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Chicago Cubs Minor League Wrap: August 24

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Iowa gets closer to a division title with a comeback win. South Bend strengthens their wild card hand with a win. Tennessee and Eugene also win.

MLB: Chicago Cubs at Atlanta Braves
Mark Zagunis
Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Iowa Cubs

The Iowa Cubs silenced the Nashville Sounds (Rangers), 5-3.

Colin Rea tied an Iowa franchise record for wins in a season with his 14th win of the year. Rea gave up three runs on nine hits over six innings. He walked three and struck out four.

In case you were wondering, the other two Iowa pitchers to win 14 games in a season were Kurt Miller and Dave Swartzbaugh. Both of them accomplished this during the 1998 season.

Rea should get one more start before the end of the season.

Alex Wilson was perfect over the next two innings, striking out two. That set up the stage for Dillon Maples, who walked the first batter he faced and then allowed a single to left to bring the go-ahead run to the plate with no outs. Maples struck out the next batter and then induced a 6-4-3 double play to end the game and collect his sixth save.

Iowa took the lead in this game on a grand slam by right fielder Mark Zagunis in the sixth inning. It was his sixth home run of the year. Zagunis went 1 for 3.

Iowa’s other run came on a solo home run by Robel Garcia in the bottom of the second inning. Garcia now has 18 home runs for Iowa, 24 total in the minors and 28 if we count the four he hit in the majors. Garcia was also 1 for 3.

Ben Zobrist played five innings at second and then swapped positions with Garcia, who had been playing second base. Zobrist went 0 for 4.

Daniel Descalso played seven innings at third base and was 0 for 2. He was hit by a pitch and scored one batter later on Zagunis’ slam.

Memphis, unfortunately, won their fifth-straight game and have now won 13 of their last 16 games to charge late. So the Cubs magic number to clinch their first division title since 2008 just falls to four with nine games to play. They have the series finale with Nashville on Sunday, followed by a four-game series at Oklahoma City. Then Memphis comes to Des Moines for the final four games of the regular season. It would be best if the Cubs clinched before the start of that Memphis series.

Tennessee Smokies

The Tennessee Smokies usurped the Birmingham Barons (White Sox), 8-2.

Starter Luis Lugo got the win after giving up just one run on four hits over six innings. Lugo walked three and struck out seven.

Third baseman Vimael Machin hit a solo home run in the eighth inning, his sixth this year. Machin went 2 for 5 with two runs scored and two runs batted in.

The Smokies had 16 hits tonight. Shortstop Zack Short went 2 for 4 with a double and a walk. He scored one run and had one RBI.

Right fielder Eddy Martinez went 2 for 5 with one run scored.

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

Left fielder Charcer Burks was 2 for 3 with a stolen base. He scored once.

Center fielder Connor Myers was 2 for 4 and scored twice.

Myrtle Beach Pelicans

The Myrtle Beach Pelicans were swept by the Salem Red Sox, first losing the completion of yesterday’s game 6-5 in 12 innings and then dropping the regularly-scheduled game 5-1.

Bryan Hudson started this game yesterday, allowing four runs on five hits over three innings. Hudson struck out one and did not walk anyone. Hudson was placed on the injured list early this morning, so you can say that Hudson started this game on the mound and was on the IL before it ended.

Erling Moreno, Chad Hockin and Manuel Rodriguez each tossed two scoreless innings before yesterday. Scott Effross pitched a scoreless bottom of the 10th before the rains came.

Ryan Lawlor kept the Red Sox from scoring in the 11th, but the game ended on a two-out error by shortstop Aramis Ademan in the bottom of the 12th. The final line on Lawlor was two unearned runs on one hit over 1.2 innings. Lawlor struck out one and walked one batter intentionally.

Left fielder Grant Fennell hit a two-run home run in the fourth inning, his fifth of the season. Fennell was 1 for 4 with an intentional walk.

Catcher Miguel Amaya clubbed his 11th home run of the year in the sixth inning with the bases empty. Amaya went 2 for 5 with three runs scored.

Javier Assad started game two and got the loss. Assad gave up just one unearned run on five hits over 5.1 innings. Assad did have control issues as he walked four batters and hit one. Assad struck out one.

Right fielder Kevonte Mitchell was 2 for 3 with a double.

South Bend Cubs

The South Bend Cubs raced past the Bowling Green Hot Rods (Rays), 2-1.

Another strong start for Cam Sanders, who gave up just one run on three hits over five innings. Sanders struck out seven and walked three.

Eugenio Palma threw the next three innings without allowing a run and got the win. Palma surrendered just one hit. He walked two and struck out four.

Brian Glowicki pitched a perfect bottom of the ninth for his seventh save. He struck out one.

Third baseman Fidel Mejia singled home Cole Roederer with what proved to be the winning run in the top of the ninth. Mejia was 1 for 4.

Roederer stayed red hot, going 3 for 4 with a double.

The win brings South Bend to within two games of first-place Bowling Green. It also gives them a four-game lead over Lansing for the final Wild Card spot.

Eugene Emeralds

The Eugene Emeralds dessicated Everett AquaSox (Mariners), 11-6.

Michael McAvene didn’t make it out of the first inning. He allowed two runs on two hits and two walks over two-thirds of an inning. McAvene struck out two, of course.

The Ems were trailing this game 4-0 after two innings, but they stormed back and scored six runs in the top of the ninth to pull ahead and make a winner out of reliever Raidel Ortega. Ortega got the win after giving up one run on two hits over two innings. The one run came on a solo home run with two outs in the bottom of the ninth. Raidel did not have a strikeout nor did he issue a walk.

First baseman Grayson Byrd had the big blow in the six-run ninth, a three-run home run. It was Byrd’s third home run of his young career and his second with Eugene. Byrd was 2 for 4. He scored twice and had four RBI.

All six runs in the ninth scored after two were out.

Catcher Jake Washer tied the game in the top of the eighth inning with an RBI single. Washer was 3 for 5. He scored twice and had two runs batted in.

Left fielder Yovanny Cuevas was 2 for 4 with a double and a walk. Cuevas had an RBI double in the ninth inning and later scored.

Second baseman Josue Huma was 2 for 3 with a walk and one run scored.

Third baseman Ryan Reynolds was 2 for 5 with an RBI.

AZL Cubs

Cubs 1 beat Giants Black, 8-2.

Cubs 2 beat Padres 1, 15-7.

Luis Verdugo had two home runs in this game.

I believe that Cubs 2 magic number to clinch a wild card spot is 2 with two games to play.