Everyone wins today. OK, the Smokies did drop game two of a double-header. But they won game one.
The Iowa Cubs pelted the Sacramento River Cats (Athletics), 3-1.
Rodrigo Lopez started tonight and won his first game for Iowa, allowing but one run on three hits over five innings. Lopez walked one and struck out four.
Scott Maine had been hit hard in his last two appearances, but tonight he had an easy 1-2-3 inning for his second save. Maine did not have a strike out.
Iowa got on the board in the first inning with a solo home run by (who else?) first baseman Anthony Rizzo. The solo home run was his twelfth this year. Rizzo was 1 for 4.
Catcher Blake Lalli popped his third home run of the year in the fifth inning. Lalli was 1 for 4 with the one run batted in.
Shortstop Luis Valbuena went 2 for 4.
Trey McNutt started game one and gave up two runs on two solo home runs. He allowed three total hits in his five innings of work. McNutt walked one and struck out five as he picked up his first win of the year.
The Smokies pounded out 13 hits in this seven inning game, started by the Mariners #3 prospect (according to Baseball America) James Paxton. Second baseman Logan Watkins started the scoring in the bottom of the first with a two-run home run, his third of the season. Watkins went 2 for 3 with a double, the home run and two walks. He scored four times and drove four runners in.
Third baseman Junior Lake had walked to lead off the inning and scored on Watkins home run. He clubbed his first home run of the season in the third inning with the bases empty. Lake went 2 for 2 with a double in addition to the home run. Even more amazing, Lake walked three times. Lake stole one base and scored four times.
Center fielder Jae-Hoon Ha was 3 for 5 with a double. He had one RBI and scored three times, including once from second base on a sacrifice fly. First baseman Justin Bour had two doubles and a walk in a 2 for 3 game. Bour scored once and had two RBI.
In game two, Dallas Beeler allowed home runs in the first and second inning and no more runs the rest of the way. But that was enough to stick him with the loss as he gave up three runs on seven hits over seven innings. Beeler walked two and struck out three in the Smokies first complete game of the season.
Shortstop Elliot Soto was 2 for 3 with the lone Smokies RBI.
The Daytona Cubs speared the Brevard County Manatees (Brewers), 2-1.
Austin Kirk started and got his second win of the season with seven strong innings. He allowed only one run on six hits. He walked two and struck out five.
Tony Zych gave up a two-out single in the ninth, but nothing else as he notched his fourth save of the season. Zych just pitched the one inning and had one strike out.
Right fielder Nelson Perez had a two-run single in the first inning, and that was the last time the D-Cubs scored. (The one Manatee run came in the bottom of the first.) Perez was 2 for 4.
With the win, the Daytona Cubs improved their record to 14-22. That might not sound like much, but it means for the first time this season, Daytona climbed out of the basement of the Florida State League North Division.
The Peoria Chiefs smoked out the Burlington Bees (Athletics), 2-1.
Kyler Burke went at least six innings in his third straight start tonight. He gave up one run on four hits over six innings. Burke walked two and struck out four.
Austin Reed got the win with two innings of shutout relief of Burke. Reed allowed one hit but he walked three. Reed also fanned three.
Yao-Lin Wang loaded the bases with one out in the ninth, but struck out the final two batters to get his second save. After an error, Wang allowed a double (that could have been ruled an error) and then a walk to load the bases.
Both Chiefs runs tonight scored on sacrifice flies. Third baseman Anthony Giansanti was 2 for 4.