Rusin, Rizzo Help Cubs Roar Past GrizzliesMay 9, 2012 - Pacific Coast League (PCL) Iowa Cubs
The Cubs came out swinging against Grizzlies' starter Eric Hacker. Rizzo got the scoring started with a three-run homer in the first inning. The Cubs tacked on two more runs in the third. Brett Jackson tripled and scored on a base hit by Alfredo Amezaga. Amezaga moved to third on a base hit by Luis Valbuena and scored as Rizzo grounded into a double play.
The Cubs broke the game open and knocked Hacker out of the game in the fifth inning. With the bases loaded and two outs, Josh Vitters drilled a double to deep left-center that cleared the bases and extend the Cubs lead to 8-0. After a base hit by Matt Tolbert, the Grizzlies brought in Craig Whitaker. Juan Apodaca greeted him with an RBI single to cap the four-run frame.
Hacker (5-1) was charged with nine runs on nine hits in 4.1 innings and suffered his first loss in six starts for Fresno this season.
Rusin (3-2) retired the first nine batters he faced to start the game before Justin Christian led off the bottom of the fourth with a single. Rusin proceeded to pick him off first base and faced the minimum through four. Rusin worked through six innings and allowed one run on a homer by Roger Kieschnick leading off the bottom of the fifth. He allowed three hits, two walks, and struck out five.
The Grizzlies brought in left-hander Wilmin Rodriguez to pitch in the top of the sixth. With one out, Amezaga and Valbuena singled to bring up Rizzo, who blasted the first pitch he saw from Rodriguez over the wall in right for his second three-run homer of the game. Rizzo leads the league with nine home runs. Tonight was his fourth two-homer game of the season. Two batters later, Vitters belted a homer of his own to left field to put the Cubs ahead 13-1. It was Vitters' second home run of the season. Rodriguez's next pitch nearly hit Tolbert, and home plate umpire Jason Arends immediately ejected Rodriguez from the game even though there was no confrontation between the teams.
Mitch Lively pitched the final 3.1 innings on the mound for the Grizzlies without allowing another run. Esmailin Caridad, Manny Corpas, and Blake Parker each pitched an inning to finish the game for Iowa. Corpas allowed a home run to Christian in the eighth inning for the Grizzlies' second run.
The Cubs and Grizzlies this series tomorrow night at 9:05 Central Time at Chukchansi Park. Right-hander Rodrigo Lopez (0-0, 0.00) is scheduled to pitch for the Cubs against RH Andrew Kown (3-1, 2.80) for the Grizzlies. The game will be broadcast live on AM 940 with the On-Deck Circle Pre-Game Show starting at 8:45.
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