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Chicago Cubs Minor League Wrap: April 12

Owen Caissie hit his first three home runs on the year. Cade Horton makes a successful debut. South Bend shuts out Beloit.

AZ Fall League: Mesa Solar Sox at Surprise Saguaros
Owen Caissie
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The big news is this:

Well, the big news is also the big nights for Owen Caissie and Cade Horton. But the Suzuki news will have a bigger impact in the short term.

Iowa Cubs

The Iowa Cubs were drenched by the Omaha Storm Chasers (Royals), 10-6. It was Iowa’s first loss of the year at home after winning their first four.

Riley Thompson’s second start didn’t match his first, as he got the loss after allowing three runs on four hits over four innings. The wind was howling out to center at 22 miles per hour, however, and two of those four hits were home runs. Thompson struck out two and walked one.

Four more runs came off of Rowan Wick in the next two innings. Wick allowed five hits including one two-run home run. He walked one and struck out one.

The only Iowa pitcher who didn’t allow a run was Jeremiah Estrada, who struck out all three batters he faced. Two of them were swinging.

Seiya Suzuki played the entire game in right field and hit hit a solo home run in the bottom of the first inning. Suzuki was 2 for 4.

Center fielder Christopher Morel hit a solo home run in the third inning, his second of the season. Morel also had an RBI double in the fifth inning for two total runs batted in. He went 2 for 5.

Second baseman Levi Jordan went 2 for 4 with a two-run triple in the sixth inning. Jordan scored twice. It was Jordan’s first game of the year after coming off the Developmental List. He replaces Jake Slaughter, who went on the temporarily inactive list.

Suzuki’s home run. I don’t think this one needed any help from the wind.

Tennessee Smokies

Behind three home runs by right fielder Owen Caissie, the Tennessee Smokies burned the Montgomery Biscuits (Rays), 8-5.

Starter Daniel Palencia went 3.1 innings and allowed two runs on four hits. He struck out five and walked one. He threw 61 pitches, 40 for strikes.

The win went to Walker Powell, since Palencia didn’t go five innings. Powell allowed three runs on six hits over 2.2 innings. However, only one of those three runs was earned. He struck out four and walked one.

Riley Martin threw a perfect bottom of the ninth for the save. He struck out one.

Caissie not only hit his first Double-A home run tonight, he hit his second and third home runs of the level as well. Caissie’s first home run was a grand slam in the first inning that made the score 5-0. His next two home runs were both solo shots—one in the sixth inning and one in the top of the ninth. He was 3 for 4 with six total RBI. Caissie becomes only the second player in history to have a three-home run night against the Biscuits.

Third baseman Chase Strumpf also hit a solo home run in the eighth inning, his second on the year. Strumpf went 1 for 3 with a walk. He scored twice.

Center fielder Pete Crow-Armstrong was 2 for 4 with one stolen base and one run scored.

Here’s Caissie’s slam:

And his second home run.

South Bend Cubs

The South Bend Cubs shut out the Beloit Sky Carp (Marlins), 8-0.

Starter Kohl Franklin gave up just one hit over four innings. He struck out seven and walked two.

Joe Nahas pitched the next three innings and got the win because Franklin didn’t go five innings. Nahas allowed one hit, walked one and struck out one.

Carlos Guzman finished off the shutout over the final two innings. He gave up two hits. He walked no one and struck out one.

Catcher Casey Opitz smashed a two-run home run in the second inning. Opitz went 2 for 4 this evening.

Third baseman Fabian Pertuz went 2 for 4 with a double and an RBI single in the eighth inning.

Right fielder Jacob Wetzel went 2 for 3 with a two-run single in the eighth. Wetzel also walked once

DH Yohendrick Pinango drove in the first run of the game with an RBI double in the bottom of the first inning. Pinango went 1 for 3 with a walk and two total runs batted in.

Opitz’s home run.

Myrtle Beach Pelicans

The Myrtle Beach Pelicans declawed the Lynchburg Hillcats (Guardians), 6-4.

Cade Horton made his professional debut tonight and he looked terrific. Horton pitched 2.1 innings and allowed no runs on two hits. However, those two hits were a weak dribbler to third base and a weak popup that landed between the center fielder and the second baseman. Horton struck out five and walked none. He left the game after 47 pitches, 30 for strikes.

Horton’s fastball was in the 95-96 mile per hour range and his breaking pitches continually befuddled the Hillcats hitters.

Jack Aldrich relieved Horton and got the win because Horton didn’t go five innings. Aldrich allowed no runs and no hits over 1.2 innings, but he did walk three batters. Aldrich struck out one.

Yovanny Cabrera got into trouble in the bottom of the ninth inning and had to be replaced by Angel Gonzalez with two on and two out. Pitching on back-to-back nights, Gonzalez walked the first batter to load the bases and put the winning run on first base. But then he struck out the next batter to end the game and get the save.

First baseman Felix Stevens hit a two-run home run in the fifth inning. Stevens also walked with the bases loaded in the third inning to drive in three runs tonight. Stevens went 2 for 4 with the walk and the home run.

Center fielder Parker Chavers was 2 for 6 with an RBI double in the fifth inning.

Shortstop Rafael Morel went 2 for 5 and he scored one run.

Here are Horton’s five strikeouts. Sorry for the bad camera angle. It’s not my fault.