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Chicago Cubs Minor League Playoff Wrap: Game 2

South Bend advances with a late win. For the 2nd-straight game, Iowa loses in extra innings.

Brennen Davis
Brennen Davis
Clinton Cole

Congratulations to Robel Garcia, who was your choice as the Cubs Minor League Player of the Year! Garcia’s storybook season ended up with his major league debut. In the minors, he led all Cubs minor leaguers with 27 home runs.

You still have time to vote for the Minor League Pitcher of the Year.

Iowa Cubs

For the second-straight game, Iowa fell in extra innings to the Round Rock Express (Astros), 4-3 in ten innings. Round Rock now has a commanding 2 games to none lead in the best-of-five series.

Vimael Machin knocked the first pitch over the left field wall for an opposite-field home run. Iowa would tack on a second run in the top of the first when P.J. Higgins doubled, went to third on a wild pitch and scored on a sacrifice fly.

Iowa made it 3-0 in the top of the second inning when Connor Myers singled home Trent Giambrone.

Meanwhile, Tyson Miller was turning in a great start for Iowa. Miller loaded the bases with no outs in the bottom of the second. A run scored on a hard-hit infield single by Stephen Wrenn that third baseman Phillip Evans got a glove on but couldn’t control. But Miller then got out of what could have been a disastrous inning by inducing a 1-2-3 double play and a ground out to keep the score 3-1.

It would stay that way until the seventh inning. With Miller still on the mound, Miller surrendered a walk and then a double to put runners on second and third with no outs.

That caused manager Marty Pevey to pull Miller for Randy Rosario. Rosario struck out the first batter he faced and then with one out, Express catcher Jamie Ritchie hit a line drive off of Rosario that turned into an RBI single. Rosario checked out OK and stayed in the game. The next batter hit a grounder back to Rosario who tried to turn a double play, but the relay throw back to first base was late and the runner on third scored.

The game went into extra innings as Iowa didn’t score after the second inning. Jordan Minch relieved Danny Hultzen to start the tenth and Minch didn’t retire a batter. He walked the first two batters and for the second-straight game, Round Rock walked it with an RBI single, this time by Taylor Jones.

Miller went 6+ innings and was charged with three runs on five hits. He walked three and struck out four.

Machin went 2 for 4 with a walk and the home run.

Giambrone waas 2 for 3 with a walk.

So the series moves to Des Moines for a do-or-die game three on Friday Night. Kendall Graveman is scheduled to start for Iowa in what is technically a rehab appearance.

South Bend Cubs

Fly the W down in Bowling Green as the South Bend Cubs scored four runs in the top of the ninth to steal the hubcaps off the Bowling Green Hot Rods (Rays), 7-4. The Cubs have won the best-of-three series, 2 games to none.

This was a see-saw match as South Bend starter Riley Thompson and the Cubs fell behind 2-0 in the bottom of the second inning on a two-run double by Erik Ostberg. But South Bend tied it up 2-2 with an RBI single by Jake Slaughter in the third inning and an RBI infield single by Clayton Daniel in the fourth.

Bowling Green scored another run in the bottom of the fourth to make it 3-2, but Slaughter hit a game-tying sac fly in the fifth, scoring Brennen Davis, who had just missed a leadoff home run earlier that inning and had settled for a double.

But Thompson got in trouble again in the fifth inning. With one out, he hit a batter and gave up a single to put runners on first and second. Manager Buddy Bailey summoned left-hander Brandon Hughes out of the pen and Hughes induced an inning-ending double-play. Except it was not that simple. The Cubs tried to turn a 3-6-1 double play, but the return throw from shortstop Andy Weber went wide, allowing the runner from second base to score, making it 4-3. The batter also tried to go to second on the error and got caught in a rundown for the final out, but it was well after the fourth run scored.

Bowling Green held on to a one-run lead until the top of the ninth. They called upon their closer, Joel Peguero, who has 16 saves in 20 chances this season. With one out, Weber doubled and Davis singled, putting runners on the corners. Then Nelson Maldonado singled home Weber to tie the score.

An error by the pitcher Peguero on the next play scored Davis to give South Bend their first lead of the game, 5-4. South Bend would tack on two more runs in the top of the ninth on a Cole Roderer single and a bases-loaded walk by Fidel Mejia.

Brendan King then retired the next three batters in order to finish the game and send South Bend to the next round of the playoffs.

Thompson’s final line was four runs, three earned, on eight hits over 4.1 innings. He struck out three and walked no one.

King got the win by pitching the final three innings of the game. He allowed only one baserunner, a one-out single in the eighth. That runner was erased in a double play, so he faced the minimum.

Davis went 3 for 4 with two doubles and a walk. Davis scored three of South Bend’s seven runs.

Roederer was 3 for 4 with a walk and the RBI.

Nelson Velazquez was also 3 for 4 with a walk and one run scored.

Weber was 2 for 5 with a double and one run scored.

I don’t have highlights, but I have this:

Here’s Brendan King (the broadcaster) interviewing Brendan King (the pitcher) after the game.

South Bend will start a best-of-three series on Saturday, Sept. 7 at home against either the Great Lakes Loons or the Lake County Captains. That series is tied at one win each.