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Cubs Minor League Wrap: August 20

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Bryant's home run can't save Iowa's free fall. Russell can't be stopped and neither can the Smokies. The Cougars won their tenth straight.

Al Yellon

Candelario got the photo today because I thought you were tired of looking at Addison Russell lately. Although I don't know why you would.

Iowa Cubs

The Iowa Cubs dropped their sixth straight game, 11-4 to the Reno Aces (Diamondbacks).

Eric Jokisch was cruising along until the sixth inning, when he faced four batters and failed to retire any of them. (A double, two singles and one catcher's interference.) Jokisch's final line was 5+ innings pitched, allowing five runs on eight hits. One of the runs was unearned because of the catcher's interference. He struck out four and walked no one.

As part of a six-run eighth inning for Reno, former Cub Brett Jackson hit a two-run home run off Yoanner Negrin. You knew he would.

Third baseman Kris Bryant hit his 41st home run of the year in the third inning with a man on. That gives him a one home run lead over Joey Gallo. Bryant was 2 for 3 with a walk.

And we have video:

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Right fielder Ryan Kalish was 2 for 4.

The Cubs put Mike Olt on the 7-day DL today. And Josh Vitters left this game in the sixth inning with what looked like a hamstring injury.

I think we can consider any Iowa Cubs postseason chances dead at this point.

Tennessee Smokies

The Tennessee Smokies toasted the Montgomery Biscuits (Rays), 4-1.

The big news was that Pierce Johnson gave up a run. But only one. Johnson pitched 4.1 innings and allowed one run on five hits. He walked four and struck out five. He was removed after throwing 83 pitches. Johnson had not allowed a run in his previous three starts.

Hunter Cervenka relieved Johnson and took the win because Johnson didn't go five innings. Cervenka gave up just one hit and no runs over 1.2 innings. He walked one and struck out one.

Welcome to the Cubs, Blake Cooper. In his second appearance with the Smokies, Cooper tossed a perfect ninth inning for his first save of the season. (And his first save anywhere since 2012.) Cooper struck out two.

For the third straight day, shortstop Addison Russell hit a home run. This one came with a man on in the the top of the first inning to give Tennessee an early 2-0 lead. It was Russell's 11th home run for the Smokies and 12th overall. Russell was 2 for 4 with two runs scored and the two RBI.

Center fielder Albert Almora was 2 for 4 with a run scored.

With the win, the Smokies maintained a three-game lead with 11 games to play.

Daytona Cubs

The Daytona Cubs dropped their second straight game to the Clearwater Threshers (Phillies). 7-3.

Eduardo Figueroa exited the game after he walked the first three batters of the fourth inning. All three runners would eventually come around to score in a five-run inning for the Threshers. Figueroa only allowed two hits, but both were solo home runs in the first and second innings. Figueroa was charged with five runs on two hits over 4+ innings. He walked three and struck out two.

Left fielder Bijan Rademacher was 2 for 4 with a triple. He had one RBI and he scored one run. Shortstop Marco Hernandez was 2 for 3 with a walk. He also knocked in one run and scored once.

Tampa beat Brevard County, so Daytona has a two-game lead over the Yankees with 11 to play.

Kane County Cougars

The Kane County Cougars won their tenth straight game, 7-3 over the Burlington Bees (Angels).

Starter Duane Underwood allowed two runs on four hits over five innings. He walked three and struck out four.

Jasvir Rakkar entered the game with two outs in the top of the eighth inning. The bases were loaded and Kane County was trailing 3-2. He got a strikeout to end the eighth and then pitched a perfect ninth inning to get the win.

Rakkar has not given up a run since July 24 when he was still pitching for Boise. He has thrown 14.2 scoreless innings since joining Kane County.

The Cougars won this game by scoring five runs in the bottom of the eighth inning. The rally was punctuated by a two-run home run by center fielder Jeffrey Baez which made it 7-3. It was Baez's 11th home run of the year, fourth for Kane County and third in the past four games. Baez went 2 for 4.

Third baseman Jeimer Candelario got that eighth inning off right with a leadoff single. He was 2 for 4 and scored twice.

DH Yasiel Balaguert went 2 for 4 and scored in the eighth inning.

With the win, the Cougars became the first team in all of baseball to reach 83 wins. They trail the Mets Sally League team, the Savannah Sand Gnats, by half a game for the best record in all of baseball. (The Cougars have two more losses than Savannah.)

The Cougars franchise record for wins in a season is 88. They'll only need to go 6-6 the rest of the way to top that.

Boise Hawks

The Boise Hawks canned the Vancouver Canucks (Blue Jays), 4-1.

A very successful Boise debut for second-round pick Jake Stinnett. Stinnett pitched 2.2 innings and did not allow a run or a hit. He did walk one while striking out four.

Stinnett didn't go five innings, of course, so the win went to Jeremy Null. Null surrendered three hits but no runs over 3.2 innings of relief of Stinnett. Null struck out two and didn't walk anyone.

Shortstop Bryant Flete went 2 for 3 with a double and a walk. He scored two runs.

Catcher Mark Malave was 2 for 4 with a double and two runs scored.

AZL Cubs

Off day.