July 22 Game Notes: Iowa at Columbus
IOWA CUBS (27-38) @ COLUMBUS CLIPPERS (29-37)
Thursday - 11:05 AM CT - Huntington Park - Columbus, OH
RHP Joe Biagini (1-4, 5.34) vs. LHP Logan Allen (0-3, 11.88)
TODAY'S GAME: Iowa and Columbus are set to square off for game three of the series after splitting the first two games. First pitch of today's game is scheduled for 11:05 am CT and will see Joe Biagini take the ball for Iowa against Logan Allen for Columbus. Biagini is coming off of his best start in two months, after silencing Toledo's offense one week ago, on Thursday, July 15. He will face Columbus for the first time this season and his career. Allen started the year in the majors, going 1-5 with a 9.13 ERA in seven games with Cleveland this year. Today, he will be in search of his first win of the season for Columbus, holding an 0-3 record with an 11.88 ERA in seven games with the Clippers. The lefty has gone four or less innings in four of his seven starts this year for Columbus, allowing 18 combined earned runs in those four games.
A GREAT FEELING: Trent Giambrone singled in the ninth inning last night, trying to start a comeback for Iowa. The comeback didn't evolve, as the tying run came to the plate and was retired, but for Giambrone, the single in the ninth inning was more than just a rally starter. Coming into that at-bat, the utility man was 0-for-20 with two runs batted in, two walks and eight strikeouts over his last eight games. After recording a season-long four game hit streak from July 6-9, Giambrone's bat went cold and didn't collect another hit until last night's ninth inning single.
NOT THE NORM: Columbus scored a run on Kyle Ryan last night, when Nolan Jones hit a solo home run off of the lefty. It was the first time Ryan has allowed an earned run in nine games and 10.0 innings for Iowa. Over that stretch from June 9, he allowed just three hits and four walks while striking out seven, holding opponents to just a .100 batting average against him and an on-base percentage of .206. Throwing 1.1 innings was Ryan's longest outing with Iowa since June 15, when he spun 1.1 innings against St. Paul, earning his first and only save of the season.
NUMBER ONE: Cleveland's No. 1 prospect, Nolan Jones, has proved a tough out for the I-Cubs so far this season, going 11-for-27 in the eight games he's played against them. That .407 average is far better than Jones' .204 mark (39-for-191) against the rest of the Triple-A East. On top of the average, Jones has hit for power, too, driving in six runs on six doubles and three homers. The three homers have come in his last three games against Iowa, starting with the series finale on June 13 and continuing through the first two games of the current series. Those three straight games mark the longest streak of consecutive games with a home run an opposing player has achieved against the I-Cubs yet this season.
BUILDING BACK: After a series of short outings following an injury, Joe Biagini finally provided the I-Cubs with some length in his last start. The righty completed five shutout innings against Toledo a week ago, allowing just three hits and two walks against the Mud Hens. That start was Biagini's longest since May 16, when he went five innings against St. Paul. It was also his second five-inning shutout performance this season, joining his May 11 start, which was also against St. Paul. He'll look to build on the solid outing in his start today, which will be his first career appearance against Columbus.
TWO STRAIGHT: Cory Abbott took his second loss in a row last night, after allowing six earned runs on six hits through 4.2 innings of work. The long ball got to him again, as he allowed two home runs to Columbus hitters. He has allowed at least one home run in every start but two for Iowa, and now has four starts in which he has allowed two home runs. The righty only struck out four batters, marking back-to-back games with three and four strikeouts, his lowest two marks of the year. His ERA has now risen above seven, at 7.21. The loss marked the second time this year he has lost back-to-back games, dating back to May 25 and 30 when he lost two in a row to St. Paul. His last quality start came back on June 13 against Columbus, when he threw six innings of three-run ball, striking out eight and allowing just five hits.
AGAINST COLUMBUS: Columbus evened the series at one game apiece with their win last night, and now leads the season series six games to two. They took five of six from the I-Cubs when the two teams played at Principal Park, and now have split the first two at home. Iowa has allowed the Clippers offense to score six or more runs in every game they have played this season besides one, a 9-2 victory back on June 11. Columbus is now outscoring Iowa 54-48 in the eight games the two teams have played against each other so far.
GETTING BACK: Iowa's home run lead has been held by outfielder Trayce Thompson for the majority of the season. Recently, however, fellow outfielder Michael Hermosillo hit three home runs in four games and Thompson had been struggling at the plate, allowing Hermosillo to catch Thompson and tie him for the team lead with eight. Last night, Thompson smashed an opposite field two-run blast to give Iowa a 4-0 lead in the second inning, re-taking the lead at nine home runs this year. From June 1 to June 23, Thompson played in 18 games for Iowa, hitting seven home runs over that stretch, including two in one game on June 13 against Columbus. With his home run last night, he has now hit four of his nine home runs this year against the Clippers, after hitting three in the first matchup between the two teams.
SHORT HOPS: With the loss last night, Iowa fell to 0-5 when playing on the road on a Wednesday, they are 3-4 on Wednesday's at Principal Park...each team registered 10 hits last night, making Iowa 0-5 when they have an even hit total with their opponent...last night marked the eighth multi-hit and eighth multi-RBI game of the season for Trayce Thompson.
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