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Chicago Cubs Minor League Wrap: April 18

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De La Cruz took a good first step towards returning from his suspension. Other than the Pelicans, the rest of the system lost.

Oscar De La Cruz
Larry Kave/Myrtle Beach Pelicans

Iowa Cubs

The Iowa Cubs got spit on by the New Orleans Baby Cakes (Marlins), 8-5.

Matt Swarmer started and took the loss. Swarmer allowed five runs four earned, over six innings. Swarmer gave up nine hits, including two home runs. He did strike out seven while walking just one.

The I-Cubs hit three home runs tonight for the first time all season. Right fielder Zach Borenstein hit his first of the year with the bases empty in the fourth inning to tie the game 1-1. Borenstein was 2 for 4.

Shortstop Dixon Machado hit a three-run home run in the seventh inning, his second. Machado went 1 for 4 with a walk.

Finally, Donnie Dewees hit a solo home run in the top of the ninth, his first in the Cubs organization since August 12, 2016. Dewees was 1 for 1 with a walk. He also scored on the Machado home run.

First baseman Jim Adduci was 2 for 4.

Tennessee Smokies

The Tennessee Smokies were routed by the Jackson Generals (Diamondbacks), 16-8.

Starter Zach Hedges allowed four runs on five hits (including a two-run home run in the first inning) over 4.1 innings. Hedges struck out three and did not walk anyone.

The Smokies were leading 6-5 in the top of the sixth when Xavier Cedeno was summoned from the bullpen on a rehab appearance. It did not go well. Cedeno managed to retire just one hitter and otherwise allowed four runs on two hits and a walk. Cedeno did manage to strike out the one batter he did retire. Cedeno got the loss.

Michael Rucker relieved Cedeno and he got hammered for eight runs over 2.1 innings, although four of those runs were unearned.

On the bright side, shortstop Nico Hoerner went 3 for 4. He scored one run and drove in one. After a slow start to the season, Hoerner is now batting .333 with a .434 OBP.

Center fielder Connor Myers was 2 for 4 with a double. He scored once.

Myrtle Beach Pelicans

The Myrtle Beach Pelicans declawed the Lynchburg Hillcats (Indians), 9-0. It’s the first time all season that the Pelicans have won back-to-back games.

Oscar De La Cruz made his first appearance of the year as he works his way to return from an 80-game suspension for testing positive for a banned substance. De La Cruz pitched five scoreless innings, scattering six hits. He walked one, struck out six and got his first win of the year. The game was not available on milb.tv, but the radio broadcasters said his velocity was in the mid-90s.

Tyler Peyton and Ben Hecht each pitched two innings to close out the shutout.

Right fielder Kevonte Mitchell capped a five-run first inning with a three-run home run, his third of the year. Mitchell was 2 for 4.

DH Tyler Payne connected for his first home run with the bases empty in the fifth inning. Payne also doubled in a 2 for 5 night. He scored twice.

First baseman Cam Balego chipped in an insurance run when he hit a solo home run in the seventh inning. Balego was 1 for 4 and also had a sac fly for two total RBI.

Second baseman Carlos Sepulveda was 3 for 4 with a walk. Sepulveda drove in two and scored once.

Left fielder Zach Davis triples and scored on a Sepulveda single in the second inning. Davis was 2 for 4.

South Bend Cubs

The South Bend Cubs were sunk by the Lake County Captains (Indians), 12-6. Lake County right fielder Will Benson had four home runs in this game.

Eury Ramos didn’t make it out of the third inning and he gave up two runs in the first, two in the second and three more in the third. The final line on Ramos was seven runs on seven hits, including three home runs, over 2.2 innings. He struck out five, walked one and hit one batter.

Third baseman Christopher Morel hit his first home run of the year in the eighth inning with a man on. Morel was 2 for 4 with a double and the homer. He scored twice.

DH Jonathan Sierra was 2 for 4 with a double and one run scored.