We’ve got two clinches tonight!
The Iowa Cubs clinched their first division title since 2008 with a 5-1 win over the Memphis Redbirds (Cardinals).
Trevor Clifton pitched the first four innings and allowed no runs on four hits. He walked two, hit one batter and he struck out two.
The win went to Duane Underwood Jr. because Clifton didn’t go five innings. Underwood gave up one run on one hit, one walk and one hit batter over 1.1 innings. He struck out three.
The I-Cubs scored all five runs in the bottom of the first inning and on consecutive pitches. Left fielder Robel Garcia hit a grand slam in the bottom of the first, his 21st home run for Iowa and 31st overall, including the majors. Garcia went 3 for 4.
On the very next pitch after Garcia’s home run, first baseman Jim Adduci went back-to-back with his 12th home run of the season. Adduci went 1 for 4.
Willson Contreras played three innings behind the plate and was 0 for 1 with a hit-by-pitch. Don’t worry—he was hit by a changeup and was fine.
The Cubs were actually the Iowa Caucuses tonight in special patriotic, election-themed jerseys.
Caucuses manager Marty Pevey was ejected in this game.
Iowa will face either Round Rock (most likely) or San Antonio in a best-of-five series that will start on Wednesday, September 4 in one of the Texas cities. After playing game 1 and 2 on the road, the I-Cubs will return to Des Moines for game 3 and games 4 and 5 if necessary.
South Bend Cubs
I’m moving South Bend to the number two position in the write-ups tonight because the South Bend Cubs clinched a wild card playoff spot with a 6-4 win over the Ft. Wayne TinCaps (Padres).
Cam Sanders started and got his eighth win after allowing just two runs on six hits over five innings. Sanders struck out three and walked no one.
Ivan Medina pitched the ninth inning and got the save. Medina walked the first batter he faced, but immediately eliminated him in a double play. Medina got the next batter to ground out to end the game, although South Bend would have to wait for Lansing to lose a few minutes later to start celebrating.
DH Nelson Maldonado had a bases-loaded, three-run triple in the seventh inning. Maldonado was 3 for 5 and also scored once.
Second baseman Clayton Daniel was 3 for 5 and scored on Maldonado’s triple.
Shortstop Andy Weber was 2 for 4 and was hit by a pitch. Weber also scored on that seventh-inning triple.
Catcher Marcus Mastrobuoni was 2 for 4 with a double and one RBI.
South Bend will face Bowling Green in a best-of-three series starting on Wednesday. Whether that series will start in South Bend or Bowling Green is yet to be determined.
The Tennessee Smokies caught the Mobile Bay Bears (Angels) hibernating, 5-4.
Luis Lugo pitched the first five innings and allowed four runs on seven hits. Lugo walked two and struck out seven.
Craig Brooks pitched scoreless eighth and ninth innings and got the win. Brooks surrendered two hits and issued one walk. He struck out two.
Smokies manager Jimmy Gonzalez let Vimael Machin play every position except pitcher tonight, switching at the beginning of each inning. (He played third base twice.) Machin was 2 for 4. He scored once and had one RBI.
Nico Hoerner went 2 for 5 and scored twice.
Christian Donahue was 2 for 4 with one run batted in.
Connor Myers was 2 for 4.
Myrtle Beach Pelicans
The Myrtle Beach Pelicans were rocked by the Wilmington Blue Rocks (Royals), 6-4.
Starter Javier Assad allowed four runs, three earned, on eight hits over five innings. Assad struck out five and did not walk anyone.
The loss went to Ethan Roberts, although he only allowed one unearned run on one hit over two innings. (It was Roberts’ own error that led to the run, however.) Roberts struck out two and did not walk anyone.
Right fielder Delvin Zinn was 3 for 5 with a double and two runs scored. Zinn scored twice.
Second baseman Carlos Sepulveda went 2 for 4 and scored once.
The Eugene Emeralds lost to the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes (Giants), 4-3 in 11 innings.
Starter Chris Clarke was strong over four scoreless innings, allowing just two hits. Clarke walked one and struck out three.
Maikel Aguiar came on to pitch the 11th and got the loss. He gave up a deep fly out to the first batter than moved the runner that started the inning on second to third. Then Aguiar struck out the next two batters, but a wild pitch on strike three allowed the batter to reach first base and the go-ahead run to score from third. He struck out the next batter to end the inning.
Aguiar’s final line was one unearned run on no hits and no walks over one inning. He struck out three.
The Ems did not have a hit until Ryan Reynolds singled with one out in the seventh inning. That was the only hit the Ems would have until the ninth. But the Ems rallied for three runs in the bottom of the ninth to force extra innings.
The Emeralds only had four hits in this game. Second baseman Josue Huma was 1 for 3 with two walks. He scored in the bottom of the ninth.