The wind was blowing out to left for AAA Iowa, and the Cubs were able to take advantage. Elsewhere in the minors, Daytona finally avoided the dreaded error, and a certain slumping shortstop quite suddenly found his power.
Brett Jackson and Welington Castillo homered once a piece in the game. Not to be outdone, Anthony Rizzo homered twice. Combined, they drove in five of Iowa’s six runs.
Jay Jackson pitched five innings for the win. He struck out only four, but limited the opposition to just two runs on five hits over that span. The bullpen kept Round Rock in check until the ninth inning, but eventually Blake Parker nailed things down for his first save.
AA – Tennesse Smokies. 5 – 4
For five innings the Tennessee hitters could accomplish little against Jacksonville pitching, but thanks to Dae-Eun Rhee it didn’t matter. When the Smokies’ bats woke up in the sixth they quickly provided all the runs Tennessee would need on the way to a 4-1 run win.
Dae-Eun Rhee got the win, Ryan Searle collected a hold, and closer Frank Batista struck out three for the save. Combined, the three hurlers struck out ten and walked none.
Jae-Hoon Ha reached base three times (via a double and two walks), but it was Rebel Ridling who did the most damage. His two hits and three RBIs led the Smokies. Justin Bour also doubled in the game. Considering the Smokies only had five hits, scoring four runs is not bat at all.
Chad Noble and Arismendy Alcantara drove in half the Cubs’ runs, but they were far from the only contributors. Matthew Szczur, Nelson Perez, Greg Rohan, Rubi Silva, and Richard Jones all reached base twice and combined for four extra base hits. When the dust cleared, Daytona was an impressive 5 for 11 with runners in scoring position. Like I said yesterday, when all the pieces come together, this is a Daytona team that can win some games.
Eduardo Figueroa produced another of those low strikeout, low base runner performances that are cropping up so frequently across the farm system. In this case, his five innings of no strikeouts and four baserunners was good enough for a win. Joseph Zeller, Larry Suarez, Brian Schlitter finished what Figueroa started, although they each gave up a run in the process.
Hernandez has not had a great start in his first full season league, but on Friday he hit a double and a home run, drove in both Chief runs, stole a base, and drew a walk. I don’t think we can expect too many days quite like this from Hernandez (he isn’t exactly known for his power), but hopefully this will the game that gets the young hitter going.
Pin-Chieh Chen also had two hits.
Jose Rosario gave up four runs in his five inning start; that was enough for his first loss of the season. Bryce Shafer surrendered a run in his own two innings of work, but Jeffrey Lorick once again put up a zero.
Remember, if you make it to a game this delightful (and, perhaps, rainy) weekend, and if you take any good (or bad) pictures of that game, the Message Boards would be a great place to post them. If those pictures happen to feature frantic people running for cover from one of those freakish Midwestern thunderstorms, then I think you’ll find the Message Board is a great place for those, too.