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Chicago Cubs Minor League Wrap: April 14

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Iowa is off to a hot start to the season. The Smokies are doing well. The Pelicans? Not so much.

Trent Giambrone
Trent Giambrone
Dylan Heuer

Iowa Cubs

The Iowa Cubs outmaneuvered the Oklahoma City Dodgers, 4-3. The win moves Iowa to 7-3 on the young season.

Trevor Clifton started and only lasted 1.2 innings because the Dodgers ran up some epic at-bats in the second inning and he hit his pitch count limit. Clifton did not allow a run or a hit. He walked three and struck out five.

For the record, the second inning started with an eight-pitch walk, followed by a nine-pitch walk. Then Clifton loaded the bases on a ten-pitch walk. Clifton came back and struck out the next two batters on 11 total pitches. So Clifton wasn’t wild as much as the Dodgers just ground out some epic at-bats.

Alberto Baldonado relieved Clifton with two outs and the bases still loaded in the second and got a strikeout to end the threat. He then got the win when he tossed 2.1 innings and allowing just one run on one hit, a solo home run by Kyle Garlick. Baldonado walked two and struck out two.

Brian Duensing had two scoreless innings of relief, allowing just one hit. He struck out two and did not walk anyone.

Carl Edwards Jr. pitched the next 1.2 innings and he allowed one run on no hits and one walk. Edwards pitched a lot better than that line would indicate—he walked a batter with one out, the batter went to second on a ground out and then Edwards exited for Dakota Mekkes, who gave up an RBI single. Edwards did not have a strikeout.

Mekkes got the save, although he gave up one run in the ninth and the inherited runner in the eight. Mekkes’ final line was one run on one hit and one walk. Mekkes did not have a strikeout.

This game ended on a potentially scary play. Mekkes got a high popup in front of the plate, a little bit towards third base. Both third baseman Phillip Evans and catcher Francisco Arcia called for the ball and they collided. However, Evans hung on to the ball and prevented the tying and go-ahead runs from scoring. Both players seemed OK after the play, but we’ll see how they feel when they wake up tomorrow.

In the fourth inning, second baseman Trent Giambrone put the I-Cubs up for good with a solo home run, his fourth blast already on the young year. Giambrone was 1 for 4.

Second baseman Ian Happ had a pair of doubles in a 2 for 4 game. Happ scored once.

Tennessee Smokies

The Tennessee Smokies stormed back from a 6-0 deficit and defenestrated the Birmingham Barons (White Sox), 7-6.

Starter Brad Markey put the Smokies in an early hole when he allowed four runs in the first inning and two more in the third without recording an out. The final line on Markey was 2+ innings, allowing six runs on ten hits. He walked one and struck out two.

The win went to Manuel Rondon, who pitched the sixth and seventh inning without allowing a run. Rondon gave up two hits. He did not walk or strike anyone out.

Craig Brooks scattered three hits over the final two innings for the save. He did not walk anyone and he struck out three.

The Smokies tied this game up by scoring six runs in the fifth inning. Catcher Jhonny Pereda led off the fifth inning with a home run and then center fielder Connor Myers went back-to-back with his first home run of the year. Pereda was 2 for 4 and now has two home runs this season. Myers went 1 for 3.

Charcer Burks had a two-run double in the sixth inning. He was 2 for 3 with a walk and then scored the tying run in the sixth on a Roberto Caro double. Caro went 1 for 4.

Shortstop Nico Hoerner went 2 for 4 with a double, a triple and a walk. He scored once.

First baseman P.J. Higgins was 3 for 5 with a double and a run scored.

Myrtle Beach Pelicans

The Myrtle Beach Pelicans lost to the Fayetteville Woodpeckers (Astros), 9-4.

Starter Erling Moreno took the loss after allowing five runs on three hits, including two home runs, over 3.1 innings. One of the home runs was a grand slam. Moreno walked six and struck out just one.

Shortstop Aramis Ademan went 3 for 4 with a two-run triple in the ninth inning. Ademan scored one batter later on a Jhonny Bethencourt ground out.

Catcher Tyler Payne was 2 for 4 with a double and one run scored.

The loss drops the Pelicans to 2-9 on the season.

Here are some highlights. You can check out the Pelicans’ “Copa de la Diversión” uniforms.

South Bend Cubs

Postponed. Doubleheader on June 12.