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Chicago Cubs Minor League Wrap: September 3

Arizona advances in their playoff game. The Smokies outlast the Generals.

Trey Martin
John Arguello

It’s hard to believe that the minor league regular season ends tomorrow. However, both Myrtle Beach and Eugene made the playoffs and the Arizona League Cubs are already in the playoffs tonight.

You still have time to vote for the Minor League Player and Pitcher of the Month for August. No, we aren’t doing a September one, but we will have a Player and Pitcher of the Year vote.

Iowa Cubs

The Iowa Cubs lost to the Omaha Storm Chasers (Royals), 7-5.

Starter Steve Perakslis pitched four innings and allowed two runs on three hits. Really, he allowed two runs on a home run by Jorge Soler. Perakslis walked four and struck out five.

Brad Markey took the loss after he gave up back-to-back solo home runs in Soler and Frank Schwindel in the eighth inning. The final line on Markey was four runs, three earned, on five hits over 3.2 innings. Markey struck out four batters and did not walk any of them.

Right fielder John Andreoli led off the game with a home run, his 14th of the season. Andreoli was 1 for 5. Just as a note, Andreoli will be a minor league free agent at the end of this season, so if this is his last weekend as a Cub, I’m glad he got a home run.

Shortstop Elliot Soto tied the score 2-2 in the third inning with a solo home run, his second of the season. Soto also double and scored twice in a 2 for 4 game.

First baseman Chris Dominguez went 2 for 4 with an RBI ground-rule double in the fourth inning. Dominguez was 2 for 4.

Center fielder Jacob Hannemann was 2 for 4 with a stolen base and one run scored.

Tennessee Smokies

The Tennessee Smokies outlasted the Jackson Generals (Diamondbacks), 2-1 in 14 innings.

Chris Nunn had his best start in the Cubs organization as he tossed six shutout innings. Nunn allowed just two hits. He struck out four and didn’t walk anyone. He did hit one batter.

Tommy Thorpe threw the 13th and 14th innings without allowing a run for the win. Thorpe gave up just one hit. Thorpe did not record a strikeout or a walk.

Center fielder Trey Martin singled home pinch-hitter Yasiel Balaguert in the bottom of the 14th to end the game. Balaguert had walked to lead off the inning and Martin was 1 for 6.

First baseman Kevin Cornelius went 2 for 5 with a double and he scored the other Smokies run on a single by Nunn in the fifth inning.

Myrtle Beach Pelicans

The Myrtle Beach Pelicans were shut out by the Carolina Mudcats (Brewers), 1-0.

Alec Mills started this game on a rehab assignment and gave up just two baserunners over five innings: a hit batsman and a single. Mills struck out five.

Dakota Mekkes pitched the sixth inning and had a rare poor outing. He took the loss after he allowed one run on two hits and two walks in one inning. Mekkes struck out one.

Catcher P.J. Higgins was 2 for 4 with a double.

South Bend Cubs

The South Bend Cubs had a flat tire against the Bowling Green Hot Rods (Rays), 4-2.

Manuel Rondon pitched the first 5.2 innings and was charged with two runs on two hits and three walks. Rondon struck out five.

Chad Hockin took the loss after he allowed an inherited runner to score along with two runs of his own in the three-run sixth inning. The final line on Hockin was two runs, one earned, on three hits over 1.1 innings. He walked one and did not strike anyone out.

Third baseman Andruw Monasterio was 2 for 4 with an RBI and one run scored. First baseman Austin Upshaw was 2 for 4.

Eugene Emeralds

The Eugene Emeralds clinched a playoff spot yesterday, so they took today off. Unfortunately, the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes (Giants) insisted upon playing the game anyway and they blasted the Emeralds 11-1.

It wasn’t the fault of starter Keegan Thompson, who pitched three scoreless innings, allowing just two hits. Thompson struck out three and walked no one.

Thompson was relieved by Rollie Lacy, and Lacy took the loss after allowing three runs on four hits in just one inning. Lacy struck out two and did not issue a walk. In face, the Ems gave up 11 runs while only walking one batter, which is impressive in its own way.

Catcher Michael Cruz was 2 for 3 with a double and a walk, which would have been great except for the three errors he made in the field.

This ends the regular season for the Emeralds, but they do advance to a best-of-three playoff series with the Hillsboro Hops starting on Tuesday. The Ems were 18-20 in the second-half, but believe it or not, that was good enough to make the playoffs. They were tied with Boise for second place in the division, one game back of Hillsboro. But since Hillsboro won the first half, the second-place team in the second half got the playoff spot and Eugene held the tiebreaker over Boise.

Eugene’s overall record for the season was 39-37.

AZL Cubs

The AZL Cubs beat the AZL Brewers in a one-game first-round playoff series, 9-6.

Cam Belargo hit a two-run home run in the second inning and Nelson Velasquez hit a solo home run to add an insurance run in the ninth inning as the Arizona League Cubs beat the Brewers in a one-game playoff. The Cubs will play either the Giants or Dodgers in the AZL semifinal game tomorrow. The winner will play for the league title on Tuesday.