Congratulations to Iowa Cubs third baseman Mike Olt, your choice for the Cubs Minor League Player of the Month. Olt certainly went on a tear the last two-and-a-half weeks of the season and is definitely a worthy choice.
How do you not win a no-hitter? That's why we're starting with the South Bend Cubs tonight.
South Bend Cubs
The South Bend Cubs, despite getting nine innings of no-hit ball from Erick Leal, lost to the Kane County Cougars, 1-0 in 12 innings.
Technically it wasn't a no-hitter because Leal didn't finish the game. But facing his former organization, Leal went nine innings and allowed just one baserunner, a walk in the fifth inning. He struck out four. It was the first time Leal had ever gone nine innings in a professional game.
Corbin Hoffner allowed a two-out single in the tenth to break up the no-hitter. He also allowed another hit in the eleventh, the other inning he pitched. Hoffner did not walk or strike anyone out.
Jordan Minch took the loss in the 12th and fittingly, he gave up the run without allowing a hit. After a leadoff walk, a sacrifice bunt, a wild pitch and a sac fly, Kane County had the only run of the game. Minch did not strike anyone out.
Right fielder Jeffrey Baez did his part, going 3 for 6 with two doubles. However, he did strike out with the bases loaded and one out in the tenth inning on a pitch that hit him.
(If you were listening or watching to this game over the internet, you know that SB Cubs announcer Darren Pritchett was very critical of the home plate umpire on the strikeout to Baez. After the game, he went on Twitter to say that he was wrong and that he misunderstood what the call was. He thought the umpire ruled it was a caught foul tip when actually the umpire just ruled that Baez had gone around. Those kinds of miscommunications happen in the minors all the time. Don't sweat it, Darren.)
After the game, Leal said "Man, I don't have words to explain today." and that "My team didn't hit so much today, but they helped me in the field. I'm happy for that and thankful."
The Iowa Cubs won their sixth straight game by hanging on to the cliff's edge against the Colorado Springs Sky Sox (Brewers), 6-5.
Carlos Pimentel started this game and got the win after he pitched 6.1 innings and allowed two runs on eight hits. He struck out four and walked one.
The I-Cubs went into the ninth inning with a 6-2 lead. Armando Rivero was summoned from the pen in a non-save situation. He gave up a leadoff single, but then struck out the next two batters. But then Rivero loaded the bases with a walk and a single and exited the game for closer Brian Schlitter. The first batter Schlitter faced, Kyle Wren, hit a three-run double to get the Sky Sox to within a run. But then Schlitter got a ground out to end the game and pick up his 16th save.
In the top of the eighth inning, shortstop Javier Baez connected for a moonshot that landed over the fence down the right field line. Arismendy Alcantara was on first after singling to lead off the inning. It was Baez's 11th home run this year. Both Alcantara and Baez were 1 for 5.
First baseman Chris Valaika was 2 for 4 with two doubles and three RBI. He also scored once.
The Tennessee Smokies usurped the Birmingham Barons (White Sox), 6-5.
Believe it or not, but starter Rob Zastryzny got his first win of the season tonight after pitching 6.1 innings and allowing four runs on seven hits. One of the runs was unearned. Zastryzny struck out four and walked two.
Closer P.J. Francescon has been magic this season. Tonight he was called on for a four-out save and he retired all four batters for save number 17. He struck out two. Francescon has made 21 appearances out of the bullpen since May 25 and didn't allow even a single run in 20 of them. He has a 0.86 ERA on the season.
Third baseman Jeimer Candelario hit a two-run double in the first inning and a three-run home run in the sixth. It was Candelario's second Tennessee home run. He was 2 for 4.
Catcher Willson Contreras was 3 for 4. He scored once and had one RBI. He also stole his first base of the season.
Center fielder Jacob Hannemann was 2 for 4 with one run scored.
After the game, Miguel Montero (who didn't play) Tweeted:
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Been here in doble A you guy got not idea how much talent this organization have in the minor, they make me feel like is time to retired lol</p>— miguel montero (@miggymont26) <a href="https://twitter.com/miggymont26/status/628774862560038912">August 5, 2015</a></blockquote>
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Myrtle Beach Pelicans
The Myrtle Beach Pelicans beat the Wilmington Blue Rocks (Royals), 6-1.
Jonathan Martinez, who yesterday was named Carolina League Pitcher of the Week, continued his hot streak by allowing just one run on three hits over six innings. Martinez struck out six and walked only two. He improved his record on the season to 8-2.
DH Cael Brockmeyer was a perfect 2 for 2 with two walks. He scored twice and had one RBI.
Third baseman Jason Vosler was 2 for 3 with one walk and two runs scored. Second baseman Chesny Young (who else?) was 2 for 5 with a double and an RBI single as part of a four-run sixth inning.
The Northwest League All-Stars beat the Pioneer League All-Stars, 6-5 in ten innings.
Pedro Araujo was the only Ems player to play in this game and he had a rough time. He pitched the eighth inning and gave up two runs on three hits and a walk while only retiring two batters. At least both of those outs were strikeouts.
Both Eloy Jimenez and Oscar De La Cruz were named to the team, but neither played. Jimenez has been fighting a minor injury and De La Cruz started on Sunday.
Dylan Cease had some control issues as he walked four and hit a batter in the 1.1 innings he pitched. He also struck out three because he was throwing gas, hitting 98 and 99 mph.