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Chicago Cubs Minor League Wrap: April 21

The Smokies explode for five home runs in the first three innings tonight. The Pelicans stop the Shorebirds, 8-3.

Chase Strumpf
Chase Strumpf
Tennessee Smokies

Tonight’s I-Cubs game went 2:57, which is the longest game since they started enforcing pitch clocks. However, it also went ten innings and featured 24 hits and 11 pitchers.

Iowa Cubs

The Iowa Cubs were bitten by the Louisville Bats (Reds), 7-6 in ten innings.

Starter Caleb Kilian went his longest outing of the year, going five innings and giving up just one run on three hits. He struck out four and walked one.

Cayne Ueckert got into trouble in the bottom of the ninth. He gave up two runs on no hits and four walks over 1.1 innings. He struck out four.

Aneuris Rosario entered the game with the bases loaded and one out and the I-Cubs hanging on to a 5-4 lead in the bottom of the ninth. It looked like he would escape the jam when he struck out the first inning, but then he gave up a game-tying infield single. Rosario then pitched the tenth inning and allowed two runs and took the loss.

The final line on Rosario was two runs, one earned, on three hits over one inning. Rosario struck out two and walked no one.

First baseman Alfonso Rivas went 4 for 5 with two doubles and two RBI. Rivas is 7 for 13 with a home run and a walk in the three games since he was sent down to Iowa.

Shortstop Ildemaro Vargas went 3 for 5 with a triple and two runs scored,

Second baseman Dixon Machado was 2 for 5 and has scored twice.

All nine players in the Iowa starting lineup had at least one hit.

Tennessee Smokies

The Tennessee Smokies knocked the Rocket City Trash Pandas (Angels) out of orbit, 10-3.

Starter Cam Sanders went 4.2 innings and gave up three runs, two earned, on five hits. Two of the five hits were solo home runs. Sanders struck out seven and did not walk anyone, but he did hit one batter.

Because Sanders didn’t go five innings, the win went to Bryan Hudson in relief. Hudson pitched 2.1 scoreless innings, giving up just one hit. Hudson struck out one and did not walk anyone.

The Smokies hit five home runs tonight, all of which came over the first three innings. Third baseman Christopher Morel hit a solo home run in the bottom of the first inning. He was 2 for 5 with a double and the homer. Morel had two runs batted in. It was his first home run this season.

In the second inning, left fielder Darius Hill connected on a grand slam, which was also his first home run of 2022. Hill went 2 for 4 with a double, the slam and a walk. Hill scored twice.

Two batters later, center fielder Nelson Velazquez hit a solo home run, his fourth of the season. Velazquez was 1 for 3 with a walk.

Second baseman Chase Strumpf and DH Nelson Maldonado led off the third inning with back-to-back home runs. It was the second homer of the year for Strumpf and the third for Maldonado. Both Strumpf and Maldonado went 2 for 4 with two runs scored and the home run.

South Bend Cubs

The South Bend Cubs couldn’t fly with the Beloit Sky Carp (Marlins), 4-2.

The Sky Carp couldn’t hit Cubs starter DJ Herz. Herz pitched four innings and faced 13 batters, one over the minimum. That runner reached on a hit by pitch. Herz struck out four.

The loss went to Eduarniel Nunez in relief of Herz. Nunez gave up two runs on three hits and three walks in just 1.2 innings. Nunez struck out one.

Shortstop Ed Howard hit his first home run in High-A when he blasted one over the left field wall with the bases empty in the third inning. Howard went 1 for 3.

Myrtle Beach Pelicans

The Myrtle Beach Pelicans clipped the wings of the Delmarva Shorebirds (Orioles), 8-3.

Starter Luke Little only went 2.2 innings after giving up two runs on two hits and a walk. He struck out two.

Walker Powell threw the next 4.1 innings and picked up the win. He gave up just one run on two hits. Powell struck out seven and walked no one.

Miguel Fabrizio was 3 for 5 with a double and a triple. So a home run shy of the cycle. Fabrizio drove in two runs and scored one time.

Right fielder Jacob Wetzel went 2 for 4 with a double and a walk. Wetzel scored two runs and knocked in one.

DH Kevin Alcantara was 2 for 5 with a stolen base. He scored twice.