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Chicago Cubs Minor League Wrap: April 16

The Smokies win behind strong pitching and baserunning.

Trevor Clifton
John Arguello

Iowa Cubs

The Iowa Cubs were egged by the Memphis Redbirds (Cardinals) 7-4.

In 90 career minor-league starts, I-Cubs pitcher Jen-Ho Tseng had never allowed more than two home runs in a game. Today, he gave up two to the first three batters and another one in the third inning to Tyler O’Neill, who hit one of the two home runs in the first inning. Tseng took the loss after giving up six runs on seven hits (three home runs!) over five innings. Tseng did strike out five and he walked just one.

Jacob Hannemann hit a pinch-hit solo home run in the eighth inning, his first of the season.

Catcher Chris Gimenez went 2 for 4 with a double. Right fielder Mark Zagunis was 2 for 4 with an RBI single.

Shortstop Mike Freeman led off the game with a triple and scored on Zagunis’ single. He was 1 for 3 with two walks.

Tennessee Smokies

The Tennessee Smokies burnt the Montgomery Biscuits (Rays), 7-2.

It was a terrific start tonight by Trevor Clifton, who got his first win of the season. Clifton pitched five scoreless innings and allowed just one single to lead off the third. Clifton even picked that runner off. Clifton did walk one batter and he also hit one. He struck out five.

Dakota Mekkes relieved Tommy Nance in the bottom of the eighth inning. Nance had gotten into trouble after loading the bases with a single and two walks. Then Nance walked in a run before Mekkes came on in relief with the bases loaded and two out. Mekkes allowed one inherited runner to score on a wild pitch, but then retired the next four batters to get his first save of the season. Mekkes struck out one.

The Smokies pitching staff combined on a two-hitter tonight.

Left fielder Charcer Burks went 2 for 4 with a double and a walk. He also stole one base. (More on that later) Burks scored one run and drove one in during a three-run top of the ninth that put the game out of reach.

Center fielder Trey Martin was 0 for 1 with two walks and a sacrifice fly. He also stole home as part of a triple steal. The Biscuits first baseman was playing off the bag and Burks had a big lead. The pitcher threw over there anyway and Burks broke for second base. Martin ran home and beat the throw. All three runners were safe.

Myrtle Beach Pelicans

The Myrtle Beach Pelicans were grounded by the Buies Creek Astros, 3-0.

The Pelicans wasted a good start from Matt Swarmer, who allowed just one run on four hits over five innings. Swarmer struck out eight Astros and walked just one.

Left fielder Kevonte Mitchell broke up a no-hitter with a one-out single in the eighth inning. It was the Pelicans only hit of the game.

South Bend Cubs

Travel day. They start a three-game series in Dayton on Tuesday.