Cubs Capitalize on Early Lead, Win 5-2
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - The division-rival Iowa Cubs topped the Memphis Redbirds, 5-2, on Monday night at AutoZone Park in the third game of a four-game series.
Cubs first baseman Brad Nelson went 2-for-4 with a home run and two RBIs. Brian Bogusevic and the rehabbing Ian Stewart each added doubles.
Iowa starter Brooks Raley (2-2) earned the win, giving up two runs on five hits and a pair of walks in 5 1/3 innings. Blake Parker converted his second save after stranding the tying run at the plate.
Outfielder Justin Christian and second baseman Kolten Wong both had two hits for Memphis. Brock Peterson snapped a season-best eight game hitting streak with an 0-for-3 night.
The Cubs quickly jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning against Redbirds starter Seth Maness. Doubles by leadoff hitter Logan Watkins and Stewart accounted for the Cubs' first run. Bogusevic followed by beating out a softly hit infield RBI single to score Stewart.
Raley helped his own cause in the fifth, reaching on a single to lead off the inning. The pitcher moved to second on a walk, advanced to third on a deep fly ball, and scored on a sacrifice fly by Stewart.
After a Bogusevic leadoff double in the next inning, Nelson crushed his third homer of the season into the Redbirds bullpen in left center for a 5-0 advantage.
The Redbirds plated their two runs in sixth inning. With the bases loaded and one out, shortstop Ryan Jackson worked a walk to force Christian home from third. Two batters later, Chad Huffman brought home the second run on an infield single, which was Memphis's 21st of the young season.
Maness (2-2) surrendered five runs on eight hits in six innings for the loss. He walked one and struck two in 88 pitches (64 strikes). Maness has pitched at least six innings in all four of his outings.
Nick Greenwood pitches two scoreless innings in relief. Keith Butler worked around two walks for a shutout ninth frame.
The Redbirds and Cubs wrap up their series at 2:02 pm CT on Thursday afternoon. Right-hander Michael Wacha (2-0, 2.25) takes the mound for Memphis against right-hander Nick Struck (0-1, 6.00).
Baseball returns to AutoZone Park on Tuesday, May 7, when the Redbirds open an eight-game homestand against the Sacramento River Cats (Triple-A Athletics) and Fresno Grizzlies (Triple-A Giants).
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