Chicago Cubs Minor League Recap: Rafael Morel dominates in Myrtle Beach

The Chicago Cubs affiliates played some good baseball yesterday as three of the four came away with victories. While the major league squad will be leaning on Cody Bellinger at first base for now, yesterday suggested that the Cubs have plenty of first base options at just about every level coming soon.
Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
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Iowa Cubs (AAA) (39-28)

The Iowa Cubs beat the Indianapolis Indians 12-11

You love to see the offense put up a day like this one where five of the nine guys in the order have extra-base hits, six of the nine get on base multiple times and all but one of them either scored a run or drove one in. That being said, the pitching performance left a little to be desired but everything worked out as the Cubs came away victorious in this one. 

Jared Young (1B) had himself a day. He went 4-for-5 and ended up just a triple short of the cycle as he drove in five runs and scored three as well to give him a clean 1.000 OPS on the year.

Chase Strumpf (3B) went 1-for-3 with a double, two walks, and two runs scored.

Yonathan Perlaza (OF) went 1-for-4 with a double, a walk, an RBI and two runs scored.

David Bote (3B) went 2-for-5 with a double and two RBI.

Matt Mervis (DH) went 1-for-3 with a single and two RBI.

Nick Neidert (RHP) was the starter yesterday and he only last 3.2 innings as he gave up seven earned runs on four hits and three walks while striking out three.

Rowan Wick (RHP) was solid in his 1.1 innings of work. He only gave up one hit and didn’t walk anyone or allow a run. 

Brendon Little (LHP) saw his struggles continue. He was only able to get one batter out, and he gave up three runs on three hits.

Jeremiah Estrada (RHP) also continued to struggle. He went one inning and gave up a run on two hits and walk while striking out two. 

Tennessee Smokies (AA) (35-28)

The Tennessee Smokies beat the Birmingham Barons 5-4

You’ve got to love to see teams battle back through adversity to come away with close wins. The Smokies were up 4-1 going into the bottom of the 8th and then promptly gave up that lead with three runs in the bottom of the eighth. That being said, the Smokies kept their cool and scored in the top of the tenth to come away with the W and are now 35-28 on the season. 

Haydn McGeary (1B) went 3-for-5 and was only a homer shy of the cycle. He drove in one and is now batting .294 on the season. 

BJ Murray (3B) went 1-for-4 with a single, a walk and a run scored while also striking out three times.

Scott McKeon (2B) got the call up from South Bend and kept hitting. He went 1-for-3 with a double, a walk, a run scored and an RBI.

DJ Herz (LHP) went five innings and only allowed one run on four hits and a walk while striking out five to lower his ERA on the year to 3.16. 

Blake Whitney (RHP) was solid in two innings of perfect baseball in which he struck out three. 

Zac Leigh (RHP) also got the call up from South Bend but struggled. He came in in the 8th and gave up the lead in his inning of work. He gave up three runs on two hits and a walk while striking out two.

South Bend Cubs (A+) (29-33)

The South Bend Cubs lost to the Cedar Rapids Kernels 14-2

At least it was never close. The Cubs went down 3-0 in the second inning and then would proceed to give up four runs in the fourth, and five runs in the fifth and even when they tried to score two runs in the seventh, the Kernels came right back in the bottom of the seventh with two of their own to cement a dominant victory. 

Jacob Wetzel (OF) went 1-for-3 with a double. 

Fabian Pertuz (2B) provided the lone bit of offense with his fifth homer of the season as he went 2-for-3 with two RBI.

Connor Noland (RHP) had his first bad start in a while. He last only 3.2 innings and gave up seven runs (four earned) on five hits and two walks while only striking out one. 

Sheldon Reed (RHP) was solid. He lowered his ERA for the year to 2.74 with an inning of scoreless baseball and only gave up one hit while striking out two. 

Myrtle Beach Pelicans (A) (38-25)

The Myrtle Beach Pelicans beat the Fredericksburg Nationals 8-2

Another dominant game from the Pelicans in this one as they took the lead in the fifth and then added five more in the sixth to put it out of reach. Rafael Morel was his usual spectacular self and makes you wonder if we could ever see two Morel’s at the same time in Wrigley Field and Brody McCullough locked the Nationals down.

Felix Stevens (1B) went 1-for-4 yesterday with his 13th homer of the season.

Cristian Hernández (SS) had a multi-hit performance as he went 2-for-4 with two singles, a walk, an RBI and a run scored. 

Rafael Morel (OF) had a typical day. He went 2-for-3 with a single, a double, a walk, two RBI, two runs scored and a stolen base. 

Pedro Ramirez (2B) went 2-for-4 with a single, a double and a run scored. 

Brody McCullough (RHP) was great again. He went five innings and only gave up one run on two hits and a walk while striking out eight to lower his ERA to 2.09 for the season. 

Starlyn Pichardo (RHP) pitched three innings and gave up one run on two hits and a walk while striking out four.

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