Down on the Farm: Kris Bryant hits HR No. 19, Smokies snap losing streak


Tennessee Smokies’ third baseman Kris Bryant is showing the Chicago Cubs organization that he is just about ready to be brought up to Triple-A. Bryant currently the Southern League in batting average, home runs, RBIs, hits, runs and on-base plus slugging percentage. The Smokies needed him to come through in a big way and he did exactly that while the Iowa and Daytona Cubs were hoping for some serious run support from the members of their ball club – the Kane County Cougars had the day off and will take on the Clinton LumberKings tomorrow evening.

Final: Smokies 3, Barons (White Sox) 0

The only runs scored during tonight’s game between the Smokies and Barons came  during the bottom of the fourth inning with Bryant and Taylor Davis at the plate. Bryant hit home run number 19 of the season, a two run shot that would make it 2-0 before Davis pulled through with an RBI single.

Bryant finished tonight’s ballgame 1-2 with two RBIs, two walks and one strikeout while Davis finished 1-3. Starting pitcher Matt Loosen (3-2, 5.01 ERA) had himself a great outing tonight against the Barons, allowing them to only put together four hits while issuing one walk and striking out seven. Hunter Cervenka (2-1, 1.61 ERA) and Armando Rivero (1-0, 1.86 ERA) took over after Loosen was pulled from the game and combined for seven strikeouts of their own.

Rivero was the only one out of the two who would allow a hit.

Final: Iowa Cubs 4, Sounds (Cardinals) 2.

The Iowa Cubs carried a 1-0 lead into the top of the sixth inning and decided to give their pitching staff a little breathing room by plating three more runs. Arismendy Alcantara picked up an RBI on a sacrifice bunt that pushed outfielder Matt Szczur across the plate to score, making it a 3-0 game until Ryan Kalish extended the lead to 4-0 on a single to center field.

Third baseman Christian Villanueva tallied the first run of the game – sending a line drive to left field for double number 16 of the year.

Left-handed starter Tsuyoshi Wada (5-3, 2.60 ERA) continued to pitch well as he worked 6.0 innings, allowing one earned run off seven hits and striking out five. Carlos Pimentel (1-3, 3.97 ERA) and Blake Parker (0-0, 10.12 ERA) took over after Wada was pulled and closed out the game against Nashville.

Parker was the only reliever to allow an earned run, a solo bomb by Kevin Mattison which made it a 4-2 game during the bottom of the ninth. He would be able to gather himself together and record the final three outs of the ballgame to pick up save number 11.

Final: Daytona Cubs 6, Mets (Mets) 5.

Daytona entered the top of the third inning with the game deadlocked at one a piece until they were able to bust things open a little bit by hanging a four spot on the St. Lucie Mets.

Both Albert Almora and Gioskar Amaya picked up RBI singles to make it 3-1 while Jeimer Canderlario and Rock Shoulders extended the lead to 5-1 by drawing back-to-back bases loaded walks. Left-handed starting Austin Kirk (0-0, 8.22 ERA) has yet to pick up a victory during the 2014 campaign and wouldn’t be able to set himself up with one during tonight’s outing.

Kirk was pulled from game after just 3 1/3 of short work, relying on the bullpen to help keep St. Lucie on the ropes. He left the game allowing three earned runs off seven hits before handing the ball over to Starling Peralta. Peralta (3-1, 3.29 ERA) stepped in and worked a long-relief role as he made it through 4.0  innings, allowing the Mets to score two runs (both earned) off three hits (one home run) before he was replaced.

Candelario came through for the Cubs yet again during the top of the fifth on a groundout to make it 6-3. Eudy Pina was the man who took Peralta deep during the bottom of the sixth inning – it was his second home run of the year, a solo shot that would make it 6-4 still in favor of the good guys.

Stephen Perakslis (1-0, 5.34 ERA) managed to close out the game during the final 1 2/3 innings despite being charged with an earned run during the bottom of the eighth. It was a single on a fly ball to center field by Brandon Nimmo which cut the Cubs lead to just one.

Perakslis recorded his very first save of the season with the Daytona Cubs.