Some movement in the Cubs system over the two off-days. Shortstop Luis Vazquez was promoted to Triple-A Iowa. And although it hasn’t been made official, the Tennessee Smokies announced that left-handed pitcher Jordan Wicks has also been promoted to Iowa.
Making room for these two promotions, shortstop Levi Jordan was demoted to Tennessee and right-hander Nick Neidert was placed on the developmental list.
Right-handed pitcher Richard Gallardo was promoted from High-A South Bend to Double-A Tennessee. And right-handed pitcher Miguel Arias moves up to South Bend from Low-A Myrtle Beach.
Two very long games tonight.
The Iowa Cubs calmed the Omaha Storm Chasers (Royals), 9-2.
Caleb Kilian got his second-straight win and fifth on the season by allowing just two runs on three hits over five innings. Kilian walked three and struck out four.
Ryan Jensen tossed two scoreless innings of relief. He allowed two hits, but he walked no one and struck out two.
Center fielder Nelson Velázquez got the I-Cubs off to an early lead with a two-run home run in the top of the first inning. It was his tenth minor league home run this year and 13th if you count those major league ones. Velázaquez went 2 for 4 with a walk and three runs batted in. He scored twice.
In the seventh inning, second baseman Jake Slaughter blew the game open with a three-run home run, his 14th. Slaughter went 1 for 3 with two walks.
First baseman Matt Mervis went 2 for 4 with a triple. He scored twice in his first game in a week.
Shortstop Luis Vazquez was 1 for 3 with two walks in his Triple-A debut. One of those walks came with the bases loaded for an RBI.
The Velázquez home run.
The Tennessee Smokies were caught looking by the Chattanooga Lookouts (Reds), 11-10.
In his Double-A debut, Richard Gallardo allowed four runs on four hits over 4.2 innings. Control was the big problem as he walked five while striking out four.
Chris Kachmar got knocked around for five runs over two-thirds of an inning in the sixth.
The Smokies were trailing 10-6 with two outs in the ninth inning, but they struck back to tie the game with four runs. But Ben Hecht allowed a run in the bottom of the ninth on a walk-off sacrifice fly. Hecht’s final line was one run on one hit and two walks over one inning. The run was unearned because of an error by first baseman Haydn McGeary. Hecht did not have a strikeout.
McGeary’s error turned him from the hero of the game to the goat. At the plate, McGeary was 3 for 5 with a two-run home run in the third inning. It was his eighth home run in Double-A and 11th overall. More importantly, McGeary singled home Owen Caissie with the tying run in the top of the ninth. McGeary had five total RBI.
Caissie was standing on second base in the ninth because he hit a bases-loaded, three-run double. He was 1 for 5 this evening.
The Smokies scored ten runs on just eight hits, but they added in ten walks.
South Bend Cubs
The South Bend Cubs were shot down by the Beloit Sky Carp (Marlins), 5-4 in 14 innings.
Brandon Birdsell surrendered just one unearned run on four hits over five innings. He struck out five and walked no one.
Jarod Wright and Adam Laskey each pitched two scoreless innings of relief.
This game was 1-1 heading to extras, with the last run scoring in the top of the second inning. Joe Nahas threw three innings in extras and allowed just one unearned run on one hit. He did walk four batters while striking out two.
Didier Vargas allowed three runs, two earned, in the bottom of the 14th inning to take the loss. All three runs scored after two were out and two of them came on a routine grounder to first base (that should have ended the game) that turned into a hit because Vargas didn’t get over to cover first fast enough.
The final line on Vargas was two runs, one earned, on four hits over 1.2 innings. Vargas struck out three and walked one.
It looked like South Bend was going to go home happy when center fielder Kevin Alcántara hit a two-run home run in the top of the 14th. Alcántara was 1 for 5 with a walk. He scored two runs.
First baseman Bryce Ball had an RBI single in the second inning and an RBI single in the 12th. He was 2 for 6.
Right fielder Ezequiel Pagan was 2 for 5. He was intentionally walked once.
Alcántara’s home run. It’s a bit hard to see with the smoke.
And a nice defensive play by Alcántara.
Myrtle Beach Pelicans
The Myrtle Beach Pelicans brought the Charleston RiverDogs (Rays) to heel, 6-5 in 13 innings.
This game was scoreless after nine innings. In fact, the RiverDogs didn’t even have a baserunner until an infield single to lead off the eighth inning broke up the perfect game. And even that guy was thrown out trying to go to second on a (bad) desperate throw by shortstop Jefferson Rojas to try to preserve the perfecto.
Starter Grant Kipp tossed five perfect innings, striking out seven.
Erian Rodriguez pitched four scoreless innings. He allowed three hits and walked one while striking out four.
The Pelicans and RiverDogs then traded runs. Two runs for each in the tenth, one each in the eleventh and no runs in the twelfth. But after the RiverDogs scored twice in the top of the 13th, the game looked over after the first two Pelicans batters made outs without advancing the automatic runner. But the Pelicans then won on four-straight two-out singles and a walk-off wild pitch.
The win went to Starlyn Pichardo, who allowed two runs, one earned, on one hit over two innings. He walked two and struck out three.
Third baseman Juan Mora started that three-run rally with a two-out RBI single in the 13th. Mora was 2 for 6 with two RBI and one run scored.
First baseman Reivaj Garcia was up next, and he singled to keep the inning alive. Garcia was 2 for 5 with a walk and he scored that winning run on the wild pitch.
DH Rafael Morel loaded the bases with an infield single. Morel went 2 for 5 with a walk and one run scored.
Second baseman Pedro Ramirez then tied the game with an infield single. Ramirez went 2 for 6 with an RBI double in the tenth inning for two RBI. He scored one run.
Shortstop Jefferson Rojas was 2 for 5 with a walk and one run scored.