The Iowa Cubs reduced their magic number to one with a 7-4 win over the Oklahoma City Dodgers.
Adbert Alzolay did not allow a hit or a run over the first four innings. Alzolay struck out five and walked two. He left after four innings because he wasn’t feeling well and not because of any injury. And if he can throw like this while he’s sick . . .
The Cubs pitchers had only allowed one hit before Dakota Mekkes came on to pitch in the seventh inning. Mekkes gave up four runs and the lead in the bottom of the eighth inning on a grand slam by Edwin Rios. Mekkes then got a win even he would say was undeserved when Iowa scored three runs in the top of the ninth. The final line on Mekkes was four runs on two hits and two walks over 1.1 innings. Mekkes did strike out three.
Dillon Maples walked two batters in the ninth, but they didn’t cost him as he got the save. Maples allowed no runs and no hits over one inning. He struck out two.
Trent Giambrone doubled home Robel Garcia in the top of the ninth inning to give Iowa back the lead. Two batters later, Dixon Machado made it 7-4 Cubs with a two-run home run, his 17th of the season.
Giambrone went 2 for 5 with two RBI and one run scored. Garcia was 0 for 2 with three walks and two runs scored. Machado entered the game in a double switch in the seventh inning and went 1 for 2.
Third baseman Phillip Evans was 2 for 4 with a walk. He scored one run.
Catcher P.J. Higgins went 0 for 0 with four walks and a sac bunt.
Iowa walked 12 times in this game.
Memphis won, so Iowa did not clinch their first division title since 2008 tonight. Colin Rea will pitch for Iowa tomorrow night against Oklahoma City. He’ll be looking to win a franchise-record 15th game and put Iowa into the postseason for the first time since Casey McGehee and Randy Wells were playing for them.
Travel day. They’ll finish the season with a five-game series in Mobile
Myrtle Beach Pelicans
The Myrtle Beach Pelicans were voted down by the Potomac Nationals, 9-7.
Starter Brendan Little allowed four runs on seven hits over five innings. Little struck out eight and walked two.
The Pelicans blew a 7-3 lead in this game and Jesus Camargo took the loss. Camargo faced four batters in the seventh inning. All of them reached (although one reached by an error) and all of them eventually scored. Camargo’s final line was five runs, four earned, on five hits over 1+ inning. Camargo had one strikeout and did not walk anyone.
Third baseman Cam Balego hit a three-run home run in the third inning, his 12th on the season. Balego went 2 for 5.
The “tragic number” for the Pelicans is now three with five games to play.
South Bend Cubs
The South Bend Cubs pounded the Ft. Wayne TinCaps (Padres), 13-4.
Zach Mort started and got the win. He allowed just one run on four hits over five innings. Mort walked two and struck out two.
Right fielder Nelson Velazquez had a huge night, going 4 for 6 with a triple and five runs batted in. The triple came with the bases loaded in the seventh inning and he had a two-run single as part of a six-run first for South Bend. Velazquez scored twice.
Third baseman Clayton Daniel was 3 for 5 with a walk. He scored one run and had one RBI.
DH Nelson Maldonado went 3 for 6 with a double and one run scored.
Shortstop Andy Weber was 2 for 5 with a double and a walk. He scored once.
Catcher Marcus Mastrobuoni was 2 for 4 with a walk. Mastrobuoni scored one run and drove home two.
South Bend can clinch a playoff spot tomorrow with a win and a loss by Lansing. Bowling Green also lost tonight, so South Bend are now three games back of Bowling Green for the second-half title. The Cubs still have a chance at the second-half division title with three (and four, if necessary) games against the Hot Rods this weekend in South Bend.
The Eugene Emeralds were buried by the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes (Giants), 6-5.
Starter Yovanny Cruz gave up three runs in the first inning and another one in the second and took the loss. Cruz gave up four runs, three earned on one hit over 1.1 innings. Control was the issue here as Cruz walked five and hit one batter. He struck out two.
Richard Gallardo made his Eugene debut in this game. He pitched two innings of relief and gave up one run on no hits and two walks. Gallardo struck out two.
Center fielder Edmond Americaan hit a three-run home run in the fifth inning, his third on the year. Americaan went 2 for 3 with two walks.
Right fielder Yovanny Cuevas was 0 for 2 with three walks. One of those walks came with the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth to get Eugene to within a run. Cuevas also scored once.
With the loss, Eugene has been eliminated from any chance of playing in the postseason.