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Chicago Cubs Minor League Wrap: July 28

The Pelicans score five in the ninth to beat Augusta. Iowa loses on a walk-off and South Bend loses in extras.

Chicago Cubs v New York Yankees Photo by Adam Hunger/Getty Images

A few transactions. Right-hander Richard Gallardo was promoted to South Bend from Myrtle Beach. Catcher Jake Washer was promoted to Tennessee from South Bend. And infielder Cam Balego was released.

Wade Miley is expected to make a rehab start for South Bend on Friday.

Iowa Cubs

The Iowa Cubs were cast out by the St. Paul Saints (Twins), 5-4.

Sean Newcombe made his first start since 2020 and did well, allowing just one run on three hits over four innings. Newcombe struck out eight and walked three.

Blake Whitney gave up a solo home run in the eighth and a walk-off single in the bottom of the ninth to Tim Beckham and got the loss. Whitney pitched 1.1 innings and allowed two runs on three hits. He struck out one and walked one.

Catcher John Hicks hit a solo home run in the second inning, his ninth on the year. Hicks went 1 for 4.

Right fielder Narciso Crook gave the I-Cubs an early lead with an RBI triple in the top of the first inning. Crook also hit an RBI double in the third. Crook went 2 for 4 and scored once.

First baseman Matt Mervis doubled home Crook in the third. He went 2 for 4.

DH Nelson Maldonado went 2 for 4 with a stolen base.

There were two rehabbing players in tonight’s game. Second baseman Nick Madrigal played the entire game and was 2 for 4 with a double. Madrigal scored twice.

Andrelton Simmons played five innings at shortstop and went 0 for 2 with a walk.

Here’s Hick’s home run.

Tennessee Smokies

The Tennessee Smokies were vassalized by the Birmingham Barons (White Sox), 7-1.

Chris Clarke turned in a strong start tonight, allowing just one run on three hits over five innings. Clarke struck out four and walked no one, although he did hit one batter.

Ben Hecht relieved Clarke in the fifth in his first game back in Tennessee since 2019 after Tommy John surgery. I wish I could report it went well, but it did not. Hecht only lasted two-thirds of an inning and got rocked for four runs on two hits. Hecht struggled with control as he walked three batters and hit one more. Only seven of his 20 pitches were strikes.

DH Miguel Amaya was 1 for 4 with an RBI single in the fourth.

South Bend Cubs

The South Bend Cubs lost to the Lake County Captains (Guardians), 4-2 in ten innings.

Porter Hodge’s second High-A start was about as good as his first one. Hodge pitched five innings tonight and allowed just one run on five hits. He struck out ten and waked three.

Jared Wright did not allow a run in either the eighth or the ninth inning, allowing South Bend to send the game to extras. But Wright allowed two runs in the top of the tenth and took the loss. Wright’s final line was two runs, one earned, on three hits over three innings. He struck out one batter and did not walk anyone.

Third baseman Luis Verdugo tied the game 2-2 with a solo home run in the bottom of the eighth inning. It was Verdugo’s fourth home run this season. He went 1 for 5.

First baseman Jonathan Sierra was 2 for 5.

Verdugo’s home run:

Myrtle Beach Pelicans

The Myrtle Beach Pelicans shredded the Augusta GreenJackets (Braves), 8-4.

Starter Luke Little kept the GreenJackets off the board for 3.2 innings. In fact, the only baserunner Little allowed was a bunt single in the second inning. Little struck out six.

But the Pelicans were looking at a loss after Jose Miguel Gonzalez gave up four runs over 3.2 innings of relief. But the Pelicans struck back with a five run top of the ninth inning, so Angel Hernandez picked up the win. Hernandez threw 1.2 innings and did not allow a run or a hit. Nor did he walk anyone. Hernandez did, however, hit the first two batters he faced before retiring the next five in order, four of them by a strikeout.

Center fielder Ezequiel Pagan and right fielder Kevin Alcantara hit back-to-back two-run doubles in the ninth inning to give the Pelicans the lead. Pagan was 2 for 5 with the double tonight. He scored twice and had those two runs batted in.

Alcantara was 2 for 4 with the double and a walk. He drove in three runs and scored once.

Shortstop Alejandro Rivero went 2 for 4 with a sacrifice fly.

ACL Cubs

The ACL Cubs beat Brewers Blue, 4-3.