen, walked and Dan Vogelbach connected for his second home run of the day and fourth of the season. Vogelbach went 3 for 3 and was hit by a pitch in the nightcap. He scored two runs and had the two RBI.

After Vogelbach's two-run shot in the first, third baseman Jeimer Candelario went back-to-back with Vogelbach for his fourth home run of the season. In the second inning, he came to the plate with the bases loaded and emptied them with a three-run double. Candelario was 2 for 4.

The doubleheader sweep improved Daytona's record to 18-28, which is second-to-last in the six-team Florida State League North Division. Clearwater is in last place, 9.5 games behind Daytona with a 9-38 record. Honesty compels me to say Clearwater is terrible. To put Clearwater's record into context, if they were a major league team playing a 162 game schedule, they'd be on pace to win 31 games this season.

Kane County Cougars

The Kane County Cougars were chopped down by the Clinton LumberKings (Mariners), 3-2.

Daury Torrez started and took the loss. He pitched six innings and allowed three runs on three hits. One of the three runs was unearned. Torrez walked one and did not strike anyone out.

Third baseman Jordan Hankins was 2 for 3 with a double and a run scored. Shortstop Carlos Penalver was 2 for 4.