I-Cubs Erase Deficit, Fall in Extras
SACRAMENTO, CA - In a battle of division leaders on Saturday night, the Iowa Cubs (37-32) were edged out by the Sacramento River Cats (36-32) in 10 innings by a score of 7-6. The I-Cubs erased an early 4-0 deficit but lost a couple of one-run leads late in the game.
In the first inning, Sacramento scored three early runs as the first five batters collected a hit against Matt Swarmer, who limited the damage to those three runs by striking out the side and stranding the bases loaded.
The River Cats tacked on another run with a solo home run in the third from Abiatal Avelino to take a 4-0 lead.
On the pitching side, Sacramento starter Conner Menez faced the minimum batters through three innings, but Iowa found a way to score in fourth. Mark Zagunis doubled home Ian Happ for Iowa's first run of the night. After a double from Phillip Evans, Trent Giambrone crushed a two-run homer reduce the deficit to one with Sacramento leading 4-3.
Aside from the early run surge, Swarmer settled down, allowing just two hits and an intentional walk from that point on over his 6.0 innings of work. The 25-year-old righty tied a career-high with nine strikeouts in the game.
In the seventh inning, the I-Cubs offense put Swarmer in line for the win, as Zagunis gave Iowa a 5-4 lead with a two-out double that brought in Dixon Machado and Erick Castillo.
After holding the River Cats offense without a hit from innings four through seven, a pair of two-out hits in the eighth off James Norwood tied the game at five. Norwood pitched a scoreless ninth frame to bring the game into extra innings.
To begin the tenth, the Cubs scored the automatic runner, Zagunis, on a leadoff double from Robel Garcia to take a 6-5 lead.
In the home half of the frame, Ryan Howard snuck a ball down the third base line to end the game with a two-RBI walk-off double against Randy Rosario (L, 0-1).
- With a pair of doubles, Mark Zagunis has reached base safely in all 10 games with Iowa this season. He is on a five-game hitting streak, batting at a .450 clip over that span with five doubles.
- Trent Giambrone has homered in back-to-back games. He last had home runs in back-to-back games on April 13-15.
- Connor Menez had 10 strikeouts in the game. The effort tied Zac Gallen for the most strikeouts by an individual pitcher against Iowa this season.
The I-Cubs continue their west coast road trip in Sacramento on Sunday. First pitch is set for 3:05 p.m. CT. Follow the team on AM 940, TuneIn Radio or www.iowacubs.com.
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