We had a heartbreaking loss tonight for the Smokies, a power explosion in Des Moines and South Bend just keeps rolling.
The Iowa Cubs topped Indianapolis (Pirates), 8-3 thanks to four home runs.
Ben Holmes turned in a solid start in his first game in the Cubs organization. Holmes went five innings and gave up two runs on three hits. The part of his start that doesn’t look as good is that he walked four and struck out two.
The I-Cubs had a 3-2 lead in the top of the eighth when Jake Jewell entered the game. Jewell blew the save when he allowed a solo home run to Dustin Fowler. But he got the win when Iowa scored five runs in the bottom of the inning. Jewell’s final line was one run on two hits over one inning. He struck out two and walked no one.
The I-Cubs scored their first run of the season in the bottom of the first inning when right fielder Rafael Ortega hit a solo home run. Ortega then hit a second solo home run his next time up in the third inning. Ortega was 2 for 4 with a walk.
The I-Cubs broke the 3-3 tie when Tyler Gushue hit a pinch-hit RBI single in the bottom of the eighth. Two batters later, third baseman Abiatal Avelino hit a grand slam to make it 8-3. Avelino was 2 for 5 tonight.
Iowa’s other run came in the third inning when first baseman Nick Martini hit a solo home run. Martini went 1 for 3 with a walk and two runs scored.
Iowa played tonight as Demonios de Des Moines, or Des Moines Demons, as part of the “Copa de la Diversión” promotion.
Video of Ortega’s second home run, which was a monster shot.
Tie game 2-2 with Ortega's second Home Run of the game! pic.twitter.com/FpoinivExg— Iowa Cubs (@IowaCubs) May 6, 2021
And here’s Avelino’s slam.
Grand Slam! Abiatal Avelino pads the I-Cubs lead 8-3 pic.twitter.com/d6I5Wxj5xQ— Iowa Cubs (@IowaCubs) May 6, 2021
The Tennessee Smokies were one strike away from completing a combined no-hitter tonight. Instead, Manuel Rodriguez allowed a three-run home run and the Smokies were burned by the Montgomery Biscuits (Rays), 3-1.
Starter Cam Sanders was magnificent tonight, going five innings and striking out seven and walking only one.
The Smokies bullpen wasn’t quite as good, but they did not allow a hit until two were out in the ninth. Luis Lugo pitched 1.2 innings (walking one and hitting one batter), Scott Effross faced the same batter twice—getting out of the seventh inning when second baseman Miguel Amaya picked off a runner on second and then striking out the only batter he faced in the eighth.
Bryan Hudson relieved Effross and walked a batter and hit a batter, but allowed no runs and no hits after a strikeout and a ground out.
Manuel Rodriguez came on for the save and to finish the no hitter. The first batter hit a hard shot that left fielder Zach Davis made a diving catch on. After a walk, a strikeout and a hit by pitch, Rodriguez had Rene Pinto down 1-2 when Pinto hit a deep fly to center field that barely cleared the wall for a three-run home run. He got the next batter to ground out to end the top of the ninth.
Tennessee’s only run came in the fifth inning when center fielder Christopher Morel tripled and shortstop Andy Weber singled him home. Morel was 1 for 4 and Weber was 2 for 4. The Smokies only managed four hits tonight with Connor Myers having the other one.
South Bend Cubs
The South Bend Cubs arrested the Quad Cities River Bandits (Rays), 4-3. The win was South Bend’s 11th-straight dating back to 2019.
Starter Chris Kachmar went 3.2 innings and gave up one unearned run on four hits. He struck out three and walked one.
Because Kachmar didn’t go five innings, the win went to Brandon Hughes in relief. Hughes allowed one run and one hit over 1.2 innings. Hughes struck out two.
Burl Carraway pitched a perfect ninth inning for his first professional save in his first official professional game. He struck out one.
South Bend only had two hits tonight, but scored four runs thanks to seven walks. All four runs scored in the third inning. Center fielder Cole Roederer was 1 for 3 with an RBI single and a walk. He scored once. As you can see in the highlights below, the single was a fly ball that the outfielders misplayed. However, it would have been a sac fly anyway.
Third baseman Delvin Zinn was 0 for 2 with a walk and two steals. He scored once.
Myrtle Beach Pelicans
The Myrtle Beach Pelicans were kibble for the Charleston RiverDogs (Rays), 8-2.
Starting pitcher Adam Laskey took the loss after he gave up five runs on four hits over 3+ innings. Laskey struck out five and walked two.
First baseman Grayson Byrd was 1 for 3 with a double. The Pelicans only had four hits today.