On The Farm: Iowa Stages Monstrous Rally To Retain First Place

On The Farm: Iowa Stages Monstrous Rally To Retain First Place

Thursday, Sept. 2
Posted: 9:15 a.m.
By Kevin Czerwinski
CSNChicago.com
CUBS
Iowa AAA
The I-Cubs, knowing that a loss would drop them into a first-place tie with Memphis, did what any team would do in that situation. They staged a monstrous, miraculous rally Wednesday night, scoring nine ninth-inning runs to stun Albuquerque, 15-13, at Isotopes Park.

The victory keeps Iowa a game ahead of the Redbirds with five left to play. The I-Cubs close out their series in New Mexico on Thursday before heading home for a weekend set with Memphis, essentially a four-game playoff series to decide first place in the PCL American North Division.

The rally was Iowas biggest scoring inning of the season and marked its second comeback when trailing after eight innings this week. Prior to turning the trick against Omaha on Sunday, the I-Cubs had been 0-42 when trailing heading into the ninth inning.

Marquez Smith got the ninth started with a leadoff walk and went to third on a Brad Snyder double. Jason Dubois then cut the lead to 13-9 with a three-run homer. After Bryan LaHair singled, Jon Link came on to pitch for the Topes. Bobby Scales then reached on an error and LaHair went to third on a wild pitch before Chris Robinsons double scored LaHair and put runners on second and third.

Jon Mota then whiffed but James Adduci then reached on the second Albuquerque error of the inning, bringing home Scales and putting runners on the corners. Sam Fuld then followed with an RBI single and after a double steal Smith ended the inning with a three-run homer.

The victory was Iowas franchise-record 43rd on the road this season. Justin Berg earned that win with 23 of a scoreless inning. Jay Jackson had started and got trounced, allowing nine runs on 10 hits in four innings. Austin Bibens-Dirkx 5-3, 4.14 will start the series finale. Snyder and Darwin Barney were named to the PCL post-season All-Star team.

Tennessee AA
The Smokies rallied from an early three-run deficit Wednesday night and cruised by Jacksonville, 9-4, at The Baseball Grounds.

Brett Jacksons three-run homer capped a four-run fourth inning that put the Smokies in the lead. Brandon Guyer and Russ Canzler each had three hits for Tennessee while Mark Reed had two hits and two RBIs. Aaron Shafer pitched two scoreless innings in relief of Jeremy Papelbon to earn his second victory.

Guyer, Tony Campana and Robinson Chirinos, since promoted to Iowa, were all named to the Southern Leagues post-season All-Star team.

In other action, Boise bested Spokane, 11-2. Arismendy Alcantara had three hits and three RBIs while Dustin Harrington went 5-for-5 with an RBI. Hes got 10 hits in 22 at-bats over his last four games. Great Falls squeaked by at Helena, 2-0, in White Sox farm-team action. Paul Burnside allowed three hits over six innings to earn his sixth victory and fiorst since Aug. 5.

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

White Sox offense can't stay hot in loss to A's

White Sox offense can't stay hot in loss to A's

A day after having quite the offensive party, the White Sox didn’t save any production for Friday.

The White Sox couldn’t muster any offense in a 3-0 loss to the Oakland Athletics in their series opener at Guaranteed Rate Field in front of 25,370 fans.

After recording 18 hits in Thursday’s game against the Minnesota Twins, the White Sox were held to just seven on Friday, but it felt like fewer. They went 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position.

Mike Pelfrey, who fell to 3-6 on the season, took a step back after delivering a strong performance in his last outing against the Toronto Blue Jays.

The 33-year-old struggled with his command against the A’s all night. He pitched 4 2/3 innings and issued five walks. Pelfrey also allowed all three runs on four hits and two homers.

The A’s got on the board early with a two-run shot to center field by Khris Davis. In the fifth, Pelfrey allowed another homer, a solo shot, to Matt Joyce to make it 3-0.

The White Sox bullpen staved off any further production and combined for 4 1/3 shutout innings between four relievers. But they weren’t able to generate any of their own.

Not even ejections from Tim Anderson and Rick Renteria could spark a cold offense.

The White Sox best chance came in the bottom of the ninth, where Melky Cabrera and Jose Abreu opened with back-to-back singles. After an Avisail Garcia flyout, Todd Frazier popped one over A’s first baseman Yonder Alonso, but Abreu was thrown out at second. Matt Davidson flew out to center field at the warning track to end the game.

Friday marked the start of a season-long 10-game homestand, somewhere the White Sox were happy to be after playing 15 of their last 19 on the road.

Together again: Toews, Saad expect chemistry to return quickly

Together again: Toews, Saad expect chemistry to return quickly

Brandon Saad talked to plenty of people after he was traded back to the Blackhawks. Some were now ex-teammates from the Columbus Blue Jackets. Others, soon-to-be-teammates again from the Blackhawks.

One of the first people he talked to on Friday? Jonathan Toews.

“He’s someone I talked to shortly after it happened. He’s a guy I’ve always kept in touch with, great friend,” Saad said. “To be reunited, getting that chance to play with him again, he’s an incredible player and his resume speaks for itself. I look forward to trying to rekindle that.”

The two didn’t lose touch the past two years. Now that they’ll be reunited on the ice, they hope they didn’t lose the chemistry either. Saad and Toews formed a great combination a few years ago, a steadiness that’s been missing from the top line, especially at left wing, ever since. With Saad’s return, however, the Blackhawks are looking to get that top line consistent again.

[MORE: Blackhawks trade back, select Henri Jokiharju at No. 29

Toews was at the NHL Draft on Friday night, announcing the Blackhawks’ first-round pick with Patrick Kane. The thought of getting Saad back on his left wing was appealing.

“Well there’s no doubt getting an old teammate, an old friend back, another guy who shared that same bond, friendship and having the experience of winning a Cup together with Saader. I guess there’s some reconciliation because you know what you’re getting,” Toews said. “You know what type of guy he is and how he’s going to fit into the locker room and what he’s going to bring.”

Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman said via conference call today that, while Toews and Saad had great chemistry the first time around, Saad could fit with others. It all depends on what works best.

“That’s up to Joel [Quenneville] on where he wants to use him,” Bowman said. “No doubt they had tremendous chemistry; he found a home on Jonathan’s left wing. But the one thing I’m trying to stress to everyone, even internally, is we don’t want to look backward and replicate some old formula. He’s had great success with Jonathan and if they go back to that, great.”

Toews and Saad found their niche together pretty quickly the first time around. It’s only been two years since Saad departed, so finding that chemistry again shouldn’t take long at all.

“I don’t think so,” Toews said of chemistry taking long to rekindle. “You play at that caliber you just worry about your own game. Go out there and have fun. be prepared, be ready to roll and it shouldn’t take long for things to happen out there.”