The Dominican Summer League playoffs get top billing as the Cubs held a 4-0 lead only to see the Tigers rally for the win. The Cubs didn’t help themselves committing five errors while going 2-16 with RISP. The two teams play Game 2 on Friday in the best-of-three series.
Dominican Summer League Playoffs, Game 1—Tigers 7, Cubs 5
The Tigers took advantage of five Cubs errors to win the opening game of the DSL semi-final playoffs.
At the Plate: The Cubs grabbed a 1-0 lead in the first without the aid of a hit. Two walks and a hit batter loaded the bases with one out and RF Shamil Ubiera grounded out to short, scoring CF Jenner Emeterio. The Cubs scored three times in the fourth as Bryant Flete ripped a triple down the right field line and circled the bases when the ball was misplayed. Jenner Emeterio singled, stole second, and after Varonex Cuevas walked, Adonis Paula cleared the base with the second triple of the inning. The Cubs loaded the bases in the seventh, tying the game on the fourth walk of the inning but Cuevas grounded into a 3U-2 double play to end the inning. The Cubs had their chances drawing 11 walks but were just 2-16 with RISP and left 13 on base.
On the Mound: Jose Zapata (4-0 1.93) got the start and blanked the Tigers for four innings fanning seven. Zapata, 20, didn’t make it out of the fifth as the right-hander walked his third hitter, who eventually scored on a single. Zapata finished with a line of 4.2 IP, 4H, 1ER, 3BB, 7K....RHP Yomar Morel (1-1 1.63) came into the game and got the final out of the fifth, the only batter he would face....Andin Diaz (1-0 1.96) took the hill for the sixth but two walks and a single ended his day after retiring one batter....Pedro Arroyo (6-0 1.05) allowed a sacrifice fly but got the Cubs out of the frame retiring both hitters. The seventh was a different story as two Cubs errors and three singles plated three runs, two unearned as 3B Adonis Paula booted a grounder that would have ended the inning. Arroyo finished with a line of 1.2 IP, 3H 3R, 1ER, 1BB......Losing pitcher Carlos Llano pitched the 8th and was greeted with a solo homer to left field. A single and two errors on an errant pickoff throw resulted in the second run of the inning. The Cubs committed five errors allowing three unearned runs.
Cubs Notes: The two teams meet Friday in the second game of the best-of-three series.
AAA—Iowa 4, Omaha 2
Iowa’s not giving up without a fight, and they are landing some serious punches. For the fourth straight night Iowa (65-75) beat Omaha (67-73) to move within 2 games of first place with four to play. The I-Cubs head to Nashville for the final series of the season.
At the Plate: Julio Borbon (.250/.368/.286) led off Iowa’s first with a single and scored when Dave Sappelt (.246/.298/.362) drilled a double. Sappelt went to third on ground out and scored on Edgar Gonzalez’s single. Iowa added two more in the sixth on sacrifice flies by Edwin Maysonet (.235/.282/.400) and Mike Olt (.197/.303/.377). Ty Wright (.279/.343/.434), Gonzalez (.267/.304/.427), and Maysonet all had two hits as Iowa had 10 base knocks.
On the Mound: Casey Coleman (5-3 3.16) is getting the hang of his new starting gig. The right-hander won his second game in four starts allowing a two-run homer over six innings with three strikeouts. Coleman allowed five hits and three walks in his 92-pitch effort....Iowa’s bullpen was perfect the final three innings as Alberto Cabrera (1-3 7.08) Marcos Mateo (0-0 2.03) and Eduardo Sanchez (1-1 3.46) retired all three hitters they each faced.
Cubs Notes: Iowa went 44-28 at Principal Park this season.
AA—Tennessee 5, Chattanooga 0
Neil Ramirez, P.J. Francescon and Yeiper Castillo combined for a one-hit shutout as Tennessee (73-61) won the opening game at Chattanooga (58-77).
At the Plate: Arismendy Alcantara (.270/.351/.455) tripled to lead off the fourth and Javier Baez (.299/.351/.500) put the Smokies on the board with sacrifice fly, his 49th RBI in 50 games. Christian Villanueva (.259/.315/.460) smacked his 17th homer of the year for a 2-0 lead in the 4th. Justin Bour (.237/.318/.462) cleared the bases in the 8th with a three-run double, now with 58 RBI in 299 at-bats. Alcantara finished with two hits and scored twice.
On the Mound: Making his first start since being traded to the Cubs as the player to be named later in the Matt Garza deal, Neil Ramirez didn’t disappoint as the 24-year-old blanked the Lookouts for 4.2 innings allowing only a single and two walks. The right-hander fanned five and threw 71 pitches, leaving in the fifth after reaching his pitch count....P.J. Francescon (2-0 4.23) got the final out of the fifth and then pitched a scoreless sixth, fanning three with one walk. Francescon earned the win, throwing 30 pitches to get four outs....Yeiper Castillo (1-2 3.79) had one of the more efficient outings you’ll ever see as the right hander no-hit the Lookouts for the final three innings getting six ground ball outs. He struck out one hitter and only threw 29 pitches, 21 for strikes, to earn his first AA save.
Here’s a story on Neil Ramirez from the Smokies Radio Network’s Nick Roark
High A—Daytona 3, Brevard County 2
Daytona (73-50) made it nine straight surviving a ninth-inning scare to beat Brevard County (65-66).
