Marino Santy by Stephanie Lynn

Today was a nice relaxing day. Got a fantasy football draft in, mowed the front yard, sat down and watched the big league club with one eye and MiLB with the other as the 3 affiliates started at one. With Jordan Wicks, DJ Herz, and Connor Noland starting, I thought it could be a good afternoon for the system. Myrtle Beach, on the other hand, did not begin until 5:30 Central.

Iowa was the first Cubs team to get on the board as Yonathan Perlaza doubled leading off the bottom of the first. Jared Young singled and Matt Mervis hit a sac fly to make it 1-0, Iowa. Wicks was looking good today. He was not striking everybody out, but he was very efficient in the first three innings and he needed just 38 pitches to do so. In the bottom of the third, Nelson Velazquez gave Wicks a 3-run lead when Velazquez hit his fourth dinger of the week, a 2-run shot, giving him 9 RBI on the week. Iowa added two more in the third and that made it sooner than I typed that sentence, the Indians scored in the fourth off of Wicks. He got out of the inning stranding two runners.

Dinger of the Afternoon

Ryan Jensen relieved Wicks in the sixth. He had a 1-2-3 frame to keep the four run lead. Then Nick Neidert came in and pitched a scoreless seventh but then gave up 3 runs in the eighth. However, a PJ Higgins walk and a Yonathan Perlaza double put men on second and third with nobody out. After Jared Young whiffed, Matt Mervis was intentionally walked to load the bases to face the hottest hitter in Iowa, Nelson Velazquez. Unfortunately, Nelson struck out. Edwin Rios, last night’s hero, drove in Perlaza and Higgins with a single to make it 7-4. Alexander Canario then doubled and it was 9-4. Wow! What an inning! Manny Rodriguez closed it out in the ninth for the win.

Starting Pitcher of the Afternoon

DJ Herz looked decent again. He did give up a solo shot in the second as Mississippi took a 1-0 lead. Then he settled down and went 5 innings and struck out 8. Unfortunately, when he left the game, the Smokies had not gotten a hit yet. And the Smokies were hitless through six.

The Braves starter finally left after six innings. .

With one out in the seventh, Haydn McGeary ended the no-hitter with a double. Unfortunately, he was stranded there. IN the bottom of the eighth, the Smokies started off the inning with back-to-back singles from Jordan Nwogu and Andy Weber to bring up Scott McKeon who promptly tied it up at one with a single. Still no outs at that point.. PCA struck out to bring up BJ Murray who struck out as well.

 That left it up to Owen Caissie. He walked on four pitches to bring up McGeary who popped up to third to end the rally.

In the top of the ninth, Mississippi promptly put two men on with no outs. Two batters later, a pinch hit double made it 3-1. And that is how it ended.

Tough Loss

South Bend was playing again without Kevin Alcantara after his knee contusion. After a Jace Jung HR put West Michigan up in the first, Ezequiel Pagan got hit by a pitch to lead off South Bend’s first. A Kevin Made single sent him to third and James Triantos brought him in with a sac fly. Pagan had a good day later throwing out a guy at the plate. 

Connor Noland wound up going 5. He did give up a second run in the third and that was the only action for a long time until Stephen Gonsalves gave up a solo shot in the seventh. And then Gonsalves could not get anybody out. He loaded the bases. He would end up being charged with 3 runs on the afternoon.

The Cubs got back into it in the seventh when Felix Stevens singled and then Christian Franklin brought him in with a 2-run homer. Franklin has been playing pretty well since returning from a stint in the ACL. Kevin Made closed the lead even further in the eighth with a solo shot. A James Triantos single followed, then a pitching change brought up Yohendrick Pinango who walked to bring up Mr. Encindido, Moises Ballesteros. He struck out for the first out of the inning. Felix Stevens lined out and that brought up Luis Verdugo, who has been doing better of late. He flew out to right to end the rally, The Cubs could do no more in the ninth and lost 5-4.

Starting Pitcher of the Night

It did not take for the Pelicans get on top. In the bottom of the first, they used a parade (4) of singles, a walk, and two errors to score four runs. Then it was to Marino Santy to take things from there. Well, he did. In fact, he did not allow a hit in five innings of work. Along the way, he struck out 8. He threw 79 pitches, 52 for strikes.

A wild pitch in the fifth brought in another run for Myrtle Beach.

Kenyi Perez came on in the sixth to take over for Santy. And then the rains returned.

The game was called at 9 Eastern, 8 Central. W for the Birds and the losing streak is over,