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Chicago Cubs Minor League Wrap: June 7

A win by Myrtle Beach puts them in the playoff hunt. A win by South Bend gets them back to .500.

Andruw Monasterio and Aramis Ademan
Larry Kave/Myrtle Beach Pelicans

Cubs right-handed reliever David Garner was suspended 100 games for testing positive for a “drug of abuse” for the third time. This is truly disappointing because Garner was suspended 50 games for failing a drug test a second time in Spring Training and he was close to finishing that suspension. Now, he’ll miss the whole season.

It should be stressed that Garner has not tested positive for a PED, but rather for a “street drug” like marijuana or cocaine, although MLB never reveals the actual substance tested positive for in such cases.

Garner had an impressive season in Double-A Tennessee last season, earning him a late-season promotion to Triple-A Iowa and a non-roster invitation to Spring Training. Between Tennessee and Iowa, Garner was 4-3 with a 3.25 ERA and three saves.

Here’s hoping that Garner gets the help he needs.

Congratulations to Pelicans catcher Jhonny Pereda and South Bend pitcher Cory Abbott who were the Cubs choices for the Minor League Players and Pitcher of the Month for May. Your choices were David Bote and Matt Swarmer, although Abbott did finish second in your voting and Pereda finished a close third.

Abbott was promoted to Myrtle Beach earlier this month.

Iowa Cubs

The Iowa Cubs were blasted by the Albuquerque Isotopes (Rockies), 3-1.

Daury Torrez got his first start of the season and he pitched four scoreless innings, allowing just one hit. Torrez walked one and struck out one.

The game was still scoreless in the top of the seventh inning when Shea Simmons took the mound. Simmons got into trouble after two were out, walking in a run with the bases-loaded. He then left the game for Rob Zastryzny, who allowed a two-run single to the first batter he faced.

The final line on the losing pitcher Simmons is three runs on one walk and three hits over two-thirds of an inning. One of the walks was intentional. Simmons struck out one.

The lone I-Cubs run came on a home run by Jacob Hannemann in the eighth inning. It was his second run of the season. Hannemann went 1 for 3

Tennessee Smokies

The Tennessee Smokies gave up a run in the ninth inning and another in the tenth as they were overrun by the Jackson Generals (Diamoncbacks), 6-5.

Matt Swarmer made his first Double-A start and he gave up four runs on five hits over four innings. One of the four runs was unearned. Swarmer struck out three and walked one.

Scott Effross pitched the bottom of the eight, faced two batters and got the loss. The first Generals hitter bunted and the second one hit a walk-off single.

Center fielder Trey Martin led off the game with his fifth home run of the year. Martin was 1 for 4 with two walks. He also stole two bases.

Catcher Ian Rice had a pair of doubles and a pair of RBI in a 2 for 4 game.

First baseman Yasiel Balaguert was 2 for 4 with a walk and a run scored.

Myrtle Beach Pelicans

The Myrtle Beach Pelicans stopped the Buies Creek Astros, 4-2.

Cory Abbott had a successful High-A debut, winning his first start. Abbott allowed just two runs on three hits over six innings. Both runs scored on a fourth-inning home run by Abraham Toro. Abbott struck out eight and walked two.

Ryan Kellogg pitched the other three innings without allowing a run for his second save of the season. He gave up two hits and he walked two. Kellogg struck out one.

Andruw Monasterio hit his first home run of the season with the bases empty in the third inning. Monasterio was 2 for 5.

In the fifth inning, shortstop Aramis Ademan broke a 2-2 tie with a solo home run, his second this season. Ademan went 2 for 4 and scored twice.

Catcher P.J. Higgins was 2 for 4 with an RBI double later in the fifth.

With the win, the Pelicans move to 30-29, the first time they were over .500 all season long. The Pelicans are just 2 12 games out of first place and all five teams in their division are within 3 1/2 games of each other.

South Bend Cubs

The South Bend Cubs crowned the Ft. Wayne TinCaps (Padres), 6-1.

Tyler Thomas came off the disabled list and pitched four scoreless innings. He gave up two hits, walked one and struck out three. He did hit one batter.

Jeffrey Passantino got the win with three innings of relief. Passantino allowed one run on three hits, but the run was unearned. He struck out six and walked just one.

Yapson Gomez threw the final two innings and he retired all six batters he faced in order for his first save. Gomez struck out two.

DH Brandon Hughes broke a scoreless tie with a three-run home run in the bottom of the fifth inning. It was his second home run of the season. Hughes went 1 for 3.

In the eighth inning, left fielder Jared Young gave the Cubs a big cushion with a three-run home run of his own. It was his seventh home run this year. Young was 2 for 4 with a double.

Catcher Miguel Cruz was 2 for 4 with one run scored. First baseman Miguel Amaya was 2 for 4.

With the win, South Bend’s record improves to 29-29, meaning that three of the four Cubs’ minor league teams are at .500 or better. That’s a pretty amazing development after how poorly all four teams played in April.