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Chicago Cubs Minor League Wrap: April 20

Adbert Alzolay makes his Triple-A debut with a splash.

Adbert Alzolay
Dylan Heuer

Up, Up and Alzolay!

Iowa Cubs

The Iowa Cubs drowned out the Nashville Sounds (Athletics), 7-1.

Adbert Alzolay made his first start of the season and his first start ever in Triple-A and boy, he sure did impress. Alzolay retired the first 12 batters he faced and did not allow a hit until one out in the sixth inning, when B.J. Boyd connected for an opposite field home run. The final line on Alzolay was six innings and he allowed the one run on two hits (an infield single later in the inning). He walked two and struck out six. He threw 75 pitches and 50 were for strikes.

Because I know someone will ask, Alzolay was throwing 93-94 and touching 96 at times. But the best news was his changeup, which he used to get a several swinging strikes and looked much improved over 2017.

Center fielder Wynton Bernard was 2 for 4 with a pair of doubles that drove in three runs between the two of them. Bernard scored once and stole one base.

Right fielder Mark Zagunis was 2 for 4. He stole one base and scored one run.

The starting pitcher for Nashville was former Cubs pitcher Eric Jokisch.

Tennessee Smokies

The Tennessee Smokies were tripped up by the Montgomery Biscuits (Rays), 7-2.

Michael Rucker started and took the loss. Rucker pitched 4.2 innings and gave up six runs on four hits and two walks. All six of the runs (and three of the four hits and both walks) came as part of a seven-run fifth inning for Montgomery. Rucker struck out four.

Both Smokies runs came on solo home runs. Left fielder Jeffrey Baez hit his first of the season in the second inning. He was 2 for 3.

Right fielder Eddy Martinez hit his first home run of the year in the seventh inning. He was 1 for 3 with a walk.

Second baseman Carlos Penalver was 2 for 3.

Myrtle Beach Pelicans

The Myrtle Beach Pelicans sunk the Down East Wood Ducks (Rangers), 7-1. The win snapped a four-game losing streak for the Pelicans.

Good start tonight for Bryan Hudson, who got the win after giving up just one run on three hits over five innings. Hudson walked three and struck out seven.

It was a big night for first baseman Austin Upshaw. He had a solo home run in the second inning, his second of the year, and two sacrifice flies for three total RBI. He was 1 for 2.

Third baseman Vimael Machin also hit a solo home run in the seventh inning, also his second. Machin was 1 for 2 with two walks.

Catcher Jhonny Pereda went 2 for 4 with two RBI.

South Bend Cubs

The South Bend Cubs were stripped by the Lansing Lugnuts (Blue Jays), 7-1. It was South Bend’s fifth-straight loss.

Starter Tyler Thomas was let down by his defense, as he took the loss after he gave up three runs, all unearned, over five innings. Thomas surrendered five hits and walked one. He struck out four.

The only South Bend run came on a home run by third baseman Yeiler Peguero, his first of the season. Peguero was 1 for 2 with two walks.

South Bend only managed two hits tonight.