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Chicago Cubs Minor League Wrap: June 6

Ed Howard and Kevin Alcántara have big games, but South Bend loses. Iowa gives up 2 grand slams and falls to St. Paul. But both Tennessee and Myrtle Beach win!

Kansas City Royals v Chicago Cubs
Ed Howard
Photo by David Durochik/Diamond Images via Getty Images

It’s Tuesday, so that means there are transactions.

We’ve got big news from two former first-round picks. First, right-hander Ryan Jensen was promoted to Triple-A Iowa. Jensen has pitched better since moving to the bullpen full-time.

As for Ed Howard, he was activated off the injured list, about 13 months after suffering that horrific hip injury. He’s back with South Bend.

Other moves—and I hope I caught at least most of them:

The Smokies activated right-hander Cayne Ueckert off the IL.

Tennessee also got some catching help with Dilan Granadillo. The 22-year-old has never played above rookie ball before.

Last year’s Cubs Minor League Pitcher of the Year, Luis Devers, was activated off the IL by South Bend. His season debut didn’t go so well, however.

Infielder Jefferson Rojas joined the Pelicans from Mesa. Infielder Miguel Fabrizio went the other way.

The Arizona Complex League and the Dominican Summer League started yesterday. As far as the ACL goes, I don’t do a full recap of their games, but I will provide a link to the boxscore and I’ll mention it if anything remarkable happens. However, I won’t delay publishing the recap to wait for that game to finish. If it runs late, I’ll try to update things the next day.

As far as the DSL goes, I leave those 16- and 17-year-olds alone. I would never claim what goes on in the DSL is unimportant, but I do think those daily box scores down there are pretty meaningless. Maybe we’ll do a stat wrap up when their season ends.

Finally, Smokies right-hander Porter Hodge was named Southern League Pitcher of the Month for May. Hodge went 1-1 with a 1.64 ERA. Hodge struck out 33 over 22 innings.

Also, Pelican Michael Arias was named Carolina League Pitcher of the Week.

Iowa Cubs

The Iowa Cubs were cast out by the St. Paul Saints (Twins), 10-4.

Starter Chris Clarke allowed just one run on four hits over 2.1 innings. Clarke struck out two and walked one. Clarke also hit two batters.

The loss went to Jordan Holloway in relief. Holloway gave up the first of the two grand slams allowed by the I-Cubs pitchers tonight. Holloway pitched one inning and allowed four runs on four hits and a walk. Holloway struck out three, so hey, he struck out the side.

Daniel Palencia gave up the other grand slam in the eighth inning. He also allowed four runs on four hits and a walk in one inning. But Palencia only walked one.

DH Yonathan Perlaza hit a three-run home run in the second inning. It was his fifth of the season. Perlaza was 2 for 4 with a walk.

Third baseman Nick Madrigal was 3 for 5 with a double. He scored once.

Yonathan Perlaza. Crushed.

Tennessee Smokies

The Tennessee Smokies aborted the countdown of the Rocket City Trash Pandas (Angels), 8-5.

Starter Jordan Wicks got into trouble in the fourth inning, giving up three runs, after pitching well over the first three innings. Wicks’ final line was four runs on eight hits over four innings. He did strike out six and he walked just one.

The win went to Blake Whitney, who pitched two perfect innings, retiring all six batters he faced. Whitney struck out three of them.

Danis Correa got the save. He allowed no runs on one hit over 1.1 innings. Correa struck out three.

Left fielder Cole Roederer hit a two-run home run in the sixth inning that gave the Smokies a 5-4 lead that they would never relinquish. It was his third home run. Roederer was 1 for 5.

Center fielder Pete Crow-Armstrong went 2 for 5 with a two-run triple in the sixth. He also stole one base and scored twice.

Right fielder Owen Caissie went 2 for 5 with an RBI double.

First baseman Haydn McGeary was 2 for 3 with two walks. He scored once.

Third baseman BJ Murray Jr. went 2 for 5 with a double. He also scored one run.

Second baseman Andy Weber was 2 for 4 with one run scored.

South Bend Cubs

The South Bend Cubs were hammered by the Lansing Lugnuts (Athletics), 13-9.

Lansing pounced on South Bend for seven runs in the top of the first inning. Six of those runs were charged to starter Luis Devers, who surrendered those six runs on three hits and four walks over just two-thirds of an inning. Devers did not strike anyone out.

But the SB Cubs would score nine unanswered runs, including six in the bottom of the second. But reliever Connor Noland coughed that lead back up with four runs in the seventh, including a three-run home run. Noland got the loss after allowing the four runs on six hits over four innings. Noland struck out one and walked no one.

Center fielder Kevin Alcántara hit a solo home run in the fifth inning, his fourth on the season. Alcántara had a big night, going 4 for 6 with three RBI and three runs scored. He also stole a base.

Shortstop Ed Howard had a successful return to the lineup, going 3 for 5 with a double. He scored one run.

Right fielder Jacob Wetzel went 2 for 4 with a triple and a walk. Wetzel scored twice and drove in two, one with each hit.

Left fielder Yohendrick Pinango was 2 for 5 with a double and one run scored.

The Jaguar’s home run.

Howard’s three-hit night:

Myrtle Beach Pelicans

The Myrtle Beach Pelicans stung the Augusta Green Jackets (Braves), 8-1 in a game that ended after seven innings because of rain.

Starter Grant Kipp allowed a solo home run in the sixth inning, but not much else. Kipp got his first professional win by giving up just the one run on four hits over six innings. He struck out six and walked two.

First baseman Felix Stevens hit a solo home run in the second inning, his eighth on the year. Stevens went 1 for 4.

Catcher Moises Ballesteros cranked a three-run home run in the top of the seventh inning that was his fifth blast of the season. Ballesteros was also 1 for 4.

RIght fielder Parker Chavers was 3 for 4. He scored twice and drove in one.

DH Revaij Garcia was 2 for 3 with a walk and a double. Garcia scored one run and had one RBI.

Second baseman Pedro Ramirez was 2 for 3.

Ballesteros’ home run.

ACL Cubs

Losing to the Padres, 11-5 in the seventh inning.

Drew Gray pitched in his first official game since having Tommy John surgery in 2021. He allowed one unearned run on no hits and three walks over 2.2 innings. Gray struck out seven.