Feb 19, 2014; Mesa, AZ, USA; Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Chris Rusin (18) throws during a workout at Cubs Park. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Down on the Farm: Chris Rusin, Iowa Cubs fall to Nashville, 2-1

The Iowa Cubs, Daytona Cubs, Tennessee Smokies and Kane County Cougars were unable to pick up wins today against their opponents, as all four of the Minor League affiliates combined for a total of eight runs while their opponents were either able to stay on top, or rally for a combined 13 runs. Chris Rusin, who threw a no-hitter for the Iowa Cubs earlier on in the year, took the mound in hopes of picking up win number four on the year as top prospects such as Kris Bryant, Arismendy Alcantara and Javier Baez were hoping to continue to plate runs for their clubs.

Final: Nashville (Brewers) 2, Iowa 1

First baseman Jonathan Mota tied the ball game at one a piece on a sacrifice fly during the top of the seventh inning – but Nashville would bounce back during the bottom half of the frame.

Sounds’ Hunter Morris gave his team the early 1-0 lead during the bottom of the second inning after driving a pitch by Chris Rusin deep to right field, his eighth home run of the season. Rusin (3-7, 3.39 ERA) made it through 7.0 innings of work, allowing Nashville to pick up two earned runs off four hits while striking out five. The second run given up by Rusin came during the bottom of the seventh on a RBI double by Sean Halton.

Outfielder Brett Jackson finished today’s ballgame 2-3 with a run scored, while Mota went 1-2 with Iowa’s only run of the contest. Both Iowa and Nashville were even with hits at four a piece but the Cubs were the only team who committed an error.

Nashville’s Jimmy Nelson (6-1, 1.6 ERA) had himself a solid outing against the Cubs today – working through 7 2/3 innings, allowing Iowa to plate just one run on three hits and striking out 11.

Alcantara went hitless in four at-bats as he struck out three times.

Final: Peoria (Cardinals) 5, Kane County 3

Just when it looked as if the Cougars were getting ready to cruise to win number 38 on the season, Peoria managed to rally back late to walk away with the victory.

Peoria cut the lead down to just one during the bottom of the seventh inning, only to take the lead during the bottom of the next frame. The Chiefs were carried by both Kenneth Peoples-Walls who took pitch delivered by Juan Paniagua and sent it to deep left field for a two run home run – making it a 3-2 Kane County lead. Mason Katz recorded his first triple of the season just an inning later with Corbin Hoffner on the mound to make it 5-3 in favor of the Peoria Chiefs.

Carlos Penalver gave his starting pitcher a little bit of breathing room, extending the Cougars already early lead to 3-0 on his first home run of the season. Penalver finished the game 1-4, his biggest hit of the night being the solo bomb.

Juan Paniagua (1-3, 4.15 ERA) worked through 6.0 innings against the Chiefs and was charged with two earned runs on the evening. He gave up four hits, four walks and strikeouts before handing the ball over to Corbin Hoffner. Hoffner finished the final two innings of the ballgame, picking up his first loss and blow save of the season. Peoria tagged him for three earned runs off three hits as he issued two walks and recorded one strikeout.

Final: Birmingham (White Sox) 2, Tennessee 1

Smokies pitcher Hunter Cervenka (2-1, 1.77 ERA) allowed the Barons to take the late 2-1 lead during the top of the ninth inning after letting a pitch get away from him.

Dustin Geiger gave his starting pitcher Joel Pineiro (0-1 4.43 ERA) the lead on a double to right field, driving in third base prospect Kris Bryant. This moved first baseman Charles Cutler to third but this was all the run support Tennessee would receive the rest of the night.

With a one run lead in his back pocket, Pineiro gave up a game tying solo home run to Trayce Thompson during the top of the seventh inning – his fifth home run of the season. Pineiero was pulled after 7.0 innings, giving up three hits and one earned run while recording two strikeouts before the lead was blown by Cervenka.

Bryant finished tonight’s ballgame 2-4 with a run scored, while Charles Cutler and Dustin Geiger finished 1-3.

Final: St. Lucie (Mets) 4, Daytona 3

The St. Lucie Mets had themselves a huge bottom of the sixth inning, receiving key at-bats from both T.J. Rivera and Jairo Perez. Rivera tied the ballgame at one a piece on a single to center fielder Albert Almora, who ended up trotting around the bases during the next at-bat. Perez launched his sixth home run of the season, a three run shot off Jose Rosario to take a 4-1 lead.

Almora gave Daytona the early lead during the top of the first inning after recording his 13th double of the year. Marco Hernandez picked up a two run single during the top of the ninth to right field to drive in both Dan Vogelbach and Willson Contreras.

Felix Pena (1-5, 1.41 ERA) was pulled after 5.0 innings against the Mets, holding St. Lucie to only one hit before handing the game over to Rosario. Rosario was handed his first blown save of the season along with his fourth loss, giving up four earned runs off three hits in just one inning of work.

Almora finished tonight’s ballgame 2-4 with an RBI, the only Cubs batter with two hits on the night. Vogelbach, Contreras and Hernandez each had a hit on the night as the club out hit their opponents by two.

Tags: Daytona Cubs Iowa Cubs Kane County Cougars Tennessee Smokies

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