When Chris Valaika singled home Matt Szczur from third base in the bottom of the ninth, the Iowa Cubs won their first game of the year, 4-3 over the Memphis Redbirds (Cardinals).
An error by the shortstop Valaika in the first inning led to two unearned runs off of starter Eric Jokisch, but that was about the only blemish on his first start. Jokisch went seven innings. He allowed six hits and just the two unearned runs. Jokisch struck out three and walked one.
Zac Rosscup entered the top of the ninth with runners on first and second and only one out, after Marcos Mateo had already blown the save. But he got out of the inning with a strike-em-out, throw-em-out double play on an attempted double steal. He then got the win when Iowa scored in the bottom of the inning.
Matt Szczur led off the bottom of the ninth with a walk, He went to second on a wild pitch and third on a Logan Watkins ground out. At that point the Redbirds went with five infielders and Valaika singled on what would have a sac fly had the Redbirds had three outfielders.
Szczur was 1 for 4 with a walk. Valaika was 2 for 4 and scored one run.
Javier Baez did not start this game. But he came on as a pinch-hitter in the seventh inning and clubbed a solo home run to left-center field. It was Baez's first hit in Triple-A, after having gone 0 for 9 with a walk to start the season. Baez stayed in the game and flied out in the eighth inning.
Left fielder Josh Vitters was 3 for 4 with a double and an RBI.
The Tennessee Smokies fell to the Pensacola Blue Wahoos (Reds) 3-2.
In his first start of the year, Ivan Pineyro took the loss after allowing two runs, only one earned, on four hits. He walked three and struck out three.
First baseman Dustin Geiger made the game close with a solo home run in the top of the ninth inning, his first of the season. Geiger was 2 for 3 with a walk.
Right fielder Jonathan Mota went 2 for 4 with the other Smokies RBI.
Kane County Cougars
The Kane County Cougars were hijacked by the Quad Cities River Bandits (Astros), 7-3.
After a shaky first inning where he walked two and allowed two runs, it was a good first start for Juan Paniagua. He pitched four innings and allowed two runs on three hits. He walked four and struck out four.
Scott Frazier, on the other hand, took the loss after a bad relief appearance. Frazier was charged with five runs in the seventh inning on two hits, two walks and a hit batsman. He only retired one batter. Two of the five runs were unearned.
The Cougars had seven hits, all singles, and no batter had more than one. Two of the three RBI were recorded on bases-loaded walks.