Tonight is the first official Minor League Wrap of the season. Three of the four Cubs affiliates were in action this evening. Or late afternoon in the case of the Iowa Cubs.
If you’re new to all of this, welcome. I’m sure you’ll catch on to how this works soon enough. If not, just ask some of the regular commentators and they can fill you in.
The Iowa Cubs defrocked the St. Paul Saints (Twins), 12-11. With the win, Iowa improves to 4-0 on the young season.
The win was howling out at CHS Field in St. Paul this afternoon. Iowa Cubs starter Roenis Elías struggled in the first inning. He gave up three solo home runs in that inning. But he got control of the game after that and did not give up another home run over his next three innings. The final line on Elías was four runs on four hits over four innings. He walked two and struck out five.
Jeremiah Estrada threw 1.2 innings of scoreless relief in his season debut. He even stranded two runners inherited from Brendon Little. Estrada allowed one hit and no walks. He struck out one.
Manuel Rodríguez pitched a perfect bottom of the ninth and was awarded the win. I’m not sure why he got the win. He also was qualified for a save, but I guess the official scorer didn’t think that Anthony Kay deserved a win after blowing a save by allowing three inherited runners and one run of his own to score in just two-thirds of an inning in the bottom of the eighth. Anyway, Rodríguez struck out two.
After Iowa blew the lead by allowing six runs in the bottom of the eighth, they came back to take the lead for good in the top of the ninth by scoring four runs. The go-ahead run was a two-run, two-out single by third baseman Christopher Morel. Morel had a big game today, going 3 for 5 with a double and a walk. He also stole a base.
Morel scored his only run of the game on a two-run home run by center fielder Nelson Velázquez in the top of the first inning. It was Velázquez’s second home run this year. He was 2 for 5.
First baseman Matt Mervis gave Iowa a 7-5 lead in the sixth inning when he hit a grand slam, his second home run this year. Mervis was 1 for 6.
The third and final Iowa home run was a solo shot by right fielder Brennen Davis in the seventh inning. Davis was 3 for 5 with two runs scored.
DH Mike Tauchman went 2 for 4 with a walk and a double in that big four-run ninth. Tauchman scored twice.
Left fielder Darius Hill was 2 for 5 and scored one run.
Here’s Morel’s go-ahead single in the ninth.
With three hits including the go-ahead two-run single, Christopher Morel is your @Therookiedsmia Player of the Game. pic.twitter.com/CJ99xluYud— Iowa Cubs (@IowaCubs) April 7, 2023
Here’s Matt Mervis’ grand slam. Off a lefty.
Here’s Davis’s first home run of 2023.
Brennen Davis to straightaway center!— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) April 6, 2023
The @cubs' No. 3 prospect belts his first dinger of the year for the @IowaCubs. pic.twitter.com/syGJiLZ93H
The Tennessee Smokies were subjugated by the Birmingham Barons (White Sox), 6-2.
Starter Ryan Jensen had a decent start, but he got tagged with the loss anyway. Jensen allowed two runs, one earned, on five hits over four innings. He struck out five and walked just one.
The Smokies had just two hits and no runs until they managed to get two more hits and plate two runs in the bottom of the ninth.
Center fielder Pete Crow-Armstrong was 2 for 4 with a walk in his Double-A debut. Crow-Armstrong stole one base and was caught stealing once.
Right fielder. Owen Caissie was 1 for 4 with a double in his Double-A debut. He scored one run.
South Bend Cubs
South Bend’s season starts tomorrow in Davenport against the River Bandits.
Myrtle Beach Pelicans
The Myrtle Beach Pelicans were bitten by the Charleston RiverDogs (Rays), 6-2.
Grant Kipp started and took the loss after giving up four runs on three hits over three innings. However, three of the four runs allowed by Kipp were unearned. Kipp walked four and struck out three.
The Pelicans had six hits, all singles. Pedro Ramirez was 2 for 4 with an RBI.
Catcher Moises Ballesteros was 1 for 3 with a sac fly.
It was a rough Low-A debut for shortstop Cristian Hernandez. Hernandez was 0 for 3 with two errors. Hey, no strikeouts, so at least he was making contact.