AZL Cubs Five-Run 8th Tops AZL Brewers at Riverview

18-year old power-hitting C-1B Kevin Zamudio (2015 IFA - Tijuana, Mexico) slugged a two-run home run over the LF fence to put the Cubs on the scoreboard and speedy Luis Ayala belted a three-run inside-the-park home run into the right-centerfield alley two outs later, as the AZL Cubs rallied to score five runs in the bottom of the 8th and defeat the AZL Brewers 5-3 in Arizona League (AZL) Opening Day action Monday night on Field #1 at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ. 

AZL Cubs LHP Yapson Gomez hurled three innings of perfect baseball in relief and picked-up the win. 

Ex-KC RHRP Aaron Crow (April 2015 TJS) pitched the first inning for the AZL Cubs (14 pitches - 10 strikes), allowing no runs and a single, with a strikeout and 1/1 GO/AO. 

19-year old RHP Erling Moreno (2013 IFA - Colombia - $650K signing bonus) was the scheduled starter for the AZL Cubs, but he ended-up piggy-backing the rehabber (Crow). Moreno worked five innings (77 pitches) and allowed three runs (two earned) on six hits (five singles and a double), no walks, and an HBP, with three strikeouts and an 8/3 GO/AO.  

Brew Crew SP Nash Walters (Brewers 2015 3rd round pick - Lindale HS - Lindale, TX) threw four innings of one-hit shutout ball with six strikeouts and Nicolas Pierre drove-in all three AZL Brewers runs with a third-inning sacrifice fly and a fifth-inning two-run double.  

Here is the abridged box score from the game (Cubs players only):

AZL CUBS LINEUP:
1. Luis Ayala, RF: 3-5 (K, K, 1B, 1B, HR, R, 3 RBI)
2. Jose Gonzalez, CF: 0-5 (F-8, 1-3, F-8, K, P-4)
3. Jhony Bethencourt, SS: 0-2 (6-3, BB, BB, 4-3, SB)
4. Gustavo Polanco, DH: 2-4 (K, 1B, L-9, 1B, R)
5. Kevin Zamudio, 1B: 1-4 (F-8, K, K, HR, R, 2 RBI)
6. Rafael Mejia, 3B: 0-4 (K, K, K, K)
7. Jhonny Pereda, C:  0-4 (P-6, F-7, E-6, 6-3, SB)
8. Yohan Matos, LF: 1-3 (E-6, BB, K, 1B, R, SB)
9. Edgar Rondon, 2B: 1-2 (4-3, 1-3 SH, 1B, BB, R)

AZL CUBS PITCHERS
1. Aaron Crow: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 H, 0 BB, 1 K, 1/1 GO/AO, 14 pitches (10 strikers)
2. Erling Moreno: 5.0 IP, 6 H, 3 R (2 ER), 0 BB, 3 K, 1 HBP, 8/3 GO/AO, 77 pitches (50 strikes)
3. Yapson Gomez: 3.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 6/1 GO/AO, 28 pitches (22 strikes)

AZL CUBS ERRORS: 2v 
1. 3B Rafael Mejia: E-5 (throwing error allowed batter to reach base safely)
2. 3B Rafael Mejia: E-5 (throwing error on infield single allowed batter to advance to 2nd base)

AZL CUBS CATCHERS DEFENSE
jhonny Pereda: 1-1 CS 

ATTENDANCE: 22 

WEATHER: Partly cloudy with temperatures 110+ 

Comments

Rough way to start the season for Mejia: 0-4, 4 K's and two throwing errors. No where to go but up from here. In Ian Happ's first two games for the Pelicans he was a combined 0-8, 4 K's and three errors (2 throwing 1 fielding). Things have improved considerably since then.

Eloy Jiminez heads to the MW League A/S break leading the league in 2B, SLG and OPS. Would like to see a few more walks (.341/.379 slash), but he's looking good.

In the Midwest League all-star game yesterday (Tuesday), Eloy hit a game-tying three-run homer in the ninth. A few batters later they took a one-run lead that held up. Gleyber needs a better second half to keep up with Eloy in the race for #1 Cub prospect.