On The Farm: Charlotte wins a tight one

On The Farm: Charlotte wins a tight one

Monday, Aug. 2, 2010
11:30 PM
By Kevin Czerwinski
CSNChicago.com

WHITE SOX
Charlotte (AAA)
Robert Hudsons leadoff homer to left in the eight inning propelled Charlotte to a 2-1 victory over Rochester Monday night at Knights Stadium.

The Red Wings had taken a 1-0 lead in the sixth before Charlotte tied it in the bottom of the inning on a Luis Rodriguez homer. It was his 14th homer and second in as many days and his ninth since July 16.

Brandon Hynick started and had a nice bounce-back effort, allowing a run in six innings. He had allowed 19 runs in his first 23 Triple-A innings. Hynick didnt get the decision, though, that went to Jon Adkins, who pitched two scoreless innings.

Winston-Salem (A)
Jon Gilmore continued his tear through the Carolina League Monday night as Winston-Salem rebounded from a bad weekend against Myrtle Beach with an 8-3 victory over Wilmington.

Gilmore had a pair of doubles with two RBIs and is hitting .400 (16-for-40) over his last 10 games, raising his average to .336. Seth Loman added a homer and two RBIs to make a winner of Nate Jones (8-4). He picked up his first victory since July 4 after allowing three runs in six innings.

Kannapolis (A)
The second through sixth hitters each collected a pair of hits for Kannapolis on Monday night in what turned out to be a 7-4 victory over Greensboro at Fieldcrest Cannon Stadium.

Nick Ciolli did the most damage with his two hits, connecting for a homer and driving in four. Tyler Saladino (three runs), Ian Gac, Brady Shoemaker and Kyle Colligan also had two hits apiece.

Cameron Bayne picked up his second consecutive victory after allowing two runs in seven innings.

In other action, Bristol managed only two hits and dropped a 1-0 decision to Burlington. Jordan Keegan got both the hits, extending his hitting streak to seven games. Brandon Tripp scored on a Henry Mabee wild pitch in the 10th inning, giving Jacksonville a 5-4 victory over Birmingham. Sal Sanchez had two hits, including a homer, and three RBIs.

CUBS

Daytona (A)
The Cubs saw their winning streak reach 14 games Monday evening when they topped Bradenton in the opener of a doubleheader, 2-1. The streak came to an end, however, when Dayton dropped the nightcap, 4-3, at Jackie Robinson Stadium.

Daytona managed only two hits in the opener but pushed across the winning run in the eight when Smailey Borges scored on a wild pitch. DJ Lemahieu and Mark Reed had the hits while Alex Maestri picked up the win after pitching three scoreless innings.

Chris Siegfired took the loss in the nightcap, allowing three runs on five hits in two innings. LeMahieu added two more hits and a pair of RBIs. LHP Chris Rusin was promoted to Tennessee while RHP Oswaldo Martinez was sent down from Tennessee. RHP Robert Whitenack was promoted from Peoria and player coach Matt Matulia was deactivated.

Iowa (AAA)
Austin Bibens-Dirkx overcame a shaky start on Monday to help lead the I-Cubs past Oklahoma City, 5-3, at AT&T Bricktown Ballpark.

Bibens-Dirkx (3-0) allowed three first-inning runs before settling in. He would last five innings, striking out four before a trio of relievers took care of Oklahoma City. Welington Castillo and Jason Dubois each homered for the I-Cubs.
In other action, Peoria dropped a 7-5 decision at Beloit. Brett Wallach made his Chicago debut and allowed five runs on seven hits in 4 13 innings to take the loss. Matt Cerda had a pair of hits and two RBIs while Matt Szczur had a hit in what could have been his final game for the Cubs. Outfielder Franscisco Guzman was placed on the disabled list. The AZL Reds scored three times in the 12th inning and bested the Cubs, 6-4. Ryan Hartman started and tossed two scoreless innings. He has yet to yield an earned run in six innings this year. ... Craig Albernaz's RBI single in the 10th inning gave Montgomery a 4-3 victory over Tennessee. Matt Spencer had four hits for the Smokies.

Kevin Czerwinski can be reached at ktczerwinski@gmail.com.

Preview: Cubs-Giants Thursday on CSN+

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Preview: Cubs-Giants Thursday on CSN+

The Cubs take on the San Francisco Giants on Thursday, and you can catch all the action on CSN+. Coverage begins with Cubs Pregame Live at 6:30 p.m. Then catch first pitch with Len Kasper and Jim Deshaies. Be sure to stick around after the final out to get analysis and player reaction on Cubs Postgame Live.

Thursday’s starting pitching matchup: Mike Montgomery vs. Jeff Samardzija

Click here for a game preview to make sure you’re ready for the action.  

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— Channel finder: Make sure you know where to watch.

— Latest on the Cubs: All of the most recent news and notes.

— See what fans are talking about before, during and after the game with Cubs Pulse.

Eloy Jimenez and Ian Happ headline Cubs prospects ticketed for Arizona Fall League

Eloy Jimenez and Ian Happ headline Cubs prospects ticketed for Arizona Fall League

Eloy Jimenez and Ian Happ will headline the group of seven Cubs prospects ticketed for the Arizona Fall League.

