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Chicago Cubs Minor League Wrap: June 1

We can now call three minor league games as wins for the Cubs. We’re still waiting on results from Iowa.

MLB: MAR 08 Spring Training - Reds at Cubs (ss)
Cole Roederer
Photo by Jeff Speer/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Two Iowa pitchers, Vinny Nittoli and Tyler Duffey, opted out of their minor-league deals today. The Cubs have 48 hours to either give them a major-league deal (which would put them on the 40-man and not necessarily the 26-man) or release them.

Iowa Cubs

So here’s the situation with the I-Cubs. This afternoon, they gave up three runs in the top of the ninth and trailed Columbus 8-5. With two outs and the bases loaded in the bottom of the inning, Yonathan Perlaza tied the game back up with a three-run double. After the Cubs kept the Clippers from scoring in the top of the tenth, they loaded the bases with one out. Chase Strumpf came to the plate and worked the count to 2-1 when the game was suspended because of rain. They’ll finish it tomorrow.

I can’t really blame the umpire. The game probably should have been suspended before Strumpf came to the plate. But I can blame the Clippers for stall tactics as the rain started.

Tennessee Smokies

The Tennessee Smokies clouded the vision of the Chattanooga Lookouts (Reds), 5-4.

Starter DJ Herz continues to struggle with control. Herz pitched the first three innings tonight and gave up three runs on three hits. One of the three runs was unearned. Herz walked four and struck out three.

The win went to reliever Hunter Bigge, who pitched the sixth and seventh innings without giving up a run. He did surrender two hits. Bigge struck out three and walked no one.

Riley Martin got a six-out save. He walked the first batter he faced in the eighth inning, but then retired the next six in order. Martin struck out five.

The Smokies were trailing 3-0 in the fourth inning when center fielder Cole Roederer hit a solo home run, his second of the season. It was Roederers’ second home run this year. Roederer was 2 for 4.

The Smokies tied it up with a three-run bottom of the fifth inning, highlighted by a two-run double by third baseman BJ Murray Jr. Murray was 1 for 4.

The Smokies took the lead for good in the bottom of the sixth inning when shortstop Andy Weber connected for a solo home run, also his second of 2023. Weber was 2 for 4.

DH Haydn McGeary went 2 for 4 with a double and an RBI single in the fifth. He scored on Murray’s fifth-inning double.

Roederer’s home run:

Murray’s double:

South Bend Cubs

The South Bend Cubs smelted the Ft. Wayne TinCaps (Padres), 1-0.

Great start from Connor Noland, who allowed just four hits over six innings. Noland struck out two and walked one.

Eduarniel Nunez allowed the first two batters in the bottom of the eighth to reach and then loaded the bases with two outs. But he got out of the jam and got the win. Nunez allowed a hit and walked two in one inning. He struck out two.

Frankie Scalzo Jr. retired the side in order in the bottom of the eighth and got the save. He did not strike anyone out.

The only run of this game came in the top of the ninth when first baseman Bryce Ball doubled home second baseman James Triantos. Ball was 1 for 4. Triantos went 0 for 3 with a walk.

Catcher Casey Optiz was 2 for 3 with a double.

Center fielder Ezequiel Pagan was 2 for 4.

Ball’s double:

Myrtle Beach Pelicans

The Myrtle Beach Pelicans rinsed the Salem Red Sox, 7-6 in ten innings.

Starter Marino Santy pitched 3.2 innings and allowed three runs on five hits. He walked four and struck out three.

Reliever Luis Rujano kept the Red Sox from scoring in the seventh and eighth inning, but he got in trouble in the top of the ninth and gave up two runs, turning a 5-4 Pelicans lead to a 6-5 deficit. Rujano allowed two runs on three hits over 2.1 innings. He walked two and struck out three.

Johzan Oquendo allowed an inherited runner to score on a wild pitch, but prevented any more damage and got the win when the Pelicans scored one run in the ninth and one more in the tenth. Oquendo loaded the bases with one out in the tenth, but got out of the jam with no runs scoring.

Oquendo’s final line was no runs on one hit over 1.2 innings. He walked three and struck out four.

The Pelicans first run came on a second-inning solo home run by left fielder Andy Garriola. Garriola was 2 for 5 with a stolen base. It was his fifth home run.

Right fielder Felix Stevens gave the Pelicans a short-lived 5-4 lead in the bottom of the eighth inning with a solo home run, his seventh of the season. Stevens was 1 for 5 and scored twice.

First baseman Moises Ballesteros tied the game up in the bottom of the ninth with an RBI single. Balleseros was 1 for 4.

Catcher Miguel Pabon hit a walk-off sac fly that scored Stevens in the bottom of the tenth. Pabon was 0 for 3 with one run scored and one run driven in.

Center fielder Ismael Mena’s Low-A debut was a memorable one. Mena went 4 for 4 with a double. He scored one run.