Moises Ballesteros – Pic by Todd Johnson

The Tennessee Smokies got rained out early and that meant they were only three games tonight. Myrtle Beach hosted Columbia, South Bend hosted West Michigan, and Iowa was hosting Indianapolis.

Bonus Game of the Day

Miguel Cruz is getting to be a nice little breakout pitcher in the Dominican Summer League. The 18-year-old pitcher signed this spring threw four innings today and struck out four. He didn’t allow any runs and he has a 0.90 ERA this month in the Dominican. That’s almost unheard of in a league where everybody goes up swinging. However, if you look at his ERA last month, let’s just say it was approaching 20. So, he is turning things around and finding the zone.

There’s still no word about where Derniche Valdez is, but OF Alexey Lumpuy is getting to be quite the daily performer down in the Dominican. The outfielder from Cuba was signed late in the spring, and is now hitting .289 and is adjusting quite nicely to Dominican baseball. I wonder if he’s going to get a little stateside baseball in August or most assuredly October for instructs. The Blue team won 7 to 3 and Lumpuy went 2-for-5 with 2 RBI.

Birds Try to Restart the Fire

Luis Rujano held the Fireflies scoreless in his third start of the year. He also has a 2.80 ERA for the month as he gets stretched out to starting. Each team scored one in the fourth. The game was then delayed after five innings due to lightning. The game did not restart until 9:30 central.

When it did, Scarlyn Lebron was on the bump for the Birds for the top of the sixth. Columbia scored in the top of the seventh to take the lead. They scored again in the eighth to make it 3-1. And one more in the ninth for good measure got the Fireflies their second straight win over Myrtle Beach at 4-1.

Pics of the Day

Our own Rich Biesterfeld is in Myrtle Beach all week. Get used to shots from Rich every Daily post this week.

It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane. No, It’s Moises Ballesteros.

Cade Horton’s no-hitter, perfect game, and shutout ended quickly in the first inning against West Michigan after two singles. He would be charged with 2 more runs in the fourth after getting pulled. By the end of the fourth, it was 6-1. South Bend scored twice in the bottom of the inning on a Yohendrick Pinango triple and a Moises Ballesteros sac fly to make it 6-3. In the sixth, Moises Ballesteros doubled to bring in James Triantos. Luis Verdugo made it back-to-back doubles to close the gap to 1 run.

In the 7th, West Michigan scored another run to make it 7-5.

In the ninth, the Cubs closed it to 7-6 on a Kevin Made single. However, that’s where the rally ended.

Stat of the Day

Ballesteros, who struggled the first couple of weeks in High-A, has been turning on the jets the last three weeks.

In Iowa

Caleb Kilian got off to a good start tonight.

It did not last though as he gave up 3 runs in the second. Still, Kilian picked himself back up and wound up going 5 innings. Darius Hill hit a solo shot in the fourth to put the Cubs on the board. After a Sergio Alcantara double, Bryce Windham tripled to bring the I-Cubs within one. Nelson Velazquez tied it up with a single to make it 3-3 after four. Kilian finished the fifth to end his night. He went 5 IP with 6 H, 3 ER, and 4 Ks.

The game stayed tied at 3-3 all the way to the top of the tenth when Indianapolis hit a 2 run jack to take the lead. The I-Cubs brought the tying run to the plate in the tenth, but that’s where it ended at 5-3.

Bryce Windham went 3-for-5 on the day. He is now hitting .313 for the year. And with Dom Nunez on the IL, Bryce might be the next catcher up, even with PJ Higgins in the fold.

Good Luck to Some Former Cubs

Outfielders DJ Artis and Zach Davis were released yesterday by the Smokies along with Elian Almanzar by the ACL Cubs. Good luck to all three as they try and latch on with another team.