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Chicago Cubs Minor League Wrap: September 3

Only four days left in the minor league regular season after tonight.

The Cubs announced their "official" minor league player and pitcher for the month of August and their choices were Albert Almora and Oscar De La Cruz. Almora was also your choice for the player of the month award and you still have time to vote for the pitcher of the month. De La Cruz is one of the candidates.

The Pelicans announced the schedule for the first round of the playoffs in the Carolina League. They will play at Winston-Salem in the first game of the best-of-three series on Wednesday at 5:30 Chicago time and then they will play games two and three, if necessary, in Myrtle Beach on next Thursday and Friday at 6:05 pm Chicago time.

Iowa Cubs

The Iowa Cubs were run over by the Oklahoma Dodgers, 8-3.

Eric Jokisch started and took the loss after tossing six innings and allowing six runs on eight hits, including a pair of two-run home runs. Jokisch did strike out five and he walked nobody.

Second baseman Emilio Bonifacio was 2 for 4 with an RBI. Catcher Taylor Teagarden was 2 for 4 with a double.

Tennessee Smokies

The Tennessee Smokies scored seven runs in the third inning and shelled the Biloxi Shuckers (Brewers), 11-3.

Andres Santiago pitched six innings and allowed three runs on five hits for the "quality start." He did walk five and he struck out three.

Shortstop Carlos Penalver connected for his first career Double-A home run in the top of the ninth with the bases empty. Penalver was 1 for 4 with a walk. He scored twice and had two RBI.

Catcher Willson Contreras went 3 for 6 with a double. That raised his batting average on the season to .328 and allowed him to take a one-point lead in the Southern League batting title chase over Chattanooga's Max Kepler. Contreras scored twice and had one RBI.

Second baseman Bryant Flete entered the game after Stephen Bruno was ejected in the second inning. Flete went 2 for 4 with a double and a walk. He had one RBI and scored once.

Myrtle Beach Pelicans

The Myrtle Beach Pelicans died in committee against the Potomac Nationals, 4-2.

Duane Underwood Jr. started tonight and pitched well, allowing just one run on three hits over five innings. Underwood Jr. walked three and struck out three.

Tyler Ihrig replaced Underwood and he really made just one mistake, but unfortunately that mistake was a three-run home run to Grant DeBruin in the bottom of the seventh inning. Ihrig took the loss after allowing three runs on three hits over two innings. He struck out two and walked no one.

The Pelicans scored both their runs tonight by grounding into double plays, once by Victor Caratini and once by Jeffrey Baez. Catcher Cael Brockmeyer was 1 for 2 with a double and a walk.

South Bend Cubs

The South Bend Cubs scored seven runs in the bottom of the first inning and cruised to a 12-5 win over the Dayton Dragons (Reds).

Jake Stinnett struggled with the home run ball tonight as he gave up three home runs. But he still got the win after pitching 6.2 innings and allowing five runs on five hits. Stinnett struck out seven and walked only one, so you can see that other than the long ball, Stinnett looked good.

Left fielder Kevin Encarnacion hit a solo home run in the third inning, his third home run of the year. Encarnacion was 2 for 4 with a walk and two runs scored.

Second baseman Angelo Amendolare was 2 for 4 with a three-run double in the first inning. Amendolare was 2 for 4 with two walks and one run scored.

First baseman David Bote was 2 for 5 with a double and a steal. He had two runs batted in and he scored twice. Third baseman Jesse Hodges was 2 for 4 with a walk. He also scored twice and had two RBI.

Eugene Emeralds

The Eugene Emeralds plugged the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes (Giants), 5-1.

Starter Ryan Kellogg pitched the first three innings without allowing a run. He gave up two hits. He struck out two and walked one.

Adbert Alzolay got all but one of the rest of the outs and picked up his sixth win. Alzolay was brilliant, making just one mistake: a solo home run in the fifth run. Alzolay pitched 5.2 innings and allowed one run on three hits. He struck out ten and walked just one.

Shortstop Andrew Ely was 3 for 5 with two RBI. Second baseman P.J. Higgins was 3 for 4 with a walk and a steal. He scored twice. Center fielder Donnie Dewees was 2 for 5 with a steal and two runs scored.

The lead keeps the Ems a game ahead of Hillsboro with three to play, all at Hillsboro. I'll make this simple: with all the tiebreakers, if the Ems win one of those three games, they're going to the playoffs. Even if they get swept, they have a chance of making the playoffs depending on what Salem-Keizer does at Boise.