Barons Roll In Peavy's Rehab Start Against Montgomery

Barons Roll In Peavy's Rehab Start Against Montgomery

Friday April 8, 2011
Posted: 10:10 p.m.

WHITE SOXBirmingham AA
Winning streaks were hard to come by for Birmingham last season. The Barons won 53 games and, for much of the year, flirted with franchise and league futility records. Yet, after defeating Montgomery for the second time in as many nights on Friday, this time by a 7-2 count, Birmingham has laid the groundwork for what could be a much more impressive season away from home.

The Barons won a league-low 23 road games in 2010 but have already won two this year and Friday night they used the long ball to get their point across. Birmingham hit three homers, including a pair in the eighth inning that broke open what had been a close game. Seth Lomans solo homer and Kenny Williams three-run shot increased the Barons lead after Josh Phegleys solo homer in the seventh snapped what had been a 2-2 tie.

Jake Peavy started for the Barons in a rehab assignment and allowed two unearned runs on five hits in 3 23 innings. He was making his first appearance since March 19 as he works his way back from rotator cuff tendinitis. Matt Zaleski earned the win, giging up just two hits over 5 13 shutout innings.

Charlotte AAA
Jeffrey Marquez has had his moments during the previous two seasons while pitching for Charlotte but very few were as impressive as the effort he put forth Friday night in a 5-0 victory over visiting Norfolk.

Marquez tossed six shutout innings, striking out six and allowing only three hits as the Knights won for the second time in as many outings. The performance was a fine way to start the season, erasing the sour note on which Marquez ended his 2010 season. The right-hander won eight games for the Knights last year but was 0-5 with a 5.97 ERA in his last eight starts.

Anthony Carter and Josh Kinney combined to toss three shutout innings in relief.

Gookie Dawkins had three hits, including a homer and three RBIs, giving him a pair of homers and four RBIs through two games. Stefan Gartrell also had a homer and two RBIs to help make a winner of Marquez.
Winston-Salem A
Ron Rivas RBI single in the bottom of the 10th capped a two-run rally and lifted Kinston to a 7-6 victory over Winston-Salem in the season-opener for both teams at Grainger Stadium.

Jared Mitchells RBI single in the top half of the inning had given the Dash a 6-5 lead but an Adam Abraham double combined with Kyle Davis throwing error knotted the score at 6-6 and set the stage for Rivas game-winning hit.

Mitchell was seeing his first game action since 2009. He suffered a severe ankle injury during Spring Training in 2010 that kept him sidelined for the entire season. Mitchell finished with two hits, including a triple, and two RBIs. Ian Gac had a homer and drove in two.

Brandon Kloess was tagged with the loss, allowing both runs. Terry Doyle started and allowed a run in four innings while striking out eight.
Kannapolis A
The Intimidators game against Lakewood was postponed until Saturday because of rain. The game will be made up as part of a Saturday doubleheader beginning at 4:05. Both games will be seven innings.

CUBSTennessee AA
The Smokies put on another hitting clinic Friday night, pounding out 15 more hits en route to another victory at Chattanooga, this one coming by a 6-3 margin. Tennessee has 32 hits in its two victories.

Brett Jackson, Rebel Ridling and Josh Vitters two RBIs each had two more hits while Blake Lalli picked up three hits. It was enough to give Marco Carillo the victory after he pitched a scoreless inning of relief. Rafael Dolis started and left allowing a run on two hits and two walks in four innings.
Iowa AAA
Matt Camps two-run double highlighted a three-run eighth inning as Iowa edged by Round Rock, 6-4, at the Dell Diamond Friday night.

Lou Montanez picked up an RBI single to cap the rally leaving the I-Cubs pen to hold off the Express, which did manage to tack on an eight-inning run. The double was one of two for Camp. Bobby Scales also had a pair of doubles.

Austin Bibens-Dirkx started and allowed three runs on six hits over six innings. He struck out six and didnt walk a batter. Despite allowing a run in 1 13 innings, Chris Carpenter picked up the victory in relief.

In other news, the Cubs recalled RHP Jeff Stevens, who will replace Randy Wells after he was placed on the disabled list. LHP Polin Trinidad will join Iowa from Double-A Tennessee and pitch out of the bullpen.

Daytona A
The Cubs connected for a pair of first-inning homers Friday night and romped by Brevard County, 7-3, at Jackie Robinson Stadium.

Justin Bours three-run shot gave Daytona the early lead after the Manatees had taken a 1-0 lead in the top half of the inning. Wellington Castillo followed with a double before Mike Burgess went deep for the second consecutive evening. The Cubs tacked on runs in the fifth and seventh innings as Jae-Hoon Ha picked up a pair of hits, scored twice and drove in a run to contribute to the offensive outburst.

Nick Struck allowed one unearned run over five innings to pick up the victory. He was 1-2 in three outings for Daytona last season after winning eight games in Peoria.
Peoria A
The Chiefs split a pair of games with Cedar Rapids, dropping the completion of Thursdays season-opener, 7-3, before taking the regularly scheduled contest, 8-2.

The Kernels scored five ninth-inning runs to break open what had been a 2-2 game when the rain forced play to be halted Thursday evening. Jeff Antigua allowed all five runs on four hits and a walk.

