Some real fireworks in Des Moines today.
The Iowa Cubs split a doubleheader with the Nashville Sounds (Rangers). They lost game one 7-3. In game two, Iowa set a modern Pacific Coast League record when they scored 15 runs in the first inning and demolished Nashville 19-5.
Mike Montgomery started game one on a rehab assignment. Montgomery took the loss after allowing two runs on two hits over four innings. Montgomery walked two and struck out five. He threw 68 pitches and 39 of them were strikes.
Center fielder Ian Happ hit a three-run home run in the sixth inning of game one to account for all of Iowa’s runs in that game. Happ was 2 for 3.
Game two was one for the record books. Iowa sent 18 batters to the plate in the bottom of the first. Eleven of the runs came after two were out. The I-Cubs hit two grand slams in the first inning: the first one by third baseman Phillip Evans and the second one right fielder Johnny Field. Every I-Cub reached base at least once in the first inning.
Iowa hit two more solo home runs in this game. Catcher Ian Rice hit one in the third inning and shortstop Addison Russell connected in the fifth.
Iowa walked 15 times in this game
Evans was 2 for 2 with a double, the grand slam and three walks. He had five RBI. He scored twice.
Field went 2 for 4 with a double, the grand slam and one walk. He also had five RBI and scored twice.
Rice went 2 for 4 with a walk and the home run. He scored twice and had two RBI.
Russell was 2 for 2 with a double, the home run, two walks and a hit-by-pitch. Russell scored four times and drove in three.
Left fielder Donnie Dewees was 1 for 1 with four walks. He scored twice.
Duane Underwood Jr. was the beneficiary of all this offense. He gave up three runs on four hits over five innings. He walked three and struck out six.
The 15 runs in the first inning were the most in any first inning of a Pacific Coast League game since at least 1958. The Iowa franchise record for runs in a game is 23, so they fell short of that, but the team is still trying to determine whether 19 runs is a franchise record for a seven-inning game.
The Tennessee Smokies were swept by the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp (Marlins), 4-3. It was Tennessee’s fifth-straight loss.
Cory Abbott started and took the loss. Abbott allowed four runs on nine hits over six innings. One hit was a solo home run. Abbott struck out five and walked no one.
Third baseman Robel Garcia hit a two-run home run in the top of the ninth as the Smokies attempted a comeback. It was Garcia’s fifth homer of the season. He was 2 for 5.
Catcher P.J. Higgins was 2 for 4 with a double and a walk. He scored on Garcia’s home run.
Right fielder Roberto Caro was 2 for 4 with a walk.
Myrtle Beach Pelicans
The Myrtle Beach Pelicans were flattened by the Salem Red Sox, 15-7.
Pelicans pitchers only allowed seven runs in the first inning. However, they also allowed seven runs in the eighth inning after the Birds had cut the Red Sox lead to 8-6.
Alex Lange was the starter who got tattooed in the first inning. He struck out the first batter he faced. The next eight batters all had hits before Lange was pulled. So that’s seven runs on eight hits in a third of an inning. But Lange did not walk anyone at least.
Shortstop Aramis Ademan hit a three-run home run in the sixth inning, his second of the season. Ademan also had a two-run double in the second inning. Ademan was 2 for 4.
Left fielder Grant Fennell went 3 for 4. He had one RBI and one run batted in.
Right fielder Kevonte Mitchell was 2 for 4 with a double and a stolen base. He scored one run.
South Bend Cubs
In game one, starter Brailyn Marquez battled control issues but pitched out of trouble, mostly. Marquez allowed one run on three hits over 3.2 innings. Marquez walked seven batters and had three wild pitches. He did strike out eight.
Jeffrey Passantino pitched the other 3.1 innings without allowing a run and got the win. Passantino gave up just one hit. He struck out six and did not walk anyone.
Catcher Rafelin Lorenzen connected for a solo home run in the fifth inning, his first of the season. Lorenzen was 1 for 3.
Second baseman Delvin Zinn was 2 for 3 and scored once.
In game two, starter Riley Thompson pitched 4.1 innings and allowed two runs on four hits. He walked four and struck out two.
Ethan Roberts got the win because Thompson didn’t go five inning, but Roberts deserved it. Roberts allowed a one-out double in the sixth inning, but that was the only baserunner he allowed over the final two innings. Roberts’ line was no runs on one hit over two innings. He struck out two.
Third baseman Levi Jordan hit his first home run of the year with the bases empty in the sixth inning. Jordan was 3 for 4 with four RBI and two runs scored.
Shortstop Andy Weber had a pair of doubles in a 3 for 4 game. He scored twice.
First baseman Tyler Durna was 2 for 3 with two double and a walk. Durna scored three times and drove home two.