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Chicago Cubs Minor League Wrap: April 4. Opening Night.

The Cubs system goes 3 for 4 on Opening Night

Trent Giambrone
Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome back to yet another season of the Minor League Wrap! We’re going to be here for a while this summer so get comfortable and settle in.

If you’re a new reader, and I hope some of you are new readers, you’ll catch on pretty quickly. I do a recap of every Cubs minor league game each night. I’ll give you the stats for all the key performers for each game. One thing that this isn’t is a “Cubs prospects wrap.” I make it a point to give credit to any player in the Cubs system who has a good night. (Or sometimes a bad night, if necessary for the recap.) There are a lot of reasons I do this, but perhaps the best is that if I didn’t, you would have missed the rise of a player like David Bote, who was never considered a prospect until he was one. (Does that make sense?) Sure, the top prospects get more attention, but I think it’s important not to obsess about their daily stats. Don’t worry. If they’re doing really well or really poorly over a meaningful stretch of games, I’ll mention it.

If I don’t mention a player, you can assume that he had a fairly ordinary game. If you still want to know, I always provide a link to box score of the game and you can check it out for yourself.

I’m known for punning off (or otherwise playing off) the crazy names of minor league teams. I don’t do it every night. Sometimes nothing comes to me. Sometimes I’m just not in the mood. Some people love it. Others not so much. But I’m going to keep doing it, if only to keep things interesting for myself.

Finally, I encourage you to follow me on Twitter at @Cubsminorswrap

Iowa Cubs

The Iowa Cubs hung on to squeak past the Nashville Sounds (Rangers), 5-4.

Duncan Robinson got the Opening Night start and he just failed to go five innings. Robinson went 4.2 innings and allowed just one run on six hits. He walked two and struck out three. He was pulled from the game after 88 pitches.

Dillon Maples entered the game to start the ninth inning with a 5-2 lead. He loaded the bases on two walks and an infield single. After a strikeout, he walked Willie Calhoun to force in a run. Maples struck out the next batter, Matt Davidson, for the second out of the ninth and then exited for Dakota Mekkes. Mekkes walked the first batter he faced before getting a grounder to first baseman Jim Adduci to end the game and get the save.

Left fielder Trent Giambrone homered in the top of the third inning to tie the game at 1-1. Giambrone was 2 for 5 with a double and a stolen base in addition to the home run.

Center fielder Ian Happ told the Pacific Coast League what he thought of it by going 2 for 5 with a bases-loaded three-run double in the fifth inning. Happ also stole a base.

Right fielder Johnny Field was 2 for 4 with a double and a run scored in his debut in the Cubs organization. Shortstop Dixon Machado was also making his organizational debut and he went 2 for 4 and he scored once.

Tennessee Smokies

The Tennessee Smokies clouded over the Mississippi Braves, 7-5.

Thomas Hatch turned in a terrific start for the Smokies today, allowing just two hits and no runs over five innings. Hatch struck out seven Braves and didn’t walk any of them.

The Smokies bullpen was not so effective, but the offense bailed it out. The win went to reliever Wyatt Short, but he allowed two runs on three hits in the one inning he pitched. Short struck out two and did not walk anyone.

Craig Brooks pitched a scoreless ninth and got the save, although he did bring the go-ahead run to the plate after two walks. Brooks did not allow a hit and he struck out one.

First baseman Jared Young hit the first Cubs minor league home run of the season in his first career at-bat in Double-A in the bottom of the first. He did it off of top 25 prospect Ian Anderson as well. Young was 2 for 5 and scored twice.

Shortstop Robel Garcia was 3 for 5 with a double and a steal in his first game in the Cubs organization. Garcia scored once and had two RBI.

Center fielder Roberto Caro was 2 for 4 with a walk and a steal. He scored once.

Myrtle Beach Pelicans

The Myrtle Beach Pelicans coughed up a furball against the Lynchburg Hillcats (Indians), 14-5.

Alex Lange’s 2019 season got off to a bad start as he took the loss. Lange allowed six runs, four earned, on seven hits over 3.1 innings. He walked three and struck out two.

Center fielder D.J. Wilson was 2 for 4 and scored twice.

Catcher Miguel Amaya was 1 for 3 with a two-run double.

South Bend Cubs

The South Bend Cubs surfed past the West Michigan Whitecaps (Tigers), 5-4.

Derek Casey got the Opening Night start but he exited in the second inning after 51 pitches. Casey allowed two runs on two hits over 1.2 innings. He walked two and struck out three.

The win went to Eugenio Palma, who pitched two scoreless innings, giving up just one hit. Palma struck out three and did not walk anyone, but he did hit one batter.

Ethan Roberts gave up an unearned run in the ninth, but still got the save. Roberts gave up one hit and he walked one in his one inning. He did not have a strikeout.

Shortstop Andy Weber was 2 for 4 with an RBI double in the fourth inning. I hate to mention that he committed three errors.

First baseman Tyler Durna was 2 for 4. He had one RBI and he scored once.