The Chiefs rallied in the nightcap, jumping out to a 5-0 lead and tacking on three runs in the eighth as Cedar Rapids struggled to find its offense. The Kernels managed only three hits, none of which came off starter Austin Kirk, who tossed four no-hit innings though he did walk a pair. Kirk, a third-round pick in 2009, was 1-1 in three relief appearances for the Chiefs last year.

Juan Serrano earned the win, allowing a run on one hit in three innings. Elliott Soto had three hits for the Chiefs while Rubi Silva drove in a pair.

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

Fast Break Morning Update: White Sox, Cubs both drop series openers

Fast Break Morning Update: White Sox, Cubs both drop series openers

Here are some of Monday's top stories in Chicago sports:

Preview: Cubs look to bounce back vs. Giants tonight on CSN

White Sox fall to Diamondbacks in series opener

Cubs can't complete another miracle comeback against Giants bullpen

Should Blackhawks' next assistant coach be Joel Quenneville's choice?

How Bears are using veteran videos to school rookies on NFL way

Luis Robert the latest high-end acquisition for White Sox

For Joe Maddon, Cubs winning World Series came down to Giant comeback in SF and avoiding Johnny Cueto in elimination game

Carlos Rodon 'getting closer' but still without time frame for return

Have the Cubs found their new leadoff hitter in Ben Zobrist?

MMQB's Peter King's thoughts on Trubisky, Howard, White and the Bears offense

Theories on why Cubs haven’t played up to their defensive potential yet

Theories on why Cubs haven’t played up to their defensive potential yet

“That’s what we’re supposed to look like,” Joe Maddon said Monday night after a 6-4 loss where the San Francisco Giants scored the first six runs and Wrigley Field got loudest for the David Ross “Dancing with the Stars” look-in on the big video board, at least until a late flurry from the Cubs.

But for a manager always looking for the silver linings, Maddon could replay Addison Russell’s diving stop to his right and strong throw from deep in the hole at shortstop to take a hit away from Christian Arroyo. Or Albert Almora’s spectacular flying catch near the warning track in center field. Or Anthony Rizzo stealing another hit from Brandon Belt with a diving backhanded play near the first-base line.

The highlight reel became a reminder of how the Cubs won 103 games and the World Series last year – and made you wonder why the 2017 team hasn’t played the same consistently excellent defense with largely the same group of personnel.

“Concentration?” Jason Heyward said, quickly dismissing the theory a defensive decline could boil down to focus or effort. “No shot. No shot. It is what it is when it comes to people asking questions about last year having effects, this and that. But this is a new season.

“The standard is still high. What’s our excuse? We played later than anybody? That may buy you some time, but then what?

“The goals stay the same. We just got to find new ways to do it when you have a different team.”

FiveThirtyEight.com, Nate Silver’s statistical website, framed the question this way after the Cubs allowed the lowest batting average on balls in play ever last season, an analysis that goes all the way back to 1871: “Have the Cubs Forgotten How to Field?”

Even if the Cubs don’t set records and make history, they should still be better than 23rd in the majors in defensive efficiency, with 37 errors through 43 games. The Cubs have already allowed 28 unearned runs after giving up 45 all last season.

“We just got to stay on it and keep focusing and not let the miscues go to our head,” Ben Zobrist said. “We just have to keep working hard and staying focused in the field. A lot of that’s the rhythm of the game. I blame a lot of that on the early parts of the season and the weather and a lot of difficult things that we’ve been going through.

“If we’re not hitting the ball well, too, we’re a young team still, and you can carry that into the field. You don’t want to let that happen, but it’s part of the game. You got to learn to move beyond miscues and just focus on the next play.”

Heyward, a four-time Gold Glove winner, missed two weeks with a sprained right finger and has already started nine times in center field (after doing that 21 times all last season). Zobrist has morphed back into a super-utility guy, starting 16 games at second base and 15 in two different outfield spots.

[MORE CUBS: Have the Cubs found their new leadoff hitter in Ben Zobrist?]

Maddon has tried to drill the idea of making the routine play into Javier Baez’s head, so that the uber-talented second baseman can allow his natural athleticism and instincts to take over during those dazzling moments.

The Cubs are basically hoping Kyle Schwarber keeps the ball in front of him in left and setting the bar at: Don’t crash into your center fielder. Like Schwarber and Almora, catcher Willson Contreras hasn’t played a full season in The Show yet, and the Cubs are now hoping Ian Happ can become a Zobrist-type defender all over the field.

“I’m seeing our guys playing in a lot of different places,” Heyward said. “It’s not just been penciling in every day who’s going to center field or right field or left field. We did shake things up some last year, but we did it kind of later in the season. We had guys settle in, playing every day. This year, I feel like we’re having guys in different spots.

“It’s May whatever, (but) it seems like we haven’t really had a chance to settle in yet. Not that we’re procrastinating by any means, but it’s just been a lot of moving pieces.”

The Giants won World Series titles in 2010, 2012 and 2014 with a formula that incorporated lights-out pitching, airtight defense and just enough clutch pitching. The Cubs are now a 22-21 team trying to figure it out again.

“Defense comes and goes, just like pitching,” said Kris Bryant, the reigning National League MVP, in part, because of his defensive versatility. “I feel like if you look at last year, it’s kind of hard to compare, just because it was so good. We spoiled everybody last year. Now we’re a complete letdown this year.”

Bryant paused and said: “Just kidding. Different years, things regress, things progress, and that’s just how it goes sometimes.”