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Chicago Cubs Minor League Wrap: June 7

A big comeback win for the Pelicans. Matt Mervis powers a Tennessee win. Nelson Velazquez homers twice in Iowa’s loss.

Matt Mervis
Matt Mervis
Rebecca Snyder

We got a split decision tonight.

Iowa Cubs

The Iowa Cubs laid an egg against the Toledo Mud Hens (Tigers), 9-3.

Robert Gsellman cleared waivers and accepted an assignment to Iowa. But his start tonight did not go well. Gsellmen gave up a home run to the first batter he faced and things didn’t get any better after that. His final line was six runs, five earned, on five hits in just one inning. Gsellmen walked two, hit one batter and struck out one.

Most of Iowa’s offense tonight came on two solo home runs by center fielder Nelson Velazquez. The first one came in the top of the first inning and the second one came in the fourth. Velazquez now has 15 home runs this season and six with the I-Cubs. He was 2 for 4.

Shortstop Dixon Machado led off the game with a double and scored two batters later on a Nelson Maldonado sacrifice fly. Machado went 2 for 4.

Here’s Velazquez’s second home run. It was a monster.

Tennessee Smokies

The Tennessee Smokies burned the Biloxi Shuckers (Brewers), 5-2.

Chris Clarke had a quality outing tonight even if it didn’t qualify as a “quality start.” Clarke gave up just two runs on five hits over 5.2 innings. He struck out eight and walked just one.

Blake Whitney took over for Clarke in the sixth inning and picked up the win in relief. Whitney surrendered neither a run nor a hit over 2.1 innings. He struck out two and walked just one.

Bailey Horn threw the ninth inning and got his first save of the season. He allowed a one-out single, but no other baserunners. Horn struck out one.

First baseman Matt Mervis was the player of the game for the Smokies as he went 3 for 4 with two doubles and a home run. The solo home run tied the game 2-2 in the fourth inning and his second double added two insurance runs in the top of the eighth. The home run was Mervis’ seventh home run with Tennessee and 14th overall. He had the three RBI total.

Before Mervis tacked on two runs in the top of the eighth, shortstop Luis Vazquez hit a solo home run earlier in the inning to make it 3-2. It was Vazquez’s third home run this season. He was 2 for 5 on the night.

South Bend Cubs

The South Bend Cubs were grilled by the Cedar Rapids Kernels (Twins), 7-1.

Coming off his career-high 12-strikeout start last week that earned him Midwest League Player of the Week honors, DJ Herz struck out another seven batters tonight. But that’s where the good news ends as Herz allowed five runs, three earned, on three hits and five walks in just 2.2 innings. It was Herz’s first loss of the year.

Catcher Pablo Aliendo hit a solo home run in the fourth inning for all of South Bend’s runs. It was Aliendo’s second home run of the year. He went 1 for 4.

First baseman Jonathan Sierra went 2 for 4.

Here’s Aliendo’s home run.

Myrtle Beach Pelicans

The Myrtle Beach Pelicans deep-fried the Carolina Mudcats (Brewers), 10-8 in ten innings.

The Pelicans fell down 5-1 in the first inning, but came back to win this one in extras. Starter Tyler Schlaffer pitched four innings and gave up six runs, five earned, on six hits. Schlaffer struck out three, walked no one but hit two batters.

Angel Hernandez got the win in his first game of the season. Hernandez threw two scoreless innings, giving up one hit. He walked two and struck out one.

The save went to Adam Laskey, who came on to pitch the bottom of the tenth. Laskey allowed one hit, but no runs, over one inning. He struck out one and did not issue a walk.

Shortstop Kevin Made hit a three-run home run in the sixth inning, his third of the year. Made went 1 for 5.

Catcher Ethan Hearn also cranked a solo home run in the eighth inning that was also his third home run of the campaign. Hearn went 2 for 4 with a walk and two runs scored.

Center fielder Ezequiel Pagan hit a two-run single in the top of the tenth inning that ended up being the difference. He also had an RBI double in the fourth inning. Pagan was 3 for 5 with a walk, two runs scored and the three RBI.

Right fielder Jacob Wetzel sent the game to extra innings with a two-run home run in the top of the ninth. He was 1 for 5.

Third baseman James Triantos was 2 for 6 with a double. He scored once and drove home one run.

Here’s Hearn’s home run.