As the Cubs project their next wave of talent, Jimenez is thought to be close to untouchable after a breakout performance at the All-Star Futures Game and a Midwest League MVP season at Class-A South Bend.

Jimenez – who originally signed out of the Dominican Republic and got a $2.8 million bonus in the summer of 2013 – is hitting .331 with 14 homers and 81 RBI through 111 games with the South Bend Cubs. At the age of 19, the dynamic outfielder reminds the Cubs a little bit of Kris Bryant during his freshman year at the University of San Diego with that 6-foot-4, 205-pound frame and powerful right-handed swing.

Happ – the ninth overall pick in the 2015 draft out of the University of Cincinnati – is a switch-hitter (.717 OPS at Double-A Tennessee) who has tried to increase his versatility by moving between second base and the outfield and become a Joe Maddon-type player.

[SHOP: Gear up, Cubs fans!]

The Mesa Solar Sox roster unveiled Wednesday also includes Victor Caratini, an advanced defensive catcher who drew interest around the trade deadline and could be packaged in a bigger deal for pitching if Willson Contreras continues to develop behind the plate and Kyle Schwarber comes back healthy next season.

Cubs officials trying to build a pitching pipeline for Wrigley Field will also get a look at right-handers James Farris, Ryan McNeil, Stephen Perakslis and Duane Underwood Jr. in the showcase league.

Jason Hammel helps Cubs sweep Pirates and surge into September

Jason Hammel helps Cubs sweep Pirates and surge into September

Another quick hook left Jason Hammel seething over the weekend at Dodger Stadium, bringing back uncomfortable questions about how much manager Joe Maddon trusts him, and whether or not the Cubs would find a spot for him on a playoff roster.

Four days later, Pearl Jam’s “Alive” blasted from the Wrigley Field sound system as Hammel warmed up before facing the Pittsburgh Pirates, with no guarantees about October or next season.

Hammel responded with another strong start during Wednesday’s 6-5 victory, completing a three-game sweep that left the Pirates staggering in the wild-card race and helped the Cubs cut their magic number to win the division down to 16.

Outside of a few extreme lows that distorted the perception of his superb overall season – 10-run outings against the New York Mets and at Coors Field and the 39 pitches he dismissively called a side day in Los Angeles – Hammel has been an integral part of the elite rotation that pushed the Cubs to such a huge lead in the National League Central.

Now up 15 games on the St. Louis Cardinals, the Cubs surged into September with an 85-47 record, an expectation their pitching staff will get healthy and become whole again and a sense of harmony within their clubhouse.

“That’s rearview mirror now,” Hammel said, wearing a Pearl Jam shirt during his postgame press conference. “Joe and I talked it out. There’s no room for off-the-field BS or disagreements or to hold a grudge. 

“I told him how I felt. He told me how he felt and the reasoning for everything. We’re grown men. We solved it and have to respect each other’s views and opinions. To carry something like that would really mess up something special we got going on right now.”

Hammel (14-7, 3.14 ERA) shut down the Pirates for six innings, allowing only one run, scattering three hits and showing the confidence that made him an All-Star-level performer in the first half. 

Hammel regained control of his fastball, spun some curveballs and incorporated a changeup to create doubt in hitters’ minds and add a different wrinkle to opposing scouting reports. He limited the damage to one run in the fifth inning, working around three walks and screaming and flexing his muscles after striking out Andrew McCutchen swinging at a 93-mph fastball to end the threat.

“Yeah, I wanted to get back out there,” Hammel said. “The last one just didn’t sit well with me. So far, so good.”

On a night when the crowd chanted “MVP,” Kris Bryant backed Hammel by launching his 36th homer and playing Gold Glove-level defense at third base. Bryant saved a run by diving to his left to catch a Sean Rodriguez line drive and end the second inning. Bryant began the fourth inning with his answer to Anthony Rizzo’s tarp catch, leaning over the wall and into the stands to catch a Josh Bell pop-up.

[SHOP: Gear up, Cubs fans!]

But the defensive play of the night belonged to Addison Russell, who with the bases loaded and the Cubs trying to protect a 5-2 lead, raced over from shortstop and made a sliding catch near the left-field line to end the seventh inning.

“This team’s going to be really good for a long time,” said Hammel, who had been packaged with Jeff Samardzija – Thursday’s starter for the San Francisco Giants at Wrigley Field – in the Russell trade with the Oakland A’s in 2014. “These kids – I say kids now, because I can, because I’m old – they’re impressive and they continue to dazzle.

“You can’t really say surprised, because we’ve come to expect all these great plays and the big knocks that they’re driving in. We’re witnessing greatness.”

After getting 22 wins in a month for the first time since September 1945, this could become the next awkward conversation: If John Lackey (shoulder) returns to full strength – and the rest of the rotation doesn’t experience any setbacks down the stretch – what are the chances of Hammel making a playoff start?

“Stay healthy and we’ll see what happens,” Maddon said. “I don’t bet on the come. Let’s get to the playoffs first, make sure everybody’s well, and at that point then you look at the group you have. And then maybe at that point you look at the group you may be playing. And then you try to formulate the best plan of attack from your personnel versus their personnel. 

“I’ve not even thought about a playoff moment once.”

The Cubs will now have all of September to think about October.