As the Cubs` five game winning streak came to a close this afternoon, the Kane County Cougars also had a nice stretch of four straight come to a close in a 3-2 loss at Fifth Third Bank Ballpark. While the Cougars, Daytona Cubs and the Smokies suffered tough losses Sunday afternoon, the Iowa Cubs came back from a 5-1 loss last night to shut out the Sky Sox to give the Cubs` organization at least something to cheer about on a Sunday full of defeats.
Triple-A Final: Iowa Cubs 3, Colorado Springs Sky Sox (Rockies) 0
After the I-Cubs` staff couldn`t hold down the Sky Sox last night, it was Dallas Beeler who came out and put the I-Cubs back on top with a gem. Beeler tossed seven shutout frames on just five hits and two walks while striking out five. Beeler hopes to continue to get more consistent on the mound, as his ERA drops to 3.89. The I-Cubs also got a couple nice innings from the ‘pen, with Zac Rosscup firing a perfect eighth on a rehab assignment, and Blake Parker nailing down the save. Iowa did get a few nice games from the offense, including Javier Baez who finished with a couple knocks and an RBI, Arismendy Alcantara tripled, drove in a run and walked, Chris Valaika drove one in with two hits and the catcher Rafael Lopez also notched a couple hits for the 3-0 victory.
Double-A Final: Jacksonville Suns (Marlins) 6, Tennessee Smokies 5
After what seemed to be a terrific comeback possibly leading to a victory, the Smokies got dealt some poor luck in the ninth, with the walk-off run scoring on an error by shortstop Elliot Soto. It didn`t help that the starter Matt Loosen, suffered through a very poor, short outing, finishing with just four innings pitched while serving up five runs (four earned) and walking four to raise his ERA to 5.33.
The Suns received a solid performance from their starter, Justin Nicolino, who allowed just three earned runs over seven innings to earn a quality start. While the starter did a nice job, the Suns` bullpen couldn`t close it out, as the Smokies tallied two off of Nick Wittgren thanks to a solo shot from Dustin Geiger and a sacrifice fly from Taylor Davis to tie things at five a piece.
The Smokies couldn`t hold it either, with the Suns walking-off on a fielding miscue by the shortstop Soto. Tennessee fans did get something fun to watch on a tough night at the park, however, as Kris Bryant continued his assault on Double-A pitching with two hits and his 21st homer.
Advanced Class-A Final: Clearwater Threshers (Phillies) 8, Daytona Cubs 7
The Daytona Cubs` offense did wake up after a slumber last night against the Hammerheads, scoring seven on 10 hits after a huge seven-run eighth inning, but the pitching laid an egg once again in an 8-7 defeat. The Daytona Cubs` starter, 6’1″ Justin Amlung, wasn`t even the main source of the pitching break down, surrendering just three earned runs in five frames, but once the bullpen got involved, things turned for the worse. Jose Rosario entered in the sixth inning after Amlung`s day was over, and proceeded to serve up five runs that would end up proving to be extremely costly. Rosario`s poor outing out of the `pen would loom large later on, as the Cubs exploded for seven runs in the eighth inning, featuring two-run singles from Albert Almora and Gioskar Amaya.
Class-A Final: Cedar Rapids Kernels (Twins) 3, Kane County Cougars 2
It was a pretty uneventful afternoon at Fifth Third Bank Ballpark, as after a couple runs from the Kernels in the second inning the two pitching staffs really shut them down, not allowing a single run for the rest of the game. With a low-scoring pitcher`s duel, you`re bound to get a couple solid performances, and that`s what they got today with the Kernels` starter, Ethan Mildren, tossing six innings of two-run baseball, and the Cougars`starter, Paul Blackburn, allowing just two earned runs (three total) in five frames on just three hits. With just seven hits and two runs on the day, it would usually be hard to find even one good game from the Cougars` lineup, but both Danny Lockhart and Ben Carhart had themselves a solid afternoon at the Park, with Lockhart collecting a hit, a run and two walks and Carhart picking up three knocks in four at-bats.