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Chicago Cubs Minor League Wrap: June 3

A Smokies win moves them to within percentage points of first place.

Sue Skowronski

Congratulations to South Bend's Ryan Williams, your choice for the BCB Cubs Minor League Pitcher of the Month! This month both of your selections, Kyle Schwarber and Williams, agreed with the Cubs "official" choices for Minor League Player and Pitcher of the Month. So congratulations again to both of them.

Iowa Cubs

The Iowa Cubs were atomized by the Albuquerque Isotopes (Rockies), 9-7.

Starter Dallas Beeler gave up six runs in the first inning and Iowa never caught up. Beeler managed to stay in the game for five innings. His final totals were allowing eight runs on 11 hits. However, four of those runs were unearned because of a pair of errors by first baseman Christian Villanueva, who was playing first base for the first time in his career, outside of two games in winter ball in Mexico. Beeler walked three and struck out two.

Villanueva may have had some troubles with the glove, but in the top of the first inning he gave Iowa an early lead with a two-run home run. It was Villanueva's eighth home run this year, sixth for Iowa and it was the third straight game in which Villanueva homered. Villanueva was 2 for 4 with four RBI and two runs scored.

But he was outdone by center fielder Rubi Silva, who hit two solo home runs tonight, giving him five on the season. Silva was 4 for 5 with three RBI.

Second baseman Arismendy Alcantara was 2 for 5 with a walk and a stolen base. Alcantara scored once. Left fielder Adron Chambers was 2 for 3 with two walks and a runs scored. Shortstop Chris Valaika went 2 for 4.

Just to give you a Javier Baez update, he played third base and went 1 for 3 with a walk and one strikeout.

Tennessee Smokies

The Tennessee Smokies rode a five-run third inning to elude the Chattanooga Lookouts (Twins), 6-3.

Pitcher of the month Ryan Williams made his first start in Double-A and got a "W" after his name to show for it. Williams allowed three runs in the second inning, but only allowed one baserunner outside of the second in his 5.1 inning start. Williams was charged with three runs on six hits. He struck out four and walked one.

Corey Black made his bullpen debut in the seventh inning. He faced six batters over the next two innings and retired them all. Three of them struck out.

P.J. Francescon pitched the ninth inning and got his seventh save. Francescon walked a batter with two outs, but gave up nothing else. He struck out one.

Catcher Willson Contreras hit a three-run home run as a part of that five-run third to give the Smokies a lead they'd never relinquish. It was Contreras's fifth home run this season. He was 1 for 4 with a walk.

DH Kyle Schwarber had a two-run single in the third inning and another RBI single in the seventh. Schwarber was 3 for 4 with a sacrifice bunt. (???)

With the win, the Smokies moved into a virtual tie for first place in the Southern League North Division. (Chattanooga has a percentage point lead based on the Smokies having played two extra games.) There are two more games left in this series.

Myrtle Beach Pelicans

The Myrtle Beach Pelican finished up their series in Potomac yesterday and travelled home to take on the Carolina Mudcats this weekend. A reminder that Sunday's Pelicans game will be televised on CSN Chicago (and other outlets) right after the Cubs game.

South Bend Cubs

The South Bend Cubs were stone ground by the Cedar Rapids Kernels (Twins), 9-5 after Cedar Rapids scored six runs in the eighth inning.

Starter Zach Hedges pitched six innings and allowed three runs on six hits. One of the runs was unearned. Hedges struck out two and walked one.

Ryan McNeal started the eighth inning after striking out the side in the seventh. He exited the game with two on and one out in the eighth for David Garner, who allowed the first six batters he faced to reach base. Garner took the loss tonight after allowing four runs (and two inherited runners to score) on five hits over 1.2 innings. Garner walked two and struck out two.

Catcher Gioskar Amaya hit a three-run home run in the second inning to give South Bend an early 4-1 lead. It was Amaya's second home run this season. Amaya went 1 for 4 tonight.

Right fielder Kevin Encarnacion was 2 for 3 with a walk and two runs scored. Third baseman Jason Vosler was 2 for 4.