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Chicago Cubs Minor League Wrap: May 20

Wins for the Smokies and the Pelicans. The I-Cubs lose in a weird way.

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Congratulations to Pelicans pitcher Javier Assad, who was named Carolina League Pitcher of the Week for the second-straight week! Assad got the award for a start in which he threw seven scoreless innings, allowing just one hit and striking out nine.

Iowa Cubs

The Iowa Cubs were spanked by the New Orleans Baby Cakes (Marlins), 5-2.

Duane Underwood Jr. started this game and this is going to take a little time to explain. Underwood got into trouble in the first inning, allowing three runs on three singles, an error and a hit by pitch. With two outs in the first, Underwood then went to left field, left fielder Donnie Dewees went to center field and center fielder Jacob Hannemann came into pitch. Hannemann struck out Isaac Galloway to end the inning and then Underwood went back onto the mound to pitch the second inning.

After the first inning, Underwood Jr. pitched five scoreless innings, giving up just one hit and walking two while striking out six.

So what happened here? The Cubs have an inning pitch count and when a pitcher throws more than a certain number of pitchers, the manager has to take him out at the end of the inning. Underwood had already thrown 26 pitches by that point. Manager Marty Pevey clearly did not think his bullpen could eat eight innings today and took him out to avoid the pitch limit. The strategy worked and had the I-Cubs offense done anything, it might have won the game.

The final line on Underwood was three runs (but no earned runs) on four hits over 5.2 innings. Underwood struck out six and walked two. He hit the one batter as well.

Second baseman Ian Happ hit a solo home run in the bottom of the first inning. But the big news here is that Happ left the game with an injury when a grounder hit him in the hand. The early report is that he’ll miss 2 to 4 days, but that could change. Happ was 1 for 2 with a walk.

Iowa only had five hits today.

Tennessee Smokies

The Tennessee Smokies captured the Jackson Generals (Diamondbacks), 3-2 in 12 innings.

Cory Abbott started and allowed two runs on just two hits over six innings. Abbott walked four and struck out five.

Wyatt Short got the win after pitching two extra innings without allowing a run, despite the runner starting on second base both times. Wyatt did not allow a hit. He did hit one batter and he walked one, but the one he walked was intentional. I don’t think the batter he hit was intentional, but they don’t admit such things. Short did not have a strikeout.

Tommy Nance pitched the bottom of the 12th and got the save. Nance walked the first batter he faced. After a bunt moved runners to second and third with one out, Nance intentionally walked the bases loaded. Nance then got the next batter to hit a game-ending 4-6-3 double play.

The Smokies only had five hits today, but they did walk six times. The winning play was when Christian Donahue and Luis Vazquez pulled off a double steal of second and third with one out in the top of the tenth. Charcer Burks then hit a sac fly to score the eventual winning run.

Donahue was 1 for 3 with a double and two walks. Burks was 0 for 3 with two sacrifice flies.

Myrtle Beach Pelicans

The Myrtle Beach Pelicans unlocked the Frederick Keys (Orioles), 8-5.

Paul Richan pitched the first 5.2 innings and got the win. Richan gave up four runs on eight hits. He walked one and struck out two.

Jesus Camargo threw the other 3.1 innings. Camargo gave up one run on three hits. Or he gave up one run on a solo home run. Camargo struck out two and did not walk anyone, although he did hit one batter.

Catcher Miguel Amaya had a big day with a two-run single in the third inning and a solo home run in the ninth. It was Amaya’s fifth home run of the season. He was 2 for 4 with a walk. Amaya scored twice.

Third baseman Cam Balego hit a solo home run in the fifth inning, his third of this season. Balego was 1 for 4 and was hit by a pitch. He scored two runs.

Shortstop Aramis Ademan hit a two-run double in the third inning. Ademan was 1 for 3 with a walk.

South Bend Cubs

The South Bend Cubs were boiled by the Ft. Wayne TinCaps (Padres), 9-1.

Starter Derek Casey took the loss after allowing six runs on nine hits over three innings. Casey walked two and struck out three.

Jose Albertos made his season debut for South Bend tonight and pitched a perfect seventh inning, striking out one. Then he stayed in to pitch the eighth inning and allowed two runs on two hits and three walks.

Right fielder Jonathan Sierra was 2 for 4 with a double. He scored the lone South Bend run.