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June 16 Games Notes: Iowa Cubs at Columbus Clippers

June 16, 2024 - International League (IL)
Iowa Cubs News Release

IOWA CUBS (30-38) at Columbus Clippers (29-38)

Sunday, June 16 - 12:05 PM CT - Huntington Park - Columbus, OH

RHP Riley Thompson (2-1, 6.05) vs. LHP Joey Cantillo (0-0, 3.38)

TODAY'S GAME: Iowa and Columbus are set to close out their six-game series with the Clippers leading the current series 4-1 after Iowa's victory, by a score of 3-2, in last night's contest. As for today's game, the I-Cubs will send right-hander Riley Thompson to the mound as their starter. Thompson was the starter for Iowa in the series opener on Tuesday and will face Columbus for the second time this week. In his outing against the Clippers in the series opener Thompson was credited with the loss after allowing two earned runs off three hits with two walks and three strikeouts after 4.1 innings of work. Today will mark the fifth start of the season for the 27-year-old and so far in 2024 he owns a record of 2-1 with a 6.05 ERA. In 41.2 innings pitched this season, Thompson has tallied 48 strikeouts compared to 22 walks and opponents are hitting .262 off him. The Clippers are expected to send left-hander Joey Cantillo out as their starter for the contest. Cantillo was also the starting pitcher for Columbus in the series opener and was credited with a no decision after 3.0 scoreless innings with just one hit allowed, two walks, and four strikeouts on Tuesday. Today will mark the third start of the season for Cantillo at the Triple-A level after starting the season on the injured list. In just 5.1 innings for Columbus this season the Hawaii native is 0-0 with seven strikeouts, four walks, and a 3.38 ERA.

MORE FROM MASTRO: One of the leaders on offense for Iowa during this current series against the Columbus Clippers has been infielder Miles Mastrobuoni. In last night's victory over Columbus, Mastrobuoni went 2-for-4 at the dish with an RBI and a walk. Despite only recording one RBI, however, every run that was scored by Iowa came off a batted ball by Mastrobuoni. In this series against the Clippers, the 28-year-old is hitting .381 (8-for-21), with three doubles, a home run, three RBI, and has four walks drawn compared to one strikeout to go along with two stolen bases. Before this series, Mastrobuoni had been having his struggles at the Triple-A level hitting .200 with seven doubles, three homers, and 12 RBI this season. But after five games against Columbus, he has upped his batting average by 31 points to .231, and now has 10 doubles, four home runs, and 15 RBI on the year.

KEEPING IT CLEAN: After last night, the Iowa Cubs have played five consecutive games without recording an error. This current five-game stretch of errorless baseball is the longest errorless streak of the season. The previous mark of games without committing an error was set at four games from April 19-24. Errors have been somewhat of an issue for the I-Cubs this season as they have committed a total of 59 so far in 2024. The 59 errors committed by Iowa ranks tied for the second-most in the International League and ranks tied fourth in all of Triple-A.

CLOSE CALLS: Iowa found itself in another close contest this season during last night's ballgame against Columbus. The I-Cubs were able to pull out the victory, however, which was their first of the current series against the Clippers. The final score of last night's game ended up being 3-2, which marked the 23rd one-run game that Iowa has been a part of this season. In those 23 one-run games this season, Iowa has a record of 12-11. When looking at this series against Columbus as a whole, every game has been close. Each game between the I-Cubs and Clippers this week has been decided by three runs or less and despite Iowa falling in the first four games of the series, it only lost those games by a combined nine runs.

PITCHING PERFORMANCES: The Iowa Cubs used only three pitchers in their victory over Columbus last night and the trio of Dan Straily, Edwin Escobar, and Hunter Bigge stymied the Columbus offense to just four hits and two runs. Straily started the game for the I-Cubs and finished with a final line of 5.2 innings, four hits, two earned runs, no walks, and seven strikeouts. Straily's seven strikeout performance last night set a new season-high for the 35-year-old. Escobar came on in relief of Straily and was credited with his third win of the year after tossing one of his better games of the season going 2.1 scoreless with no hits allowed and three strikeouts. Bigge, who was recently activated from the injured list, came into the game in the ninth inning and retired the Clippers in order to secure the win for Iowa and pick up his first save of the season.

AGAINST COLUMBUS: The I-Cubs and the Clippers are set to close out their series with the sixth and final game this afternoon. After Iowa's 3-2 victory last night the current series sits at 4-1 with Columbus leading. The I-Cubs and Clippers have faced off 11 times now over the course of the 2024 season and Columbus is leading the season series, 7-4. When looking at the all-time series between the I-Cubs and the Clippers, Columbus has the overall advantage leading 35-24. In games that have been played in Columbus, Iowa has a record of 11-15.

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