At the beginning of the season, I said that the Iowa Cubs and the Tennessee Smokies looked loaded for the upcoming season. So far, so good.
The Iowa Cubs exploded for ten runs tonight and detonated the Albuquerque Isotopes (Dodgers), 10-6. The I-Cubs and the Isotopes often play games like this, but this game was played in Des Moines, not the high altitude of Albuquerque.
But starter Travis Wood was solid in picking up his first win of the year. Wood allowed three runs on four hits over six innings, which is, of course, just enough to call it a quality start. Wood walked one and struck out six. With the bat, Wood hit a two-run home run as part of a six-run third inning for the I-Cubs.
First baseman Anthony Rizzo continued his torrid start to the season with two home runs. He hit a solo home run in the third inning and then followed it up with a two-run blast in the sixth. Rizzo went 3 for 3 with a walk and three RBI tonight. He scored the two times. Rizzo is now batting .474 with three home runs on the young season.
For those of you wondering how long Rizzo is going to stay in Iowa: Don't forget Bryan LaHair has looked awfully good too. It may be a while.
Third baseman Josh Vitters was 2 for 4. He scored twice and had two RBI. Second baseman Adrian Cardenas doubled and tripled in a 2 for 3 evening. He scored twice and had one RBI on a sacrifice fly.
The Tennessee Smokies sneaked away from the Chattanooga Lookouts (Dodgers), 3-2, taking the five-game series four games to one.
It was a solid start for Brooks Raley, who pitched 6.1 innings and allowed two runs on six hits. He walked one and struck out two.
Alberto Cabrera relieved Raley in the seventh with a man on third and no one out. A strikeout and a ground out got him out of the inning. Cabrera was perfect over 1.2 innings and got the win. Cabrera struck out two.
Fireman Frank Batista got his third save of the young season already by pitching a scoreless ninth. He allowed a leadoff walk but nothing else. Batista struck out two.
The eventual winning run was scored when shortstop Elliot Soto tripled home James Adduci with two out in the top of the ninth. Soto was 1 for 3 with a walk.
Center fielder Jae-Hoon Ha was 2 for 4 with an outfield assist, gunning down a runner trying to score from third on a fly ball. Left fielder Rebel Ridling was 2 for 3 with a walk.
The news isn't as good out of Florida as the Daytona Cubs lost to the Dunedin Blue Jays 8-7.
Zach Cates, the other player the Cubs got from the Padres for Andrew Cashner, had a rough Cubs debut tonight. Cates gave up two runs in the first inning and then exited after failing to retire a batter in the second inning. Cates got the loss after pitching 1+ innings and allowing six runs on seven hits and four walks. He only had one strikeout. He also made an error.
Daytona didn't give up after falling behind 6-0 in the second inning. After plating one in the bottom of the second, the D-Cubs made a game of it when third baseman Greg Rohan hit a three-run home run in the third inning. Rohan went 2 for 4 on the night with four RBIs. The news wasn't so good when Rohan was in the field, however, as he made three of the D-Cubs five errors.
Shortstop Arismendy Alcantara was 2 for 5 with a double. He scored twice.
The Chiefs allowed five runs in the top of the ninth inning and they were hijacked by the Quad City River Bandits (Cardinals), 8-3.
It was a nice start for Ben Wells. Wells pitched four innings and allowed three runs, but only one of the three runs were earned. He didn't walk anyone and struck out three.
Kyler Burke was piggybacking Wells tonight and pitched the next four innings without allowing a run. Burke allowed two hits. He walked no one and struck out three.
Bryce Shafer had a night he'd probably rather forget after he took the mound in the ninth. By the time the inning ended, he had allowed five runs on three hits, a walk and two hit batsmen. It was Shafer's first loss of the year.
Catcher Rafael Lopez was 3 for 4 with a double and a walk. The double in the bottom of the first gave the Chiefs an early 1-0 lead. Lopez did allow a run on a passed ball.
Shortstop Wes Darvill was 2 for 4 with a double.