Cougars' Johnson evens out, goes long

No. 7 Cubs prospect allows run over career-high 6 2/3 innings

Pierce Johnson has allowed three runs over his last 17 1/3 innings. (Paul R. Gierhart/

By Robert Emrich / Special to | May 1, 2013 9:22 PM ET

After a rough start to his season, Pierce Johnson appears to have gotten the hang of this pro baseball thing.

The Cubs' No. 7 prospect allowed a run on four hits and struck out four over 6 2/3 innings but did not figure into the decision as Class A Kane County defeated Bowling Green, 5-4, in 10 innings on Wednesday.

Johnson walked one and faced three over the minimum. He carried a shutout into the seventh inning before allowing a two-out single to Luke Maile and an RBI triple to Ryan Dunn, ending the longest start of his pro career.

The Cubs' 2012 first-round pick was shelled by Quad Cities in his season opener April 4, allowing five runs on six hits over 2 1/3 innings. In his last three starts, he has allowed three runs -- one earned -- on 12 hits while fanning 17 batters over 17 1/3 innings. Overall, Johnson is 1-1 with a 2.92 ERA in five starts for the Cougars and has not allowed a home run this season. Midwest League batters are hitting .253 against the Missouri State product.

The 21-year-old right-hander was squaring off with a Hot Rods team that entered play tied for the best record in the Midwest League at 18-6. Bowling Green had won three straight games, scoring 21 runs over that period.

No. 11 Cubs prospect Dan Vogelbach drove in two runs and smacked a walk-off single for Kane County. Over his last four games, he's driven in seven runs and the 20-year-old first baseman has a five-game hitting streak.

The Hot Rods scored three times in the top of the ninth. Joey Rickard tied the game with a two-run single off Jeffry Antigua.

Antigua wound up with his second win of the year, allowing three runs on five hits over 2 1/3 innings for Kane County.

Robert Emrich is a contributor to Follow him on Twitter @RobertEmrich. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

View More