Parker Chavers – Pic via his Instagram

The heat wave here in northern Illinois is about at an end. Storms have been rolling through since about 7:30. After three days of heat indexes over 100, we’re back to the low 80s tomorrow and Sunday. Heading into the night, I was pretty excited about some of the pitching matchups I was going to see. I figured that tonight might be Brandon Birdsell‘s last start for South Bend (fingers crossed). Tennessee was putting Kohl Franklin on the mound and he had not allowed a run all month. Grant Kipp was going for Myrtle Beach and it was unclear who was going for Iowa as Hayden Wesneski got called up to pitch in St. Louis.

The Pelicans jumped on the board first in the second with a groundout by Christian More and a 2-run single by my guy Reivaj Garcia. In the third, Andy Garriola doubled and came around to score on Parker Chavers’ second hit of the night. A few batters later, Pedro Ramirez came up with another two run single to make it 6-0. And another route was on for the Birds. They wound up winning 9-1.

South Bend jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first using Ezequiel Pagan, Kevin Made, and James Triantos singles and some stolen bases. Brandon Birdsell looked locked in from the get go. Ezequiel Pagan’s two-run single in the fourth made it 4-0. Peoria finally got on the board in the fourth with a solo dinger. Christian Franklin doubled in Felix Stevens to make it 5-1. Frankie Scalzo closed it out in the ninth as the Cubs won their fourth game in a row as they have gone from sixth place in the division to fourth in less than a week. Good thing they play for half season titles as South Bend is getting it done. They are only a game and a half back of a playoff spot now.

Coming into the night, Mr. Kohl Franklin was the leading candidate for NSB’s Starting Pitcher of the Month with his 0.00 ERA. The first started off well for him as Haydn McGeary drove a young prospect named Pete Crow-Armstrong to make it 1-0. In the bottom of the inning, Mr. Franklin struck out the side. That’ll do. Then he repeated it in the second. Unfortunately, a 2-run double in the third flipped the script. And the Trash Pandas wound up roughing up Kohl for 5 runs. The Smokies crept closer after a BJ Murray HR to make it 5-3. After the Trash Pandas made it 6-3, a Scott McKeon sac fly brought the Smokies back within 2. That deficit didn’t last long as the Trash Pandas poured it on winning 8-4.

As for Iowa, Nick Neidert replaced Hayden Wesneski as the starting pitcher and the Cubs fell behind quickly in the bottom of the first 2-0.  That’s how it stayed until a Matt Mervis single in the sixth made it 2-1. Unfortunately, Iowa’s bullpen melted down and Memphis rolled winning 5-3.

Pictures of the Day

Mesa Shout Outs

Both Matt Shaw and Josh Rivera hit their first professional homers tonight down in Arizona. Both should be in a full season affiliate on Tuesday next week. Well, to be quite frank, they actually should be there tomorrow, but that is not how it works. I am curious to see who goes where. And just so you know, Shaw played short and Rivera played third tonight.

3 Hit Club

Parker Chavers got it done today as he went 3-for-5 and Reivaj Garcia also got 3 hits again!

Starting Pitcher of the Day

Grant Kipp went 5 scoreless frames tonight in Fredericksburg and struck out 3 while only allowing 2 hits.

Sad News of the Day

OF Christian More was injured sliding into second for the Pelicans and had to be helped off the field.

Dinger of the Day

Jefferson Rojas did it again today. See above.