The injury news was bad for the Cubs today as they announced that shortstop Ed Howard suffered a “significant” hip injury. They aren’t willing to call it season-ending yet, but it certainly has that possibility.
They also placed outfielder Brennen Davis on the IL with lower back tightness. We knew about Davis’ injury before and he had not played since May 3.
The Iowa Cubs shut out the Omaha Storm Chasers (Royals), 5-0. It was Iowa’s fourth-straight win.
Luke Farrell dominated in his first start of the year. After putting the first two batters of the game on base via a single and a walk, Farrell then retired the next 12 batters in order. He finished five innings and allowed just the one hit. He walked two and struck out four on the way to his first win.
Third baseman Robel Garcia homered in his third-straight game when he connected for a solo blast in the fourth inning. It was his seventh home run of the season. Garcia went 1 for 4.
Left fielder Narciso Crook had a double and a triple in a 2 for 3 game. He scored one run and drove one in.
Shortstop Dixon Machado was 2 for 4 with an RBI double in the eighth inning. He also scored later that inning.
Catcher Erick Castillo went 2 for 3. He had one run batted in and scored one run.
Javier Assad started game one and had a no-hitter going until two outs in the fifth. Then he allowed three two-out hits, a walk and three runs. His final line was three runs on three hits over 4.2 innings. He walked four and struck out five.
Kyle Johnson relieved Assad and got the win. Johnson pitched 1.1 innings and allowed just one hit and no runs. Johnson walked one and did not strike anyone out.
Graham Lawson pitched the top of the seventh and got in some trouble after an error and a single put two men on after two were out. But he got an easy fly ball to center to end the game. Lawson struck out one.
Catcher Bryce Windham came to the plate with the bases loaded in the bottom of the sixth inning and he singled home two runners and the third one scored on a bad throw home to give the Smokies the lead. Windham was 1 for 3.
Second baseman Andy Weber doubled home the first run of the game in the fourth inning. He was 1 for 2 with a walk.
The Smokies only had three hits in game one.
The Smokies were the designated road team in game two and Chris Clarke started it in his Double-A debut. Clarke got his first Double-A win after allowing three runs on nine hits over five innings. It helped that Clarke struck out five batters and walked no one.
DH Bryce Ball had a huge game in game two with six RBI. He hit a three-run home run in the third inning, an RBI single in the fifth and a two-run double in the seventh. So he was a triple shy of the cycle, as they say. Ball’s final totals were 3 for 4 and he scored twice.
Andy Weber played first base in game two and was 3 for 3 with two doubles and a walk. So that’s three doubles total on the day. Weber scored three times and had one run batted in.
Right fielder Alexander Canario was 2 for 4. He drove in one run and scored twice.
Shortstop Luis Vazquez was 2 for 3 with a double. He scored once.
South Bend Cubs
The South Bend Cubs were caged by the Fort Wayne TinCaps (Padres), 5-0. The loss snapped South Bend’s eight-game winning streak.
Starter Riley Martin took the loss after he was knocked around for five runs on four hits over four innings. One of the five runs was unearned. Martin had control issues as he walked five batters and tossed two wild pitches. Martin struck out four.
South Bend managed just four hits. First baseman Matt Mervis went 2 for 4 with a double.
Here’s a nice diving catch by Jordan Nwogu, at least.
Myrtle Beach Pelicans
The Myrtle Beach Pelicans put the Charleston RiverDogs (Rays) on a leash, 13-4.
Porter Hodge threw the first four innings and gave up three runs on four hits. Hodge walked four and struck out four.
The win went to Luis A. Rodriguez, who gave up one run on two hits over 2+ innings. The one run scored on a solo home run. Rodriguez struck out five batters, but he had some control issues as he walked six.
In fact, Rodriguez walked the bases loaded with no one out in the top of the seventh when Pelicans manager Buddy Bailey summoned Bryan King out of the bullpen. King was terrific as he struck out the next three batters to keep any runs from scoring. Then he pitched the next two innings without allowing a baserunner for a perfect three-inning save, his first of the season. King struck out four batters in total over the three innings of relief.
The Pelicans were trailing 4-3 in the bottom of the fifth inning when right fielder Kevin Alcantara came to bat with the bases loaded and lined an opposite-field grand slam over the right field wall. It was Alcantara’s third home run this year. He was 1 for 5.
In the seventh inning, second baseman Juan Mora tacked on an insurance run with an opposite-field solo home run of his own. Mora now has hit two home runs this season. He also had an RBI double in the third inning. Mora went 2 for 4 with a walk and three runs scored in addition to the two runs batted in.
Shortstop Kevin Made went 2 for 5 with one run driven in.
All nine batters in the Pelicans lineup had at least one hit.
Here are the highlights. Be sure to check out Alcantara’s slam.