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Chicago Cubs Minor League Wrap: May 22

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The Cubs system goes 1-4 today, but South Bend won.

Larry Kave/Myrtle Beach Pelicans

Iowa Cubs

The Iowa Cubs lost their seventh-straight game, 8-1 to the Tacoma Rainiers (Mariners).

Drew Rucinski started and took the loss after he allowed five runs on five hits, including a pair of home runs in a four-run third inning, over just three innings. Rucinski walked one and struck out nobody.

Center fielder Albert Almora Jr. was 3 for 4 with a double and an RBI single in the top of the third inning that temporarily tied the game up at 1-1.

First baseman Dan Vogelbach was 2 for 3 with a walk.

Tennessee Smokies

The Tennessee Smokies dropped a doubleheader to the Biloxi Shuckers (Brewers), losing the first game 5-0 in nine innings and the second game 6-5.

Paul Blackburn continued his excellent start to the season and is making a case for a midseason promotion to Triple-A. Blackburn pitched six innings and allowed just four hits. He struck out four and walked no one.

Corey Black has been hot and cold out of the bullpen this season, but today he was red-hot. Black faced six batters in relief of Blackburn and struck out the first five of them. The sixth and final batter managed to ground out to first base.

The game was still scoreless in the top of the ninth when David Garner entered the game, and Garner got hammered for five runs on three hits in the one inning he pitched. Only two of the five runs were earned, however, because of an error by first baseman Bijan Rademacher. Garner struck out one

Tennessee managed three hits in this game, all singles, and one of them was by Blackburn.

In game two, starter Tyler Skulina pitched five innings and allowed four runs on seven hits. He walked four and struck out two.

Josh Conway got the loss when he relieved Skulina in the sixth inning and allowed two runs on a hit and two walks over two-thirds of an inning. Conway did not record a strikeout.

Shortstop Carlos Penalver was 2 for 4 with a double and a run scored. Third baseman Jeimer Candelario went 2 for 3 with a walk and a run scored.

Myrtle Beach Pelicans

The Myrtle Beach Pelicans lost to the Lynchburg Hillcats (Indians), 7-4.

Pelicans starter Jonathan Martinez gave up a solo home run to the second batter of the game and after that, he was pretty strong through 6.1 innings. Martinez gave up just the one run on five total hits. He walked one and struck out six.

James Pugliese relieved Martinez and actually got out of a two-on, one-out jam in the seventh inning. But then he came out to pitch the eighth and he got tagged for five runs and the loss. The big blow wa a grand slam by Paul Hendrix. The final line on Pugliese was five runs on four hits and a walk over 1.2 innings. Pugliese did not strike anyone out.

Right fielder Jeffrey Baez hit his second home run of the year and his second home run in two days when he connected with the bases empty in the bottom of the eighth. Baez was 2 for 4 with two total RBI.

South Bend Cubs

The first-place South Bend Cubs saved the Cubs system from being shut out today when they sunk the Lake County Captains (Indians), 6-4.

Preston Morrison got the win when he allowed just one run on six hits over five innings. Morrison struck out six and walked just one.

Greyfer Eregua pitched the final two innings in a non-save situation and he got into trouble in the ninth, bringing the tying run to the plate with two outs in the bottom of the ninth. But he then got a strikeout to end the game. Eregua's final line was two runs on three hits. He walked one and struck out three.

Left fielder Eloy Jimenez and center fielder Eddy Martinez hit back-to-back home runs in the top of the first inning. Jimenez's home run was his sixth of the season and fifth in the last nine games. It came with a man on. The home run by Martinez was his sixth.

Jimenez was 1 for 2 with two walks. Martinez was 1 for 4 with two RBI.

Center fielder Donnie Dewees hit his second home run this season with the bases empty in the fifth inning. Dewees was 2 for 5.

South Bend now has a two-game lead in the Eastern Division of the Midwest League.