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Chicago Cubs Minor League Wrap: June 21

Iowa and Myrtle Beach combine good pitching and lots of offense to wins. Not so much for Tennessee and South Bend.

Caleb Kilian
Caleb Kilian
Dylan Heuer

Iowa Cubs

The Iowa Cubs tarred and feathered the Memphis Redbirds (Cardinals), 8-0.

Starter Caleb Kilian picked up the win after allowing just three hits, all singles, and no runs over six innings. Kilian struck out four and walked one.

The I-Cubs hit four home runs this afternoon. Three of them were solo shots and the final one came with a man on.

Shortstop Sergio Alcántara hit the first one in the third inning, his sixth home run of the season. Alcántara was 3 for 3 with a double and the home run. He scored three times.

Left fielder Jared Young connected for the second home run in the fourth inning, his 11th of the year. Young went 1 for 4.

Chase Strumpf hit his fourth Triple-A home run and 11th overall in the fifth inning. Strumpf also went 1 for 4.

Finally, third baseman Jake Slaughter hit a two-run home run in the sixth inning, his 12th of 2023. Slaughter was 2 for 4.

Catcher Bryce Windham had an RBI triple in the fifth inning and an RBI double in the seventh. He was 2 for 4 and scored one run.

Alcántara’s home run.

Young’s homer:

Slaughter’s home run.

Tennessee Smokies

The Tennessee Smokies were speared by the Pensacola Blue Wahoos (Marlins), 3-1.

Starter Jordan Wicks only allowed one hit and no runs over four innings. The reason he only went four innings is that he walked five and struck out five, leading to an 85 pitch start. In his defense, I was watching this game and the home plate umpire had a very small strike zone.

Porter Hodge made his first relief appearance of the season, allowing just one hit and no runs over two innings. Despite the home plate umpire, he struck out five and walked nobody. He did hit one batter.

Carlos Guzman took the loss after he gave up a game-tying home run in the eighth inning and he walked the first two batters of the ninth inning, both of whom came around to score off of Cayne Ueckert. Guzman’s final line was three runs on two hits and two walks over 1+ innings. He struck out one. The two-run triple hit off Ueckert in the ninth that proved to be the difference could have easily been called an error on first baseman Haydn McGeary.

The Smokies had just two hits today, but one of them was a home run by catcher Pablo Aliendo in the second inning. It was his ninth home run of the year. Aliendo went 1 for 3 with a walk.

Here’s Aliendo’s home run.

South Bend Cubs

The South Bend Cubs were smelted by the Fort Wayne TinCaps (Padres), 7-1.

Manuel Espinoza started and took the loss. Espinoza surrendered three runs on seven hits over five innings. He struck out five and walked one.

There wasn’t much offense in this game either, as the SB Cubs had just three hits. But one was a solo home run by catcher Ethan Hearn in the fifth inning, his second of the season. Hearn went 1 for 3.

Hearn’s home run.

Myrtle Beach Pelicans

The Myrtle Beach Pelicans fired the Kannapolis Cannon Ballers (White Sox), 9-3.

It was another good start for Miguel Arias, who allowed just one run on no hits and two walks over 4.2 innings. Arias also hit one batter and had two wild pitches. Arias struck out six. That run is the only run Arias has allowed over 14.2 innings this month.

Because Arias didn’t go five, the win was awarded to Grant Kipp, who pitched three innings of relief and gave up just one run on three hits. He struck out four and did not walk anyone.

Second baseman Juan Mora was 2 for 4 with a steal and three runs batted in.

Shortstop Jefferson Rojas was 2 for 4, scored two runs and stole a base.. The 18-year-old Rojas is hitting .342 in his 11 games since being promoted to Low-A.

Right fielder Ismael Mena was 2 for 5 with a triple and a stolen base. Mena scored one run and drove in one. Although he’s 20, Mena is hitting .333 in the 11 games since he arrived in Myrtle Beach.

ACL Cubs

Losing to Diamondbacks Black, 6-4 in the sixth.