The Iowa Cubs were excommunicated by the St. Paul Saints (Twins), 7-5.
Iowa jumped out to a 4-0 lead in this game after scoring one run in the first inning, another in the second and two in the top of the third. The run in the first inning came after center fielder Brennen Davis walked with one out and the next batter up, DH Jared Young, doubled him home.
The I-Cubs scored in the second inning after second baseman Christopher Morel singled with one out, which was his first hit ever in Triple-A. Morel then stole second base and scored on a single by third baseman Levi Jordan.
Iowa kept up the scoring in the third when Young led off the inning with a single and right fielder Johneshwy Fargas doubled, putting runners on second and third. After a Tyler Ladendorf pop out, Morel singled for the second time tonight, scoring Young. A bunt single by shortstop Andrew Romine made the score 4-0.
Meanwhile, I-Cubs starter Matt Swarmer was mowing down the Saints hitters. Swarmer allowed only one baserunner over the first four innings, a solo home run by BJ Boyd in the third inning.
But things did not go as well for Swarmer in the fifth and sixth innings. The first two batters in the sixth tripled and then homered, which made the score 4-3. Although Swarmer retired the next three batters to end the fifth with Iowa still in the lead, Swarmer gave up three more runs in the sixth inning, two of which came on a home run by Mark Contreras, the third of the night for St. Paul. Swarmer left after 5 1⁄3 innings and with the I-Cubs trailing 6-4.
St. Paul would add another run in the seventh inning off reliever Juan Gámez while Iowa got one run of that back in the top of the eighth when pinch-hitter Abiatal Avelino had an RBI ground out. But that would be it for scoring in this game.
One bright spot for the I-Cubs was the pitching of Brendon Little. Little entered the game in the bottom of the seventh with the bases loaded and only one out. Little struck out both batters he faced to keep St. Paul from tacking on any runs. Little then pitched the eighth inning and while he did give up a two-out single, he struck out another two batters as well for a total of four strikeouts over 1.2 innings.
The final line on Swarmer, who was the losing pitcher, was six runs on six hits over 5.1 innings. Three of those six hits were home runs. On the positive side, Swarmer struck out six and did not walk anyone.
Morel was 2 for 3 with a walk and a stolen base.
Young was 2 for 5 with the double.
Romine went 2 for 3.
For the first time in Triple-A, Brennen Davis was hitless. He was 0 for 4 with a walk and three strikeouts.
The two teams will play again on Friday night in St. Paul.