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Iowa Cubs Wrap: Opening Day!

Iowa falls to Buffalo in the first official baseball game of the year.

Chicago Cubs v Cleveland Indians Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images

Welcome back to the Minor League Wrap! I’ll have more to say about the Wrap and what it is for new readers on Friday when the rest of the minors get underway. But we’ve already got one game all wrapped up in Triple-A as the Iowa Cubs shuffled off to Buffalo for a day game and the first official professional game of the year in all of North American baseball.

Iowa Cubs

The Iowa Cubs fell under the hooves of the Buffalo Bison (Blue Jays), 3-2.

The Bison jumped on Iowa starter Cory Abbott early as he gave up a walk and then a two-run home run to center fielder Josh Palacios in the bottom of the first inning. Abbott struggled to find the plate in the road opener, throwing just 29 strikes over 47 pitches. He was pulled for Locke St. John with two outs in the bottom of the third inning, having reached his early season pitch limit.

The final line on Abbott was two runs on three hits over 2.2 innings. He walked two and struck out two. He also took the loss.

Meanwhile, the I-Cubs could do nothing off of Bisons starter, left-hander Nick Allgeyer. The Cubs did not have a baserunner until first baseman Jared Young walked with one out in the fifth inning. They did not have a hit until DH Trent Giambrone singled with one out in the sixth.

The Bison scored a run off of St. John in the fourth inning to make it 3-0. St. John hit a batter and then gave up a two-out, run scoring double to LJ Talley. The final line on St. John was was one run on one hit over 1.1 innings. He did not walk or strike anyone out, but he did hit two batters.

The I-Cubs got on the board in the seventh inning after Allgeyer left the game. Catcher PJ Higgins led off the inning with a walk and then scored all the way from first base on a double down the right field line by third baseman Robel Garcia. Garcia went to third on the play at the plate on his double and then scored Iowa’s second run on a ground out by Young.

The third and final hit by Iowa came in the top of the ninth inning when Garcia doubled down the right field line again with one out. He made it to third on a ground out, but after Narcisco Cook was hit by a pitch, Esteban Quiroz struck out to end the game.

Garcia had two of Iowa’s three hits. He was 2 for 4 with two doubles.

Center fielder Brennen Davis was 0 for 4 with three strikeouts.

The bright spot in the I-Cubs pitching staff was the relief efforts of Matt Swarmer, who pitched the final four innings for Iowa, allowing no runs and just one hit. Swarmer walked two and struck out three.

Iowa and Buffalo will play again tomorrow night, starting at 5:05 Central time.