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boise hawks featureBoise lost last night, and Hillsboro did not. That means Boise drops to one game behind the Hops with one game to play in the first half. Since Hillsboro holds the tiebreaker against Boise, that means the Hawks cannot win the first half division title.

So far, then, despite having teams play well almost universally across the system, the Cubs have just one first half division title to their credit – the runaway win posted by Kane County in the Midwest League earlier in the summer. There still plenty of teams in a good position to push for titles in the second half of the season though. All of them, in fact. Based on overall (in the case of Iowa) or second half (in the case of everyone else) standings, the Cubs are in contention in every minor league in the United States in which they have a team.

Even better, the Cubs are doing this with prospects, not just a bunch of minor league veterans. Minor league success does not directly translate into major league success, but it is still a good sign for the Cubs and should provide future Cubs with some valuable experience on how to handle the extra pressures that can come into play as a team closes in on a division title, let alone the added pressures of the playoffs. Nothing can prepare them for the full extent of what Wrigley will be like when the Cubs are looking to lock up the division in September one year soon, but minor league experience is the next best thing.

Scores From The Weekend

Iowa
Friday – Very good pitching resulted in a 4-1 win.
Saturday – The Cubs scored all their runs in one half inning on their way to a 5-4 win.
Sunday – It took twelve innings, but Iowa lost this one 4-3.

Tennessee
Friday – A rainout on Friday…
Saturday – … setup Saturday’s doubleheader. Tennessee was swept in this twin bill, losing Game One 1-0 and dropping Game Two 5-0.
Sunday – The bats woke up on Sunday, though, and the Smokies surged to a 10-3 win.

Daytona
Friday – It took seventeen innings, but the Cubs won in dramatic fashion by a final of 11-7.
Saturday – Saturday’s game ended in regulation with a 5-3 loss.
Sunday – The Cubs beat the Cardinals affiliate in this one for a 9-1 win.

Kane County
Friday – Kane County poured on the offense in this 10-1 win.
Saturday – That offense fell short in this one, though, as they lost 4-2.
Sunday – An early lead did not last and the Cougars lost for the second day in a row. The final was 9-5.

Boise Hawks
Friday – Boise rallied late to win this one 10-7.
Saturday – They needed a couple big innings to lock up this 12-9 win.
Sunday – But the hits ran dry on Sunday as they lost 6-1.

Arizona Cubs
Friday – The Cubs lost this one 7-3.
Saturday – A run in the eighth lifted the Cubs to this 5-4 win.
Sunday – A couple errors did not help as the Cubs lost 8-2.

Performances of Note

  • [Iowa] Tsuyoshi Wada struck out 10 and allowed a run on just a walk and 3 hits over 6 innings on Friday.
  • [Iowa] Arodys Vizcaino (1 IP, 1 H, 2 K) and Armando Rivero (2 IP, 1 H, 2 BB, 3 K) both pitched well in relief on Sunday.
  • [Iowa] Kris Bryant homered on Friday (No 11 for Iowa, No 33 for the season), doubled on Sunday, and finished the weekend with 3 hits.
  • [Iowa] Javier Baez homered on Friday (his 16th), doubled on Saturday, and finished the weekend with 6 hits. He struck out once over the 3 games. In fact, for the month of July, Baez has fewer strikeouts (15) than games played (16).
  • [Tennessee] Despite the loss, the Smokies got some pretty good pitching from Pierce Johnson on Saturday. He allowed the lone run on 4 hits and 2 walks while striking out 3 over 5 innings. Hunter Cervenka struck out 2 more to finish that game.
  • [Tennessee] Jorge Soler has only two hits in his last 4 games, but one of those hits was a home run. And, in that span, he drew 6 walks against just one strikeout.
  • [Tennessee] Addison Russell hit 3 home runs this weekend, including two on Sunday. He finished the weekend with 5 hits, a walk, and just one strikeout.
  • [Tennessee] Christian Villanueva also homered on Sunday. His Double A OPS now sits at .849.
  • [Daytona] With the bullpen used up from the marathon on Friday a short start on Saturday, the Cubs entered Sunday needing innings from their starter. Felix Pena delivered by lasting 7 innings and allowing a run on 4 hits and walk while striking out 7.
  • [Daytona] That marathon, by the way, ended on a Rock Shoulders grand slam. It was his eighth home run of the season.
  • [Daytona] Albert Almora rode a 4 hit Sunday into a 7 hit weekend, one that included 3 doubles.
  • [Daytona] Kyle Schwarber picked up his first Daytona home run on Friday and finished the weekend with 5 hits and a stolen base.
  • [Daytona] Marco Hernandez doubled as part of a 2 hit Sunday. He finished the weekend with just 3 hits, but he also walked 4 times against just one strikeout.
  • [Daytona] Gioskar Amaya picked up 5 hits and 4 walks over the 3 games, and tacked on his 9th steal.
  • [Kane County] Jen-Ho Tseng pitched 6 innings of one hit ball on Friday, allowing a walk and striking out 3 in the process.
  • [Kane County] On Sunday Michael Heesch came on in relief and struck out 6 over 3.1 one hit innings.
  • [Kane County] Shawon Dunston doubled and finished with 3 hits on Friday. He tacked on another hit on Sunday.
  • [Kane County] Jeimer Candelario doubled and homered (his 4th for the Cougars) on Friday, and then doubled again on Sunday.
  • [Kane County] Cael Brockmeyer homered (his 4th) as part of a 3 for 4 Friday game, then doubled on his way to a 2 for 4 Sunday.
  • [Boise] Hawks pitching did not have a great weekend generally, but Brad Markey and Francisco Carrillo did buck that trend. Both worked in relief on Friday night. Markey struck out 4 over 2 innings, and Carrillo fanned 3 over 3.
  • [Boise] Mark Zagunis, now listed on the Boise site as a left fielder, hit 3 more doubles over the weekend.
  • [Boise] Jesse Hodges homered (his 5th), tripled (his first), doubled, and wrapped up the weekend with 5 hits.
  • [Arizona] Dillon Maples made a rehab assignment start on Sunday, and over 3 innings he allowed 2 runs on a hit and 2 walks while striking out 4.
  • [Arizona] Alberto Diaz came on in relief on Sunday and gave up 2 runs on a hit and 2 walks while striking out one over 4.2 innings.
  • [Arizona] Alex Santana, pitching in relief on Saturday, struck out 7 over 3.2 innings. His line included 2 runs on 4 hits and 2 walks.
  • [Arizona] Kevonte Mitchell went 2 for 5 with his 4th steal on Sunday, and finished the weekend with 3 hits.

Other News

  • After three hitless games, Emilio Bonifacio collected four hits on Sunday in his Double A rehab assignment. It seems likely that he’ll be moving out of Tennessee soon.
  • In Friday’s seventeen innings game the Daytona Cubs pitchers allowed 23 hits, but they got away with that in part by also racking up 23 strikeouts.

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