Congratulations to Tennessee Smokies outfielder Brennen Davis and South Bend Cubs right-hander Ryan Jensen, who were named the official Cubs Minor League Player and Pitcher of the Month respectively.
Outfielder Nelson Velazquez and catcher Jake Washer were promoted from South Bend to the Smokies. I’m going to ask in advance for your patience when I mix up Smokies outfielders Nelson Velazquez and Nelson Maldonado.
Game one was all starter Justin Steele. Steele got the win after allowing just one run on four hits over five innings. He struck out a season-high eight batters and walked just two.
On top of that, Steele had a two-run single in the fourth inning that provided all the runs he needed to win. Steele was 1 for 2 at the plate.
Randy Meisinger pitched the next two innings and got the save. The first batter he faced reached on an error by third baseman Levi Jordan, but he retired the next six batters he faced in order. Meisinger struck out three.
Corey Abbott started game two and was knocked around for four runs on seven hits over 4.2 innings. Abbott did strike out nine, which is terrific, while walking two.
The win went to Ethan Roberts in relief. Roberts pitched 1.1 innings and gave up just one hit and no runs. Roberts did not have a walk or a strikeout.
After Ryan Lawlor gave up two one-out singles in the top of the seventh, manager Marty Pevey called up Scott Effross to get the save. Effross threw two pitches and on the second one, got a game-ending double play.
Iowa won game two with a five-run bottom of the sixth. Left fielder Alfonso Rivas hit a two-run double and first baseman Nick Martini hit a two-run triple.
Rivas was 1 for 1 with the double and three walks. He scored one run.
Martini was 1 for 4 with the triple.
Third baseman Abiatal Avelino was a perfect 3 for 3 with two doubles. Avelino scored one run and had one RBI.
The Tennessee Smokies were burned by the Montgomery Biscuits (Rays), 13-1.
New Cub Caleb Kilian made his debut in this game and he pitched two-thirds of an inning before the rains came and delayed the game for three hours and twenty minutes. So not much of a debut. He had one strikeout, one walk and allowed one single.
The loss went to Graham Lawson, who got rocked for six runs on two hits over 1.1 innings. Both hits were two-run home runs. Lawson walked four and struck out one.
Jake Washer made his Double-A debut as a pitcher. He gave up four runs in his one inning. He then switched positions with his catcher, Tyler Payne, who retired the only two batters he faced.
The Smokies had two hits in this game, both singles. Left fielder Nelson Velazquez was 1 for 3 with an RBI.
South Bend Cubs
The South Bend Cubs were doused by the Peoria Chiefs (Cardinals), 5-2.
Anderson Espinoza made his Cubs debut and he pitched well, but he still got stuck with the loss. Espinoza allowed just one run on two hits over three innings. He walked one and struck out four.
Alexander Vizcaíno’s Cubs debut did not go as well. The first batter he faced hit a solo home run. He was charged with two runs on one hit and two walks over two-thirds of an inning. The second run allowed did come after he left the game.
Right fielder Yonathan Perlaza hit a solo home run in the seventh inning, his ninth on the season. Perlaza went 2 for 4.
Third baseman Jake Slaughter was 2 for 4. He tripled and scored in the fifth inning.
Myrtle Beah Pelicans
The Myrtle Beach Pelicans sprayed the Columbia Fireflies (Royals), 4-3.
Starter Didier Vargas went four innings and surrendered three runs on five hits. Two of those runs came on a fourth-inning home run. Vargas struck out five and walked two.
Tyler Sullentrop pitched the next three innings without allowing a run and collected the win. Sullentrop gave up two hits. He struck out six and did not walk anyone.
Danis Correa went the rest of the way for a two-inning save. Correa did not give up a hit or allow a run. He walked two and struck out five.
Catcher Ethan Hearn put the Pelicans up early with a two-run home run in the second inning. It was Hearn’s fifth home run this year. Hearn went 1 for 2 with a walk and he was hit by a pitch.
First baseman Matt Mervis broke a 3-3 tie with his ninth home run of the year with the bases empty in the sixth inning. Mervis went 3 for 4 and he scored twice.
Shortstop Ed Howard was 2 for 4. He scored one run.