It’s all over, folks.
The Iowa Cubs made the Memphis Redbirds (Cardinals) blue, 9-6.
It was empty out the bullpen day in Des Moines as Michael Rucker got his first start of the season. He went two innings and gave up one run on three hits and a walk. He struck out three. He also hit one batter.
Craig Brooks had a rough time going next, giving up four runs on six hits over two innings. Three of the six hits he allowed were home runs.
The win went to Jordan Minch, who pitched 1.1 innings without giving up a run. Minch allowed two hits. He walked two and struck out one.
Danny Hultzen, Wyatt Short, Dillon Maples and James Norwood closed out the game.
Third baseman Vimael Machin led off the bottom of the second inning with a home run, his first in Triple-A and seventh overall. Machin also had a two-run bloop double in the fourth inning. Machin was 2 for 3 with a walk and three runs batted in.
Left fielder Charcer Burks got his first ever start in Triple-A and his first ever at-bats. He made the most of the opportunity, going 2 for 3 with a walk and three RBI.
Second baseman Phillip Evans was 2 for 4 with a double and a walk. Evans also stole a base. He scored three times.
Right fielder Trent Giambrone was 2 for 5 with a two-run double in the bottom of the first inning. Giambrone also stole one base and scored one run.
Willson Contreras caught six innings in a rehab assignment and was 1 for 3 with a double and a walk. He struck out the other two times at bat. Contreras scored two times.
The Iowa Cubs regular season ends with a record of 75-65, finishing six games ahead of Memphis to win the American North Division. They will start a best-of-five playoff series in Round Rock on Wednesday.
The Tennessee Smokies beat the Mobile BayBears (Angels), 5-4.
Chih-Wei Hu started and got the win. He allowed just one run on four hits over five innings. Hu walked one and struck out three.
Manuel Rondon was called upon to save a three-run lead in the ninth inning and he needed all three because he gave up a two-run home run to the second batter he faced. But he then settled down and retired the next three batters in order to end the game. Rondon’s final line was two runs on two hits over one inning. Rondon did not walk or strike anyone out.
Third baseman Gioskar Amaya was 2 for 4 with two doubles. Amaya scored one run.
The Smokies finished the season with a record of 58-81. They were 25-45 in the second half, 20 games behind first place Montgomery. The only team with a worse record in the Southern League was Mobile.
Myrtle Beach Pelicans
Their season ended yesterday as today’s game was cancelled so everyone could get out of the way of Hurricane Dorian.
South Bend Cubs
The South Bend Cubs ran the Bowling Green Hot Rods (Rays) off the road, 3-2.
Starter Zach Mort allowed just two runs on two hits over six innings. One of the two runs was unearned. Mort struck out three and walked no one.
The win went to reliever Riley McCauley, who surrendered just one hit and no runs over 1.2 innings. McCauley struck out three and did not walk anyone.
Blake Whitney was called upon with the bases empty and two outs in the bottom of the ninth and he got the final batter of the season to hit a lazy fly to left field to earn his second career save. (His first with South Bend)
Left fielder Brennen Davis broke a 2-2 tie in the bottom of the seventh inning with a solo home run. It was his eighth home run of the season. Davis went 3 for 3 with a walk and a stolen base.
South Bend’s other two runs came on a two-run home run by second baseman Clayton Daniel in the second inning. It was Daniel’s second home run this year. He was 3 for 4.
DH Nelson Maldonado was 2 for 3 with a double and a walk.
South Bend finishes the 2019 regular season with a record of 76-61. In the second half, they were 39-30, which was good for second-place and the Wild Card spot in the playoffs. They will face the second-half division champion, these same Bowling Green Hot Rods. in a best-of-three series starting Wednesday in South Bend.
The Eugene Emeralds polished off the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes (Giants), 6-1.
Richard Gallardo started this game with two scoreless innings. He gave up two hits. He did not strike out or walk anyone.
Gallardo was relieved by Yovanny Cruz, who got the win with three scoreless innings of relief. Cruz gave up two hits. He struck out four and did not walk anyone.
DH Jake Washer hit a two-run double in the fifth inning. He was 1 for 5.
Center fielder Fernando Kelli hit a two-run double in the sixth. Kelli went 1 for 4 and was hit by a pitch. Kelli also stole one base. Kelli scored once.
The Ems finished the season with a record of 33-43. In the second half, Eugene went 17-21, which put them in third place in their division. They did not qualify for the playoffs.
And that’s it for the minor league regular season. It’s over. It’s my 13th year doing these nightly recaps, and I hope that you’ve enjoyed reading them. I thank all of you who have taken the time to do so.
But the fun isn’t over yet. Two teams, the Iowa Cubs and South Bend Cubs, have both made the postseason. Both teams start their first-round playoff series on Wednesday. South Bend is a best-of-three against Bowling Green and Iowa has a best-of-five with Round Rock. I hope to see you here discussing those two series.
Just to be clear: No Minor League Wrap on Tuesday. A Minor League Playoff Wrap will post on Wednesday and will continue for as long as Iowa and South Bend keep playing.
Again, thanks for reading this past season.