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Chicago Cubs Minor League Wrap: June 1

The entire Cubs system got off to a great start in June. *Myrtle Beach yet to be determined.

Christian Villanueva
Christian Villanueva
Dylan Heuer

I think the only thing I hate more than Comcast is AT&T. Unfortunately, those are my two choices for internet connection. So that's why I'm at Starbucks tonight. Not my local one either as there was no place to sit there. I had to drive 20 minutes to a Starbucks to write this up tonight.

I don't know, I guess I want an award or something. Maybe I can be the BCB Minor League Writer of the Month. And by the way, if you haven't voted for the Player of the Month, you still have time. You may get the chance to vote for the Minor League Pitcher of the Month. Or you may not. It's up to Comcast.

It was announced today that Smokies pitcher Corey Black is moving to the bullpen. You can discuss the merits of that move if you want.

Pelicans outfielder Kevin Brown was named Carolina League Player of the Week. South Bend outfielder Yasiel Balaguert won the same award for the Midwest League.


Iowa Cubs

The Iowa Cubs housebroke the El Paso Chihuahuas (Padres), 14-4.

It was an easy win for Carlos Pimentel, who cruised through seven scoreless innings. Pimentel allowed six hits. He struck out five and only walked one.

Daniel Schlereth came off the disabled list and struggled in his first outing back. Schlereth allowed four runs on two hits and four walks in 1.2 innings. Only one of the four runs was earned though. Schlereth struck out two.

Third baseman Christian Villanueva opened the scoring with a solo home run in the second inning. It was his sixth home run this season and fourth with Iowa. Villanueva came a single shy of the cycle, as he went 3 for 5 with a double, a triple and the home run. You'd think he'd get the easy one. Villanueva scored three times and had three RBI.

An inning later, center fielder Matt Szczur hit a three-run home run which was his fourth of the year. Szczur was 1 for 5.

Second baseman Arismendy Alcantara was 2 for 5 with a triple and a stolen base. He scored twice. Left fielder Adron Chambers was 2 for 4 and was hit by a pitch. Chambers scored two runs and had one RBI.

Right fielder Rubi Silva was 2 for 5 with a triple. He scored once and had two RBI.

Tennessee Smokies

The Tennessee Smokies blinded the Chattanooga Lookouts (Twins), 13-3.

Starter Jeffry Antigua got his third win after going 5.1 innings and allowing three runs on four hits. Not a quality start but when two of those runs came on a Miguel Sano home run, we'll overlook it. Antigua struck out seven and walked no one.

The Smokies scored those 13 runs on only 12 hits and only two of those were for extra bases, both doubles. The real reason they scored 13 runs is that they walked 11 times. Shortstop Elliot Soto and right fielder Billy McKinney were both 1 for 2 with three walks. McKinney's one hit was a double. Soto scored once and McKinney scored twice.

Catcher Willson Contreras was 3 for 6 with two runs scored and one batted in. Second baseman Stephen Bruno went 2 for 3 with a double and two walks. Bruno scored three runs and scored three runs.

Myrtle Beach Pelicans

The Myrtle Beach Pelicans were the asterisk in today's sweep, as their game was suspended because of rain with the score tied 3-3 in the bottom of the tenth. They'll try to finish it tomorrow.

South Bend Cubs

The South Bend Cubs took two from the Lake County Captains (Indians), winning the completion of yesterday's game 5-4 and then taking the regularly scheduled game 4-0.

Jeremy Null started this game yesterday and put the SB Cubs in a 3-0 hole after allowing three runs on four hits over three innings. However, he's got an excuse. All three of the runs were unearned after right fielder Jeffrey Baez slipped on the wet outfield grass for an error. Null struck out one and, unsurprisingly, walked no one.

Tommy Thorpe picked up today where Null left off and got the win when South Bend scored four times in the top of the sixth. Thorpe pitched 2.1 innings and was touched for one unearned run on three hits. However, Thorpe has no one to blame but himself for that run as it was his error. Thorpe struck out one and walked one.

James Farris pitched the final 1.2 innings and got his sixth save. He gave up one hit but no runs. He struck out one and walked no one.

South Bend didn't have a baserunner in this game until Yasiel Balaguert singled to lead off the fifth inning. He was then erased in a double play, but then catcher Gioskar Amaya singled and third baseman David Bote doubled him home for South Bend's first run of the game.

The SB Cubs would tie the game on a triple by left fielder Kevin Encarnacion in the sixth. South Bend would then take the lead for good when Amaya singled him home.

Amaya was 2 for 3.

In game two, Erick Leal, Brad Markey and Jordan Minch combined on a two-hit seven-inning shutout. Leal got the win after pitching the first five innings and surrendering both hits. Leal walked two and struck out one.

Second baseman Andrew Ely opened the scoring with a solo home run in the top of the first inning. It was Ely's first home run this season. Ely finished the game going 2 for 3 with an additional RBI double in the fourth inning.

Encarnacion connected for his first home run since September 1, 2013 when he hit a two-run home run in the third. Encarnacion was 1 for 3 in the nightcap.

Left fielder Rashad Crawford was 2 for 3 with a stolen base. He scored once.

*Myrtle Beach yet to be determined.