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Chicago Cubs Minor League Wrap: May 10

Ben Brown is not struggling to adjust to Triple-A. Owen Caissie homered in a Smokies win. Cade Horton struggled, but South Bend won anyway.

Baseball: World Baseball Classic-Canada vs Colombia
Owen Caissie
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

After five strong starts for South Bend, right-hander Kohl Franklin has been promoted to Double-A Tennessee.

Ben Brown making an impression this season. In my Top 25 Prospects list this past winter, I said the number one thing that Brown needed to work on is consistency. So far, mission accomplished.

I’m considering tonight’s performance by Cade Horton to be a learning experience. The stuff was there, but his pitches were just catching way too much of the plate. He got away with that in Myrtle Beach, but he didn’t with South Bend. At least not tonight.

Iowa Cubs

The Iowa Cubs cleaned up the Toledo Mud Hens (Tigers), 3-2.

Ben Brown’s second start in Iowa was even better than the first, and it earned him his first Triple-A win. Brown threw five scoreless innings and allowed no runs and two hits. He walked two and struck out ten, which is a season-high for any I-Cubs pitcher.

Manuel Rodríguez had some troubles locking down his fifth save, but he managed it in the end. Rodríguez allowed two runs on one hit and two walks over one inning. He struck out one. Rodríguez’s five saves ties him for the International League lead.

First baseman Jared Young went 2 for 4 with an RBI single in the top of the eighth inning that turned out to be an important insurance run.

Right fielder Brennen Davis was 1 for 3 with an RBI single in the fourth inning. Davis was also hit by a pitch.

Here are Brown’s ten strikeouts:

Here’s Davis’ RBI single:

Tennessee Smokies

The Tennessee Smokies baked the Montgomery Biscuits (Rays), 5-2.

Porter Hodge started and gave the Smokies four scoreless innings on just two hits. He struck out four and walked one.

Ryan Jensen was moved to the bullpen and got the win in relief. He pitched two innings and retired all six batters he faced. Four of them were by strikeout.

All five Smokies runs came on home runs. Left fielder Jordan Nwogu hit a two-run home run in the third inning, his fifth of the season. Nwogu went 2 for 3 and scored twice.

The other three runs came on a fifth-inning home run by right fielder Owen Caissie. It was his seventh home run of the year already. Caissie went 2 for 4.

Nwogu’s home run:

Caissie’s home run:

South Bend Cubs

The South Bend Cubs defanged the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers (Brewers), 10-6.

Cade Horton made his High-A debut in this game and he struggled to keep the ball in the park. He allowed just one home run in his five starts with the Pelicans, but he gave up three home runs tonight. Horton’s final line was six runs on five hits over 3.2 innings. Horton walked three and struck out four. He threw 62 pitches and 38 were strikes.

The win went to Frankie Scalzo Jr., who pitched two scoreless innings of relief. Scalzo gave up two hits. He struck out one and walked no one.

Joe Nahas also had two scoreless innings in a non-save situation.

South Bend fell behind 6-2, but banged out 16 hits to storm back and win. Three Timber Rattlers errors helped as well.

Third baseman Fabian Pertuz was 3 for 5 with two doubles and a stolen base. He scored one run.

Right fielder Christian Franklin also doubled twice in a 2 for 4 evening. Both of Franklin’s doubles plated one run for a total of two RBI on the night. Franklin also scored twice.

DH Ezequiel Pagan was 3 for 4 with a walk and two runs batted in. He scored once.

Shortstop Kevin Made was 2 for 5 and scored one run.

Here’s a strikeout by Horton. It wasn’t all bad.

Myrtle Beach Pelicans

The Myrtle Beach Pelicans coughed up a hairball against the Lynchburg Hillcats (Guardians), 5-1.

Michael Arias started and took the loss, although he didn’t pitch poorly. Arias gave up just one run on three hits over four innings. Arias walked two and struck out five.

The first 18 Pelicans batters went down in order until second baseman Reivaj Garcia broke up the perfect game with a single to lead off the bottom of the seventh inning. Garcia also had a single in the ninth inning to go 2 for 4.

The Hillcats went 8 for 9 stealing bases. Miguel Pabon was the catcher this evening.