We've got a fortnight left of the minor league season. And that's the first time anyone on this blog has used the word "fortnight" since 2008. I checked.
The Iowa Cubs rode an eight-run fourth and a combined one-hitter to beat the Fresno Grizzlies (Astros), 9-0 in the Pacific Coast League's Battle of the Bears.
Eric Jokisch allowed the only Grizzly hit of the game, a single by Alex Presley, to the second batter of the game. Jokisch got the win after going six innings. He walked two and struck out four.
Armando Rivero pitched two perfect innings and Trevor Cahill pitched the ninth. Cahill gave up a one-out walk. He also struck out one.
The I-Cubs jumped all over former Iowa pitcher Dan Straily for eight runs in the fourth inning, highlighted by a two-run bomb by Javier Baez that cleared the centerfield fence. And the Des Moines River, probably. Also possibly the Amana Colonies. Baez played third base tonight and was a perfect 4 for 4 with a double, a walk and his 13th home run of the year. Baez scored three times. He even scored a base.
It's not embeddable at the moment, but you can see the Baez home run here, along with a story about how Manny Ramirez was in town and how Baez made some of the adjustments he suggested.
Catcher Taylor Teagarden went 2 for 4 with a two-run double that started the scoring in the in fourth. Tegarden also singled home Baez in the seventh inning for three total RBI.
Right fielder Adron Chambers was 2 for 4 and scored once. Left fielder John Andreoli was 2 for 5 with a run scored and his 28th stolen base of the season.
The Iowa win kept the Grizzlies from clinching their first playoff berth since 1998.
The Tennessee Smokies split a doubleheader with the Chattanooga Lookouts (Twins), losing game one 4-2 and winning the second game 4-1.
In game one, starter Pierce Johnson took the loss after giving up three runs in the bottom of the sixth, two of them on a home run to Adam Brett Walker. Johnson pitched a 6-inning complete game, allowing four runs on six hits. Johnson struck out five and walked one.
Catcher Willson Contreras hit a solo home run in the fourth inning, his eighth home run this year. Contreras was a perfect 2 for 2 with a walk.
Shortstop Jonathan Mota was 2 for 3.
In game two, Frank Batista started and allowed just one run on two hits over four innings. Batista walked two and struck out four.
Matt Brazis got his first ever win in the Cubs organization with 1.2 innings of scoreless relief. Brazis allowed two hits. He walked one and struck out one.
P.J. Francescon entered the game in the bottom of the sixth with two outs, runners on the corners and Adam Brett Walker, the Southern League's leading home run hitter, at the plate. He got Walker to hit a grounder to short to get out of that inning and then pitched the ninth for his 20th save. Francescon pitched 1.1 innings and allowed one hit. He did not have a walk or a strikeout.
DH Contreras went 2 for 4 with a double and one run scored. Anthony Giansanti had a two-run pinch-hit double in the sixth. Ronda Rousey was not there to see it.
Myrtle Beach Pelicans
The Myrtle Beach Pelicans were hyphenated by the Winston-Salem Dash (White Sox), 5-1.
Starter Tyler Skulina took the loss after giving up three runs on four hits (including a two-run homer) over 3.1 innings.
The only Pelicans run of the game came on a triple by Mark Zagunis in the sixth inning, scoring Chesny Young. Zagunis went 2 for 4 and Young was 1 for 4.
South Bend Cubs
The South Bend Cubs ebbed the West Michigan Whitecaps (Tigers), 4-2.
Erik Leal got his ninth win after pitching five innings and allowing two runs on seven hits. He struck out seven and walked two.
Michael Wagner pitched the final four innings without allowing a run for his first save of the season. Wagner allowed two hits and walked one while striking out four.
DH Kevin Encarnacion was 3 for 4 with a stolen base. He singled home a run and later scored in the second inning.
The Emeralds were beating the Spokane Indians 2-1 in the fourth inning when the lights went out. They'll finish the game tomorrow and then play tomorrow's regularly-scheduled game.
Phil Knight needs to ask for his money back.