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Chicago Cubs Minor League Wrap: May 31

Some good performances this evening, but only Iowa managed to get a win. And they lost too.

Syndication: The Post-Crescent
Cade Horton

Some movement in the minors today.

Infielder Chase Strumpf got promoted to Triple-A Iowa. He’d been in Double-A since June 1, 2021.

Infielder Scott McKeon was promoted to Double-A Tennessee.

Infielder Pedro Ramirez and outfielder Ismael Mena were promoted to Low-A Myrtle Beach. Outfielders Cristian More and Jefferson Encarnacion were sent down to Mesa.

Iowa Cubs

The Iowa Cubs split a doubleheader with the Columbus Clippers (Guardians), losing the continuation of yesterday’s suspended game 4-2 and sinking the Clippers in the seven-inning second game, 9-0.

In yesterday’s game, Riley Thompson pitched three innings and allowed two runs on two hits before the rains came. He walked two and struck out two. His record dropped to 1-4.

Codi Heuer pitched one inning of relief today and allowed just one hit. Unfortunately, it was a solo home run by Micah Pries. Heuer struck out one.

Iowa had four hits in game one and second baseman Nick Madrigal had two of them, including a solo home run yesterday. Madrigal was 2 for 3 with a double, the homer and a walk. He scored both of Iowa’s runs.

Chris Clarke pitched three scoreless innings to start today’s game. He allowed two hits and walked two while striking out three.

Keegan Thompson bounced back from disastrous outings his last two times out to get the win. He pitched two scoreless innings and allowed no hits and just one walk. He struck out two.

In his first at-bat in Triple-A, third baseman Chase Strumpf connected for a monster three-run home run in the bottom of the first inning. Strumpf was 1 for 3. It was his eighth home run this season.

In the bottom of the second inning, first baseman Jared Young had a three-run home of his own. It was Young’s fifth this year. Young was 1 for 3 with a walk. He scored twice.

The next batter up in the second inning after Young was center fielder Nelson Velázquez, and he went back-to-back with his seventh minor league home run this year. Velázquez was a perfect 1 for 1 with two walks in game two. He scored three runs.

DH Nick Madrigal was 2 for 4 in game two. Madrigal is 8 for 16 in four games in Triple-A.

Strumpf’s home run:

Young’s home run:

Velázquez going back-to-back with Young:

Tennessee Smokies

The Tennessee Smokies couldn’t hide from the Chattanooga Lookouts (Reds), 9-5 in 11 innings.

The Smokies’ pitching staff had trouble giving up home runs tonight, as Lookouts’ Nicholas Northcut hit three home runs and Ivan Johnson hit two.

Starter Jordan Wicks gave up three of those home runs—two to Northcut and one to Johnson. His final line was four runs on eight hits over five innings. Wicks struck out five and walked one.

Danis Correa blew a save opportunity in the top of the ninth inning when he gave up a solo home run to Johnson. Correa allowed one run on two hits over one inning. He struck out one and walked no one.

With the help of some good defense, Carlos Guzman pitched a scoreless tenth inning. But he got rocked for four runs in the 11th, including a three-run home run to Northcut. Guzman’s final line was four runs, three earned, on four hits over two innings. He walked one and struck out one.

The Smokies had two home runs of their own. Catcher Pablo Aliendo hit a solo home run in the fourth inning, his eighth on the season. Aliendo went 2 for 4 with a walk.

In the sixth inning, center fielder Pete Crow-Armstrong tied the game up 4-4 with a two-run home run in the sixth inning. It was Crow-Armstrong’s fifth home run of the year and his first off a left-hander. Crow-Armstrong went 3 for 5.

Right fielder Owen Caissie was 2 for 6 and scored one run.

First baseman Haydn McGeary went 2 for 5.

Second baseman Andy Weber was 3 for 5 with one RBI.

Aliendo’s home run:

PCA’s line-drive blast:

A terrific defensive play by Luis Vazquez in the tenth inning.

South Bend Cubs

The South Bend Cubs were boiled by the Ft. Wayne TinCaps (Padres), 5-2.

Cade Horton was dominating tonight, but he got the loss anyway thanks to an unearned run. (Admittedly, it was his own error.) Horton struck out a career-high nine batters in four innings. His final line was one unearned run on three hits and one walk.

A two-out error in the sixth by shortstop Luis Verdugo was followed by a three-run home run off of reliever Jarod Wright.

South Bend’s two runs came in the seventh inning on a bases-loaded hit-by-pitch by Fabian Pertuz and a bases-loaded walk by Ethan Hearn. Pertuz was 0 for 3 and Hearn was 0 for 2 with two walks.

DH James Triantos was 2 for 3 with a walk.

Here are Horton’s nine strikeouts. His fastball was sitting 97-to-99 mph tonight, but as you can see here, he was getting most the strikeouts on the curve.

Myrtle Beach Pelicans

The Myrtle Beach Pelicans were laundered by the Salem Red Sox, 3-0.

Starter Michael Arias was unhittable tonight. Literally. Arias pitched five no-hit innings before exiting after 69 pitches. Arias did walk two while striking out six.

The first five batters against reliever Erian Rodriguez reached in the sixth inning. He took the loss, having allowed three runs on three hits and two walks over just two-thirds of an inning. Rodriguez struck out two.

The Pelicans had just four hits tonight, all singles. They had just two walks.

First baseman Miguel Pabon was 1 for 2 with a walk.

Highlights. There are some nice defensive plays here at least.