The minor league games on the night featured some tough losses and nice victories, including a Daytona shutout, the Smokies extra-inning defeat, the Cougars` great pitching and of course, the Iowa Cubs` 17 runs. There will be even more Cubs Minor League action starting soon after the Boise Hawks` roster was annnounced Monday afternoon for their Friday season opener.
Triple-A Final: Iowa Cubs 17, Fresno Grizzlies (Giants) 2
After not scoring more than a few runs in the past few contests, the offense absolutely erupted late Monday night, with most of the damage coming from just two guys. No, it was not even Javier Baez, who had himself a terrific three hit, one homer game, it was catcher Rafael Lopez and third-baseman Christian Villanueva combining for 12 RBIs.
Both Lopez and Villanueva crushed a grand slam, and Lopez added three more RBIs to the ledger to finish with seven while Villanueva finished with five. The entire lineup had an incredible night, totaling 17 knocks with seven different players notching multiple hits, featuring thee hit games from Arismendy Alcantara and Baez.
While the offense was no doubt the entire focus on this game, there was some good pitching for Iowa as well, with Tsuyoshi Wada allowing juts one run over six frames and the bullpen finishing it off with three scoreless.
Double-A Final: Jacksonville Suns (Marlins) 8, Tennessee Smokies 7
The Smokies suffered a very tough walk-off loss (on an error) Sunday afternoon against the Suns and the disappointment spread to game five of the series in an extra-inning, 8-7 defeat. The loss was made even more heart breaking by the fact that Tennessee actually held a nice 7-4 lead entering the eighth, but a few bullpen break downs later the Smokies had to accept a hard loss.
The starting pitchers for both sides didn`t help things Monday night, as recently-signed Joe Gardner was charged with four runs on five hits in less than five innings pitched, and Suns` starter Angel Sanchez served up five runs (four earned) on eight hits in just two-plus frames.
The Smokies were able to pull ahead 7-4 in the seventh after scoring two, and win number 31 seemed to be in the bag. However, Hunter Cervenka and Jeff Lorick combined to allow three runs to score in the eighth, blowing the three-run lead and setting up extras.
Once in extras, the Suns did not take long to end this one, with third-baseman Alex Burg blasting a walk-off homer to right off of Arodys Vizcaino to hand the Smokies their second straight demoralizing loss.
While the team as a whole had a disappointing night, one star shined regardless, with Kris Bryant blasting his 22nd long ball of the year.
Advanced Class-A Final: Clearwater Threshers (Phillies) 2, Daytona Cubs 0
Despite waking up Sunday afternoon with the bats against the Clearwater Threshers, the Cubs could not match their seven-run output from the weekend, falling on their faces in a 2-0 shutout. In two games against the Threshers, the Cubs have made a horrible team look like a perennial contender, as even after sweeping the short two-game series the Threshers` record still sits at an embarrassing 14-49, an incredible 35 games under .500 in June.
Their pitching staff, however, looked very good Monday night ,with the starter, Ryan Demmin, tossing six strong shutout frames on just four hits while punching out six. The bullpen shut the Cubs down for the final three frames for the shutout victory. In a pitcher`s duel, one pitcher is bound to get dealt an unlucky hand, and tonight it was southpaw Rob Zastryzny, who threw seven innings of two run, four hit ball, while striking out nine to lower the ERA to 6.42 and maybe turn his year around.
Class-A Final: Kane County Cougars 2, Cedar Rapids Kernels (Twins) 1
After the Daytona Cubs were completely shut down on offense, the Class-A Cougars were the ones who shut them down, as the staff allowed just one run on three hits the entire night for the close one-run victory. Fans who showed up to Fifth Third Bank Ballpark got a treat Monday night, as very talented 19-year-old right-hander Jen-Ho Tseng made his return, tossing three innings on two hits and a run while striking out three.The bullpen was terrific after Tseng`s departure, firing six innings, allowing just one hit while striking out 11.
The Kernels` pitching was outstanding as well, with top talent Kohl Stewart surrendering just two runs (one earned) on a minuscule two hits, but event Stewart`s wonderful effort was not good enough to beat the incredible job done by this Kane County bullpen.