At the Plate: Cubs plated all three runs in the top of the first as Bijan Rademacher (.261/.327/.377) singled and took second on a fielding error on a grounder off the bat of Dustin Geiger (.279/.363/.454). Daniel Vogelbach (.273/.448/.455) followed with a walk and Anthony Giansanti (297/.379/.381) drew a free pass to force in the first run. With two out, Chadd Krist (.253/.354/.382) delivered a two-run single plating Geiger and Vogelbach. Rademacher finished with two hits and Krist extended his hitting streak to 10 games, hitting .406 with 10 RBI and seven runs during the streak..
On the Mound: Corey Black (7-8 3.93 ERA) improved to 4-0 since joining the Cubs fanning six in six innings. Black allowed two hits and a run in the first inning but only gave up one more hit the rest of the night. In a post game interview with Daytona play-by-play announcer Michael West, Black said his change-up was his best pitch and it was also the first time he was able to use his slider effectively since joining Daytona. His fastball was clocked between 94-96 mph, the best velocity he’s had since his arrival. He showed great command of all his pitches with no walks, also a first as a Cub......Jeffrey Lorick (3-0 3.48) earned his third save tossing the final three innings. The Manatees loaded the bases in the ninth with a run in but Lorick coaxed a grounder that Anthony Giansanti made a nice play on to end the game. Lorick finished with a line of 3IP, 3H, 1ER, 3BB, 3K.
Low A—Cedar Rapids 5, Kane County 2
Cedar Rapids (85-49) kept Kane County (53-78) off the board for the first eight innings to win the deciding game of the three-game series.
At the Plate: The Cougars had four hits in the first eight innings and then got four base hits in the ninth to score their only two runs of the game. Rock Shoulders (.253/.348/.444) doubled home Jeimer Candelario (.254/.345/.399) and Marco Hernandez (.256/.289/.342) added a RBI single, his second hit of the game.
On the Mound: Daury Torrez, 20, was promoted from Mesa to make the start in Cedar Rapids after going 4-2 with a 3.31 ERA in 49 IP with 49 K and 5 BB. The right-hander worked five innings in his MWL debut allowing three runs on five hits and a walk. He fanned two but allowed a two-run homer....Brian Smith (2-4 4.60) allowed two runs on four hits tossing two innings. Its was Smith’s third game since coming off the IR. He’s gone 60.2 IP in his first full-season with 46 K and 22 BB.....Matt Iannazzo (1-1 4.22) pitched a scoreless eighth with a walk and a strikeout. The left-hander was signed as a free agent after the 2012 draft and spent time between Boise and Kane County 2-2 3.65, 24.2 IP, 30 H, 11BB, 24 K.
Short-Season—Salem-Keizer 10, Boise 8
Boise (20-14) lost its hold of first-place falling into a tie with Salem-Keizer (20-14) and Hillsboro (20-14) with four games left in the season.
At the Plate: Boise had 11 hits as Shawon Dunston (.293), Daniel Lockhart (.296) Kevin Encarnacion (.368), and Carlos Penalver (.266) all had two hits. Penalver and Dunston each scored twice and Encarnacion knocked on four runs, two coming on his 7th homer of the season. Lockhart added two RBI while Cael Brockmeyer (.293) had the final RBI.
On the Mound: Paul Blackburn (2-3 3.33 ERA) lasted three innings allowing five runs, one earned, on four hits and three walks. The 2012 first-round supplemental pick fanned three.....Loiger Pardon (2-4 5.87) had a rough night taking the loss. He surrendered five earned runs on five hits and three walks....Tyler Bremer (0-3 2.22) was impressive fanning five Volcanoes in 2.2 perfect innings...Eduardo Orozco (0-1 4.15) pitched the ninth with two strikeouts.
Hawks Notes: The Cubs have sent OF Jeffrey Baez, 19, from Mesa in the AZL to Boise. Baez hit .287/.357/.384 in 45 games in the AZL with 25 SB. Baez fanned in both plate appearances...... Hawks catcher Cael Brockmeyer saw his first game action since Aug. 18.
Arizona Rookie League—Cubs 8, Diamondbacks 1
The Cubs (27-28) closed the Arizona Rookie League on a high-note beating the Diamondbacks (29-27) in the season finale.
At the Plate: Luis Valbuena (.714) may be headed back to Wrigley Field after the third baseman went 3-4 with a double and a RBI. Follow ‘rehabber’ OF Ryan Sweeney (.286) was 2-4 with two runs and a RBI. Tyler Alamo (.111) ended his first pro season on a positive note with a two-run single in the ninth. Albert Mineo (.222) drove in a run with a single in his only at-bat.
On the Mound: Trevor Clifton (0-0 6.97 ERA) made his first pro start Thursday night in the final game of the season for Mesa. Clifton, a 12th round pick who signed an over slot bonus instead of attending Kentucky University, has had a roller coaster season in his eight games. Four of his outings have been scoreless (5 IP) but the right-hander has yielded eight earned runs in 3.1 frames with 5 BB. In the season finale, Clifton worked two scoreless innings limiting the D-backs to two singles with three strikeouts..... Rafael Dolis (0-0 0.00) continued his rehab working a 1-2-3 third....Juan Francisco (0-1 6.39) walked the bases loaded in the fourth before giving way to Ethan Elias (2-1 5.71), who went 1.1 innings. Elias allowed a hit with two strikeouts to earn the win.....Luis Villalba (1-2 2.52) allowed a run on on a hit and Josh Davis (3-1 4.50) tossed a scoreless inning. Tyler Ihrig (2-0 0.72) closed out the AZL season for Mesa retiring the final six hitters, three on strikeouts.
August 29 Cubs minor league box scores