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Chicago Cubs Minor League Wrap: September 6

Adbert Alzolay has a solid rehab appearance as Iowa wins. The Smokies edge closer to a playoff spot with a blowout win. The Pelicans win on a walk-off errror.

MLB: Chicago Cubs at Minnesota Twins
Adbert Alzolay
Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

Iowa Cubs

The Iowa Cubs breaded the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp (Marlins), 6-2. In the history of the Iowa Oaks/Cubs that dates back to 1969, Iowa has never lost a game to Jacksonville.*

Adbert Alzolay started this game on a rehab assignment and it didn’t look good to start. The first batter he faced singled and then stole second and went to third on a throwing error by catcher John Hicks. Then the second hitter singled him home to make it 1-0 and Alzolay hadn’t even recorded an out.

But things got a lot better after that. The third hitter bounced into a double play and then Alzolay settled down for three strong innings. He allowed one run on three hits. Alzolay struck out two and did not walk anyone.

The win was awarded to Blake Whitney, because Alzolay didn’t go five innings. Whitney earned it though by retiring all six batters he faced in two innings. Whitney struck out one.

Shortstop Luis Vazquez hit a solo home run in the third inning, his first Iowa home run and ninth overall. Vazquez went 1 for 4.

Third baseman Levi Jordan chipped in an insurance run with a solo home run in the seventh inning. Jordan now has 12 home runs this season, six with Iowa and six with Tennessee. He went 2 for 4 and scored twice.

*This is the first time that Iowa has ever played Jacksonville.

Tennessee Smokies

The Tennessee Smokies reeled in the Pensacola Blue Wahoos (Marlins), 14-4. The win reduced the Smokies magic number for clinching a playoff berth to two.

Starter Chris Clarke was the beneficiary of all this offense and he cruised to his tenth win of the season and seventh with Tennessee. Clarke allowed just one run on five hits over six innings. He struck out five and walked only one.

Third baseman Jake Slaughter hit two home runs tonight, including a two-run home run in the bottom of the first and a grand slam in the eighth inning. Slaughter now has hit 22 home runs this season and 19 with the Smokies. Slaughter went 2 for 4 with a walk and he was hit by a pitch. He had the six runs batted in and he scored four times.

Right fielder Yonathan Perlaza hit a solo home run in the sixth, his 23 this year. Perlaza went 2 for 5 with a walk.

First baseman Bryce Ball had a pair of doubles in a 2 for 4 evening. He also walked once. Ball scored two runs and drove in one.

Left fielder Nelson Maldonado also doubled twice and went 2 for 4 with a walk. He had a two-run double in the third inning and Maldonado scored two times.

Shortstop Andy Weber went 2 for 4 with an RBI double. He was also hit by a pitch once.

The Smokies had 14 hits tonight and all nine batters had at least one.

The Smokies can clinch a playoff spot on Wednesday with a win and a loss by the Birmingham Barons.

Slaughter’s home runs:

South Bend Cubs

The South Bend Cubs were shucked by the Cedar Rapids Kernels (Twins), 8-6. This series in Cedar Rapids is a preview of next week’s first round of the Midwest League playoffs.

Starter Chris Kachmar only went two innings and only gave up one hit and one unearned run. He struck out three and walked no one.

The loss went to Riley Martin, who allowed one run on three hits over two innings of relief. Martin struck out two and walked one.

The score was 2-1 Kernels heading into the bottom of the ninth when Cedar Rapids plated six runs off of reliever Bailey Reid in his only inning of work. South Bend struck back with five runs in the top of the ninth and brought the tying run to the plate with two outs, but their comeback fell short when Luis Verdugo flew out to center field.

Second baseman Fabian Pertuz went 3 for 4 with a double. Pertuz had an RBI single in the ninth and he later scored that inning.

Left fielder Jordan Nwogu hit a two-run double in the ninth. He also scored the first run of the game in the first inning. Nwogu went 2 for 5.

First baseman B.J. Murray Jr. was 2 for 4 with a double. He singled in a run and scored in that five-run ninth.

Myrtle Beach Pelicans

The Myrtle Beach Pelicans filleted the Carolina Mudcats (Brewers) 5-4 in ten innings.

Michael Arias started and pitched the first three innings without allowing a run. He did give up two hits and issued four walks while striking out two.

The win went to Angel Hernandez who pitched the ninth and tenth innings. Hernandez gave up the unearned run in the tenth on no hits and no walks. He did hit one batter and struck out one.

The game ended in the bottom of the tenth when center fielder Kevin Alcantara hit a high infield pop up that second baseman Robert Moore dropped for a game-ending error. He didn’t get an RBI for that, but Alcantara did get two RBI when he connected for his 15th home run of the year in the third inning. Alcantara went 2 for 5.

Earlier in the third, second baseman Juan Mora hit a solo home run, which was his sixth this season. Mora went 2 for 5 and scored the winning run running from second base on the dropped pop up in the tenth.

Third baseman James Triantos went 1 for 4 and scored a run. That extended his hitting streak to 13 games.