I-Cubs Comeback Effort Falls Short
DES MOINES - Despite a quality start from Cory Abbott in his Triple-A debut, the I-Cubs fell to the Indianapolis Indians 5-4 Thursday night.
The Indians got off to an early lead in the first, taking advantage of a one-out triple from Cole Tucker. Chris Sharpe added two more in the second with his first home run of the season, putting Indianapolis up 3-0.
The I-Cubs capitalized on Indians starter Cody Ponce's control issues in their own half of the second, taking two walks ahead of Andrew Romine, who singled and picked up his first RBI of 2021. Indianapolis tacked on an unearned run in the third, however, making it a 4-1 ballgame.
P.J. Higgins added another run for Iowa in the bottom of the inning, doubling to drive in Abiatal Avelino, who reached on a single to lead off the inning. Higgins continued his success in the fifth, when he hit a solo shot over the left field fence to bring the I-Cubs within one.
The Indians struck again in the seventh, with a pinch-hit home run from Troy Stokes Jr. off of reliever Robert Stock . The I-Cubs made a late-game comeback attempt, scoring one in the ninth on a walk and a single, but they couldn't complete the job, and the Indians took a 2-1 lead in the season-opening series.
Cory Abbott settled in after a shaky start, sending down 10 of the last 11 batters he faced and striking out eight in six innings of work.
Matt Burch made his professional debut when he entered as a defensive substitution in the eighth. He grounded out in the ninth, advancing Sergio Alcántara , who would go on to score.
Dakota Mekkes retired all four batters he faced, spinning 1.1 innings of scoreless baseball and striking out two batters.
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