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Chicago Cubs Minor League Wrap: May 20

Some great pitching and timely hitting meant the Cubs minor league system had a rare 6-0 day.

Manuel Espinoza
Larry Kave/Myrtle Beach Pelicans

I took the day away from watching the games because of some family obligations. But I’m here to recap the action anyway—just forgive me if I missed something important.

They did so well that I’m probably banned from ever watching again. I’m sure it’s happened before, but I can’t remember when the Cubs minors went 6-0 in one day, especially when only four teams were playing.

Iowa Cubs

The Iowa Cubs swept a doubleheader from Indianapolis (Pirates), 2-1 and 1-0.

Kyle Hendricks started game one and was quite sharp, throwing 82 pitches, 60 of which were strikes. Hendricks got the win after allowing just one run on five hits over six innings. He struck out six and walked no one. Velocity on his fastball was in the 87-89 mph range and he even touched 90.2 once. (Statcast data now available in Triple-A this year.)

Manuel Rodríguez pitched the bottom of the seventh and got the save. Rodríguez actually gave a scare as he allowed the first two batters to reach on a single and an error. But he retired the next three in order—two by strikeout—to nail down his seventh save.

Catcher Miguel Amaya had an RBI double in the sixth inning to tie up the game 1-1. Amaya went 1 for 2 with a walk.

Left fielder Darius Hill singled home David Bote with the go-ahead run in the top of the seventh. Hill was 2 for 4. Bote was 0 for 2 with a walk.

Third baseman Jake Slaughter went 2 for 4.

In the second game. Hayden Wesneski and Chris Clarke combined on a one-hit shutout. Wesneski pitched five innings, struck out five and walked four. Clarke allowed a double to the first batter he faced leading off the sixth inning, but then retired the next six in order to gain the save. Clarke struck out two.

Shortstop Sergio Alcántara singled home Levi Jordan with the only run of game two in the top of the sixth inning. Alcántara was 1 for 3 and Jordan went 1 for 2.

Amaya’s double.

Brennen Davis is struggling to hit, but he turns in a nice play on defense here.

Tennessee Smokies

The Tennessee Smokies lured the Pensacola Blue Wahoos (Marlins), 13-6. It was Tennessee’s third-straight win.

It was another start where DJ Herz struggled with control, although he’s had worse days. Herz allowed three runs on five hits over 4.2 innings. He struck out five, which is very nice, but he walked three and hit one batter, which isn’t.

Ryan Jensen continued to struggle this year. He allowed two runners inherited from Herz to score on a three-run home run and three total runs of his own in just 1.1 innings of work. Jensen gave up five hits, two of which were home runs.

Samuel Reyes and Cayne Ueckert retired the final nine Blue Wahoo hitters in order. Reyes pitched two innings, struck out two and got the win. Ueckert pitched one inning and struck out one in a non-save situation.

First baseman Haydn McGeary had cooled off after a torrid start the season, but he found his stroke again today. McGeary was 3 for 4 with a three-run home run in the eighth inning. McGeary had four RBI. It was McGeary’s second Double-A home run and fifth overall.

Later on in the eighth, center fielder Bradlee Beesley hit a three-run home run of his own. It was Beesley’s fifth home run for the Smokies and sixth overall. Beesley went 2 for 3 with a double, the home run and two walks. Beesley scored four times.

Second baseman Andy Weber was 2 for 6 with an RBI double in the second inning. Weber scored twice.

South Bend Cubs

The South Bend Cubs grounded the Beloit Sky Carp (Marlins) 3-2.

Manuel Espinoza was perfect tonight, pitching four innings and retiring all 12 batters he faced. Nine of those victims struck out.

Jarod Wright coughed up the 2-0 Cubs lead, but got the win when South Bend retook the lead in the top of the seventh. Wright allowed two runs on three hits over three innings. Both runs were unearned, so it wasn’t all his fault. Wright struck out one and walked no one.

Frankie Scalzo Jr. pitched the final two innings without allowing a hit or a run to get the save. Scalzo struck out three and walked one.

Second baseman James Triantos slugged his first home run of the year with the bases empty in the top of the first inning. Triantos went 2 for 4 and scored two runs.

In only his second pro game, DH David Avita singled home center fielder Christian Franklin in the seventh inning with what turned out to be the winning run. Both Avita was 1 for 3. Franklin was 1 for 3 with a walk. He also stole a base before Avita’s hit.

First baseman Bryce Ball was 3 for 3 with a walk.

The Triantos home run.

HIghlights from Manuel Espinoza.

Myrtle Beach Pelicans

The Myrtle Beach Pelicans swept a double-header from the Augusta Green Jackets (Braves), 3-1 and 6-3.

Nick Hull and Didier Vargas combined for a seven-inning one-hitter in game one. Hull pitched the first five innings and allowed no runs on no hits. He walked two and struck out eight.

Vargas allowed a one-out RBI triple in the top of the sixth inning. His final line was one run on one hit and one walk over three innings. Vargas struck out three.

The Pelicans had just three hits in game one and scored their three runs on two balks and a wild pitch. (So no RBI in game one for the Birds.) DH Juan Mora was 1 for 3 with a double, a stolen base and one run scored. Second baseman Reviaj Garcia went 2 for 2.

In game two, starter Erian Rodriguez went two innings and allowed two runs on three hits. He struck out one, walked three and hit one batter.

Nineteen-year-old Starlyn Pichardo made an impression in his Low-A debut. He pitched three innings in relief of Rodriguez and allowed neither a hit nor a run. Pichardo walked two and struck out two.

Jozhan Oquendo blew the save in the top of the sixth, but got the win when Myrtle Beach struck back for three runs in the bottom of the inning. Oquendo pitched two innings and only allowed one unearned run on one hit, but he did walk two and hit one batter. Oquendo struck out five.

Left fielder Felix Stevens hit a two-run home run in the third inning, his fifth on the year. Stevens was a perfect 2 for 2 and he was hit by a pitch. He scored twice.

Third baseman Juan Mora went 2 for 3 with a double and one run scored.