I went to see Mark Appel (also known as the guy the Astros drafted ahead of Kris Bryant) pitch today and he looked real good, sitting 93-94 and touching 95-96 with a sharp breaking pitch. For two innings. Then starting in the third he lost about 2 mph on his fastball and was leaving everything up. Except for his off-speed stuff. That was in the dirt. Appel gave up one run in the third inning and a pair of two-run home runs in the fourth. It was not pretty.
The Iowa Cubs grounded the Memphis Redbirds (Cardinals), 4-2. With the win, the I-Cubs swept the four-game series.
Starter Carlos Pimentel collected the win after throwing six innings and giving up two runs on four hits. Pimentel walked three and struck out four. He was also 2 for 2 at the plate
Brian Schlitter pitched the ninth and took home his 14th save. Schlitter walked the first batter he faced, but then got three consecutive ground outs to end the game.
All of Iowa's runs came via the home run. Right fielder Rubi Siva gave Iowa a 1-0 lead in the third inning with his eighth home run of the season. Silva was 1 for 3.
In the sixth inning with the Redbirds leading 2-1, first baseman Christian Villanueva connected for a three-run home run, his 14th this season and 12th for Iowa. Villanueva was 2 for 4.
Here's video of the home run.
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Left fielder Junior Lake was 2 for 4 and scored on the Villanueva home run. Shortstop Jonathan Mota was 2 for 4.
The Tennessee Smokies were battered and baked by the Montgomery Biscuits (Rays), 12-3.
Ryan Williams started and got his first Tennessee loss. He pitched five innings and allowed five runs, four earned, on ten hits. Williams walked one and struck out three.
First baseman Wes Darvill was 2 for 3 with a walk and a run scored. Second baseman Sutton Whiting went 2 for 4 with an RBI. Catcher Willson Contreras was 2 for 4.
Myrtle Beach Pelicans
The Myrtle Beach Pelicans overthrew the Salem Red Sox, 4-0. It was the Pelicans sixth straight victory.
Paul Blackburn started and allowed just four hits over 4.1 innings. Blackburn struck out five and walked one. He also hit one batter.
Michael Heesch improved his record to 7-0 after giving up just one hit and two walks over 3.1 innings. Heesch struck out three.
Chesny Young set a new Carolina League record by reaching base in his 38th consecutive game after going 2 for 5. Young had one RBI and one run scored. (It should be noted that the Carolina League has only been tracking such streaks since 2009.)
Left fielder Pin-Chieh Chen was 2 for 3 with a walk and a stolen base. Chen drove in one run.
We have highlights.
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South Bend Cubs
The South Bend Cubs got drenched by the West Michigan Whitecaps (Tigers), 10-5.
Trevor Clifton started and took the loss. Clifton allowed four runs on five hits and only lasted 2.1 innings. One of the four runs was unearned. Clifton walked one and did not have a strikeout.
Center fielder Rashad Crawford hit his second home run of the season with a man on in the fifth inning. Crawford also had an RBI triple and an RBI fielders choice as he was 2 for 4 for the game. He scored twice and had those four RBI.
Catcher Erick Castillo hit two doubles and scored twice in a 3 for 4 effort.
Shortstop Gleyber Torres was 2 for 5 with a double. Right fielder Jeffrey Baez went 2 for 5 with the other Cubs RBI.
The Eugene Emeralds were chopped down by the Vancouver Canadians (Blue Jays), 16-5.
Starter Carson Sands retired one batter today before getting removed in the first inning. Sand was clobbered for nine runs on eight hits and a hit batter. The one out he did get was a strikeout.
Center fielder Ian Happ was 2 for 4 with a double and a walk. Happ scored twice and had one RBI.
DH Eloy Jimenez went 2 for 5 with a double and a run scored. Catcher Tyler Alamo was 2 for 4 with one run batted in.