Except at altitude in Reno, some terrific pitching in the Cubs system tonight. And the best performance wasn’t enough.
The Iowa Cubs came up snake eyes against the Reno Aces (Diamondbacks), 11-4.
Duane Underwood Jr. had a rough first inning in Reno, giving up hits to the first four batters he faced. All four would come around to score after a pair of sacrifice flies. The final line on Underwood was six runs on ten hits over four innings. Underwood walked two and struck out two.
Second baseman David Bote hit a solo home run in the third inning, his tenth of the season already. Bote was 2 for 4.
Center fielder Jacob Hannemann hit a two-run home run in the seventh inning, his third of the season. Hannemann went 1 for 4.
The Tennessee Smokies baked the Montgomery Biscuits (Rays), 5-4 in 10 innings on a walk-off home run by catcher Ian Rice.
Starter Michael Rucker hadn’t allowed a hit until he gave up a solo home run to Nathan Lukes in the fifth inning. That was the only run he allowed over six innings. Rucker allowed two hits total. He struck out four, walked one and hit one batter.
Jake Stinnett entered the game with two on and no outs in the eighth inning and he got three outs on the next two batters after a force out and a double play. Unfortunately, Stinnett blew the save when he surrendered a two-run home run in the top of the ninth.
Jordan Minch came in to pitch the tenth inning and he allowed the runner who started the inning on second to score and then loaded the bases with only one out. Once again, a Cubs reliever got out of a big, one-out jam with a double play. Minch got the win then when Tennessee scored twice in the bottom fo the inning. Minch allowed one unearned run on one hit and an intentional walk over one inning.
After the first two batters of the bottom of the tenth made outs with a strikeout and a groundout that moved the runner to third base, Rice connected with his third home run of the season. Rice was 2 for 3 with two walks.
Center fielder Trey Martin gave the Smokies a 1-0 lead with his sixth home run of the year in the third inning. Martin was 2 for 5.
First baseman Yasiel Balaguert was 2 for 4 with a walk and an RBI.
Myrtle Beach Pelicans
It is totally not fair to Keegan Thompson that the Myrtle Beach Pelicans lost to the Carolina Mudcats (Brewers), 4-1.
Thompson faced 21 batters in this game and retired all 21 of them. He struck out eight of them. He left after 84 pitches, 60 of which were strikes.
He also left with a 1-0 lead that disappeared pretty quickly when Tyler Peyton took the mound. Peyton retired the first batter he faced, but then the next six all reached before a double play ended the inning. The final line on Peyton is four runs on five hits and a walk. He did not strike anyone out.
The Pelicans themselves only had two hits tonight. Luis Ayala singled home Wladimir Galindo, who had walked, for the Pelicans only run. Ayala was 1 for 3 with a walk.
South Bend Cubs
The South Bend Cubs speared the Dayton Dragons (Reds), 2-0.
Erich Uelmen was good tonight. Not Keegan Thompson-good, but really good nonetheless. Uelmen allowed six hits over 6.2 scoreless innings. He struck out five and did not walk anyone.
The save went to Brian Glowicki, despite the double and the single he allowed in the ninth. It helped that when the leadoff hitter hit a double, he thought it was a good idea to go for a triple down two runs in the top of the ninth. Glowicki struck out one.
First baseman Jared Young hit a two-run double in the fifth inning and that was it for the scoring tonight. Young actually had two doubles in a 2 for 4 game.
Oh, and that double was the only hit that either team had a hit with runners in scoring position. The Cubs were 1 for 15 and Dayton was 0 for 6.
Second baseman Christian Donahue was 2 for 5 with a double and one run scored.
Shortstop Jhonny Bethencourt was 2 for 4.
Right fielder Brandon Hughes was 2 for 3 with a double. He was also hit by a pitch and he stole a base.