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September 15 Game Notes: Iowa Cubs vs. St. Paul Saints

September 15, 2023 - International League (IL)
Iowa Cubs News Release

IOWA CUBS (76-62) vs. ST. PAUL SAINTS (80-60)

Friday, September 15 - 7:08 PM - Principal Park - Des Moines, IA

LHP Stephen Gonsalves (0-0, 5.25) vs. RHP Blayne Enlow (2-5, 8.01)

TONIGHT'S GAME: After back-to-back wins, Iowa will look to earn at least a series split in game four of their six-game series tonight against St. Paul. The I-Cubs will send Stephen Gonsalves to the mound set to make his fourth start in his last five games. Tonight will be Gonsalves' ninth game of the season with Iowa and through his first eight, he is 0-0 with a 5.25 ERA. The southpaw has allowed seven earned runs on six hits and 13 walks while striking out 20 batters over his 12.0 innings pitched. This will be the first time this season Gonsalves has faced the Saints. On the other side, Bryce Enlow will toe the rubber for St. Paul, ready to make his 11th start in his 14th game the year. The right-hander enters play tonight with a 2-5 record and a 8.01 ERA, allowing 35 earned runs on 46 hits while walking 19 batters compared to 39 strikeouts in 39.1 innings pitched. Opponents are hitting .297 against Enlow in his 13 games with St. Paul, while eight of the 46 hits he has allowed have gone for home runs. In one start against Iowa this year, he suffered the loss, allowing four earned runs on six hits including two home runs, walking one while striking out four over 5.0 innings pitched.

FIND THE ZONE: Tonight's starter Stephen Gonsalves has been difficult for opposing teams to hit in his eight games with Iowa this season. The southpaw has allowing just six total hits in his 12.0 innings pitched, limiting opponents to just a .150 batting average against him. Over those 12.0 innings, he has also struck out 20 batters, fanning 37% of the 54 batters he has faced. Despite those numbers looking good, Gonsalves is 0-0 with a 5.25 ERA, allowing more earned runs (7) than total hits (6). The lone struggle the southpaw has had has been control, as he has walked 13 batters in his 12.0 innings pitched. Out of the 265 pitches Gonsalves has thrown for Iowa this year, 119 of them have not been strikes, good for 45%.

MERVIS' EXTRA BASES: It was two doubles and a home run for Matt Mervis yesterday. The first baseman started the game off with a two-run home run in the first inning. In his second at-bat, Mervis crushed a double off the left-center field wall. His two quick extra-base hits brought the potential for a cycle needing just a single and triple. In his third at-bat, he roped a ball down the line to the right field corner but stopped at second. He hit by a pitch and retired in his final two plate appearances, finishing the day 3-for-4 with three runs, two doubles, a home run and two RBI. The lefty's first inning home run was his 20th of the season, he is tied for third on the team in homers this season. His two doubles brought his season total to 21 which is also tied for third among Iowa's season roster. Adding on one triple on the season, Mervis owns an extra-base hit total of 42. Last season, Mervis collected 31 extra-base hits with Iowa.

WINDHAM'S ROLLING: Bryce Windham leads Iowa's active roster with a .307 batting average, and he enters tonight on a season-long seven-game hitting streak that started on August 30. In that stretch, Windham has gone 10-for-28 (.357) with three runs, two RBI and two stolen bases. This streak includes three two-hit games. The seven-game streak is tied for the eighth longest active streak in the International League. It matches his career-long streak which he previously accomplished from June 5 to August 12, 2021, when he played for Advanced-A South Bend. Out of Windy's 55 games this season, there have been just 16 in which he hasn't recorded a hit. He's recorded 15 mutli-hit games, including one three-hit game on July 20.

REDEMPTION FOR RILEY: Riley Thompson earned the win for the I-Cubs yesterday afternoon. He spun 5.0 innings, allowing just one run on four hits. He struck out five hitters and walked just one. That marks back-to-back starts where Thompson has struck out five batters. It was Thompson's first win since June 16 and just his third of the season. The righty's eight losses are the most by any I-Cubs this season. They're the most in his professional career as well. In 2021 he suffered six losses and five in 2022. He suffered four losses in his last seven appearances. Since his last victory in June, Thompson has recorded a 5.13 ERA, giving up 19 runs in 33.1 innings. With his strong performance yesterday, he has the opportunity to finish the season on a high note with just nine games remaining for Iowa.

AGAINST ST. PAUL: With wins in back-to-back games, Iowa took a 2-1 series lead and an 11-10 lead in the season series over St. Paul. Iowa is now 5-4 against the Saints at Principal Park this year after going 6-6 in their 12 games at CHS Field. With their win yesterday, Iowa is now trailing St. Paul by 12 games all-time, at 34-46 overall. They are 14-19 all-time at Principal Park and 20-27 all-time at CHS Field.

SHORT HOPS: With his single in the sixth inning yesterday, Cole Roederer collected his first career Triple-A hit...Iowa enters tonight's game with 76 wins on the season, the most they have had in a single season since recording 80 wins in 2015; they have won 39 games at home this year and 37 on the road, losing 31 games both at home and on the road...Iowa is 6-7 in Friday night home games this year, with tonight's game being their last chance to go .500 on Friday nights at home; they are 11-13 overall on Friday in 2023...after their last two wins, Iowa has now won 17 games on Wednesday and Thursday day games this year, accounting for 63% of their 27 total wins on day games this season.

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