MLB announced that there will be minor league playoffs this season, albeit with far fewer teams than in seasons past. Double-A, High-A and Low-A leagues will both have best-of-five championship series that will match the two teams with the best records. Triple-A and the Complex Leagues will not have playoffs, but the Triple-A Leagues are adding ten games to the end of every team’s schedule.
The Iowa Cubs stopped Indianapolis (Pirates), 5-2.
Trevor Williams made a rehab assignment and pitched five innings, allowing just two hits and one run, which was unearned. Williams struck out three and walked one.
Dillon Maples pitched 1.2 innings in a rehab assignment. Maples surrendered no runs and no hits. He did walk one while striking out two.
Jake Jewell retired the side in order in the bottom of the ninth for his third save. He struck out two.
First baseman Alfonso Rivas hit his first home run in the Cubs organization in the seventh inning with the bases empty. Rivas went 2 for 4 with a walk.
Two batters later, catcher Tony Wolters hit a solo home run which was his second on the season. Wolters went 2 for 5.
Shortstop Abiatal Avelino was 2 for 4 with a walk and one run scored.
Right fielder Nick Martini hit a two-run double in the third inning, giving the I-Cubs a 2-1 lead that they would never relinquish. Martini went 1 for 4 with a walk.
Nico Hoerner played seven innings at second base and went 1 for 5.
Dakota Chalmers started game one and dod not allow a run over 3.2 innings. He gave up just one hit and issued just one walk. Chalmers struck out four.
The win went to Juan Gámez, who hit the first batter he faced and then retired the next four batters he faced in order. Over his 1.1 innings of work, Gámez struck out two.
Brendan Little had his first rough outing of the year, giving up two runs on two hits and four walks over two innings. He did strike out three.
The Smokies went deep four times in this game and center fielder Christopher Morel hit two of them. The first came in the third inning with a man on and he hit the second in the fourth inning with a man on. Morel was 3 for 4 with the four RBI and the two runs scored.
Third baseman Chase Strumpf hit a two-run home run in the fifth inning, his third this season. Strumpf went 1 for 4.
Finally, catcher Tim Susnara went back-to-back with Strumpf in the fifth inning with his second home run in only his fourth game with the Smokies. Susnara went 2 for 3 with a triple and a walk. He scored twice.
First baseman Jared Young had two doubles in game two. He went 2 for 3 with a walk and two runs scored.
Right fielder Darius Hill went 2 for 4. He scored twice and had one run batted in.
DH Nelson Maldonado went 2 for 3 with a walk.
In game two, starter Javier Assad kept the Trash Pandas from scoring over six innings of work. Assad allowed just two hits. He struck out three, walked one and hit one batter.
Cayne Ueckert came out to get the save in the seventh inning and he loaded the bases with a single and two walks, but he got a big strikeout to end the game. Ueckert struck out two batters in his inning of work.
In the bottom of the first inning of game two, Christopher Morel hit his third home run on the day and his ninth on the season. Morel went 1 for 2 with a walk.
The other Smokies run in game two came on a solo home run by Jared Young. It was his first home run of the year. Young was also 1 for 2 with a walk.
Here’s Morel’s third home run in game two. It left the stadium.
South Bend Cubs
The South Bend Cubs capsized the Lake County Captains (Cleveland), 5-3.
Derek Casey started and got the win. He allowed three runs, two earned, on eight hits over six innings. Casey struck out six, walked one and hit one batter.
The save went to Eury Ramos, who threw 1.1 innings without allowing a hit or a run. Ramos walked one and struck out one.
South Bend took an early 2-0 lead on a home run by DH Nelson Velazquez with a man on in the top of the first inning. It was Velazquez’s ninth home run on the year. He was 1 for 2 with two walks.
Second baseman Josue Huma had an RBI single in the fifth inning. He was 1 for 3.
Myrtle Beach Pelicans
The Myrtle Beach Pelicans scorched the Down East Wood Ducks (Rangers), 7-2.
Starter Manuel Espinoza got the win after giving up just one run, which was unearned, on two hits over five innings. Espinoza did struggle with control as he walked four and struck out just one.
It was the first four-hit day of his career for shortstop Ed Howard. Howard went 4 for 5 with a double and a triple. He scored twice.
First baseman Matt Mervis walked with the bases loaded in the third inning and hit an RBI triple in the eighth. Mervis was 1 for 4 with the walk.