Not a good night tonight.
The Iowa Cubs just missed catching the Round Rock Express (Rangers), 4-3.
Round Rock jumped off to an early lead off of Iowa starter Stephen FIfe, scoring once in the first and three runs in the third. The final line on Fife, who took the loss, was three innings pitched, allowing four runs on five hits. He walked three and struck out five.
The Iowa bullpen, Jean Machi, Felix Pena, C.J. Riefenhauser and Miguel Mejia, combined to throw six scoreless innings and allow just one hit. Those four pitchers struck out seven and walked two.
Iowa trailed 4-2 heading to the bottom of the ninth, but they scored one run on a two walks, a single and a hit batter. But Logan Watkins struck out on a 3-2 pitch with two outs and the bases loaded. If you ask me, I thought the pitch was outside.
The Cubs had a mix-up in the fifth inning that would prove critical. After DH Willson Contreras singled to lead off the inning, Albert Almora lined a ball into the center field. Almora rounded second and went for a triple, but Contreras had stopped at third base. Contreras belatedly ran towards home where he was thrown out.
Almora was 2 for 4 and scored one run. Catcher Tim Federowicz was 1 for 2 with a double, a sac fly and a walk. He had two RBI.
The Tennessee Smokies were caught hibernating by the Mobile BayBears (Diamondbacks), 2-1.
It was a solid start for Paul Blackburn, making his Double-A debut. Blackburn allowed one run on five hits. He struck out one and didn't walk anyone. He retired 11 batters on the ground and only two in the air. He picked one runner off too.
Corey Black entered a tie game in the eighth inning and got the loss after allowing a run on two hits. He walked one and struck out one.
The Smokies only managed four hits. Right fielder Billy McKinney was 2 for 4. He doubled to lead off the fifth inning and scored.
Myrtle Beach Pelicans
The Myrtle Beach Pelicans lost the Frederick Keys (Orioles), 7-5.
Zach Hedges started this game and was pretty good through five innings, allowing just one run. Unfortunately, he came out to pitch the sixth inning and he gave up three more runs that inning to take the loss. The final line on Hedges was 5.1 innings pitched, allowing four runs, two earned, on five hits. He struck out six and walked one.
Left fielder Charcer Burks had a big night, going 3 for 4 and hitting a monster solo home run in the third inning. Burks also stole a base.
Catcher Cael Brockmeyer hit a two-run home run in the seventh inning. He was 1 for 4.
DH David Bote was 2 for 4 with two doubles. He scored once and had one RBI.
Center fielder Rashad Crawford went 2 for 4 with a walk and two steals.
Second baseman Ian Happ had a miserable game. He was 0 for 4 with a walk and four strikeouts. He also made two errors.
South Bend Cubs
The South Bend Cubs were washed up by the West Michigan Whitecaps (Tigers), 6-4 in a game that ended in the bottom of the 7th because of snow.
Starter Justin Steele pitched 3.2 innings and allowed four runs, all unearned, on six hits. He walked three and struck out three.
Shortstop Bryant Flete was 2 for 3 with a two-run triple in the sixth inning.