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September 18 Game Notes: Iowa at Omaha

September 18, 2021 - Triple-A East League (AAA East) - Iowa Cubs News Release


Saturday - 7:05 PM - Werner Park - Papillion, NE

LHP Luis Lugo (1-3, 5.04) vs. LHP Jake Kalish (2-5, 6.75)

TONIGHT'S GAME: After officially winning the series with an extra-inning win in game four last night, Iowa will go for their season-long fifth straight win tonight against Omaha. Tasked with keeping the streak alive for Iowa will be lefty Luis Lugo, facing off against fellow southpaw Jake Kalish for the Storm Chasers. Despite not getting a decision in his first start against Omaha, Lugo threw the ball well, tossing five innings of one-run ball. The lefty allowed three hits and two walks while striking out four back on August 26, and will look to repeat that effort tonight. Kalish has also had success in his matchups against Iowa, going 2-0 in eight total games. He is set to make his fourth start tonight, looking to add to his success. The southpaw has allowed 11 earned runs on 18 hits including three home runs over his 21.1 innings against the I-Cubs, walking seven compared to 28 strikeouts over that span. In his eight games, Iowa is hitting just .222 against him.

UNSTOPPABLE: Brennen Davis has been with the Iowa Cubs for just four days, but he's already made an impact. The Cubs No. 1 prospect has reached base safely at least twice in all four of the games he's played with the Triple-A club so far, including two-hit games in each of the first three. Last night marked the first game Davis has played for Iowa where he did not collect multiple hits, but the fifth-inning single he did record was enough to extend his hitting streak to four games. That makes him the sixth I-Cub this year to kick off his Iowa season with a hitting streak at least that long. A hit in tonight's game would make him the fourth I-Cub to collect hits in at least his first five games with Iowa this season, and one more would tie him with Trent Giambrone for the longest streak this season at six games. Through his first four Triple-A contests, Davis is 7-for-17 with three home runs, two walks, five RBI, and five runs scored. All of that is good for a .412 average and an OPS of 1.415 with Iowa.

BUCK THE TREND: It wasn't looking good for Iowa early last night, falling behind 3-0 and being three-hit through six innings, but they kept battling. The I-Cubs scored two in the seventh and one in the eighth to tie the game, before winning it in 12 innings. The win brought their record to 7-50 on the year when trailing after seven innings, and 5-4 when tied after eight. They are now just 15-47 when their opponent scores first, and 15-18 in one-run games. It marked their 13th win when they get a quality start, just one game above the .500 mark at 13-12. They are one game above the .500 mark in extra-inning games as well now, moving to 6-5 with last night's win. Iowa also improved to 7-2 on the road in the month of September, including wins in all four games so far at Werner Park. They are just 1-5 at home however, good for an 8-7 overall record in the month.

AIRTIGHT: At 12 innings, last night's game tied for the longest Iowa contest this season, and though Joe Biagini logged a six-inning quality start, that still left six innings up to the bullpen. Fortunately, they were up to the task. While Iowa's offense slowly mounted their comeback in the late innings, Blake Whitney and Jason Adam kept Omaha's offense in check. The two of them combined for two hitless, scoreless innings with zero walks and four strikeouts. With the game tied in the ninth, Ethan Roberts took over and was just as effective. He sent the Storm Chasers down one-two-three to send the game to extras and then held them scoreless in the tenth by stranding the bases loaded. Juan Gamez was given the eleventh, and he, too, stranded two runners to keep Iowa's hopes alive. Though he did eventually allow two runs to score in the twelfth, Iowa's lead was enough to carry them through, and Gamez was awarded the win. In their six innings of work, Iowa's bullpen combined for just one earned run on three hits, two walks, and eight strikeouts.

ONE WAS ALL IT TOOK: Iowa did not hold a lead all night last night until the final inning, when Taylor Gushue delivered with possibly the biggest hit of his season. Gushue stepped to the plate for his first at-bat of the game in the top of the 12th inning with one out and the bases loaded. The catcher delivered with a bases-clearing double, giving Iowa a 6-3 lead, leading to their 6-5 win to take the series over the Storm Chasers. The three runs driven in marked his 10th multi-RBI game of the year, and first since driving in two on September 5 against the Indianapolis Indians. In 74 games with the I-Cubs, Gushue now has 14 doubles and 39 runs batted in, good for second on the active roster, behind Abiatal Avelino with 45 RBI.

A NIGHT FOR THE RECORD BOOKS: With their 6-5 win in 12 innings last night, Iowa finally got to 50 wins this year, moving to 50-68 on the season. There are now just four teams in the Triple-A East that haven't gotten to the 50-win threshold. Rochester, Syracuse, Norfolk and Charlotte are all short of the mark, but now that Iowa has hit 50 wins, all seven teams in the Midwest division are above the threshold. Their 50th win of the year was also the longest game of the year, going four hours and 20 minutes, surpassing their previous season-long three hour and 57 minute game back on August 18 against St. Paul. Last night tied their longest game in terms of innings played with 12, matching their game on July 1 against Indianapolis.

AGAINST OMAHA: Iowa closed the gap on the season series and took a one-game lead when they face-off against Omaha at Werner Park this year. With their 6-5 win last night, Iowa moved to 9-7 at Werner Park this year and 16-18 overall against the Storm Chasers. In their 34 games played this year, Omaha is out-scoring Iowa by just six runs, 189-183, while leading Iowa in the season series in home runs (66-41) and stolen bases (51-29), while the I-Cubs lead the Storm Chasers in team batting average (.251-.248) and doubles (50-44).

WHAT A STORY: Reliever Jason Adam returned to the mound last night for Iowa after suffering a significant leg injury earlier in the year. Adam pitched in nine games with Chicago and three games with Iowa earlier this year before his freak injury in batting practice at Principal Park. He was then placed on the injured list May 24 and designated for assignment by Chicago on May 25. On May 26, he was released, but re-signed on July 12, getting assigned to the ACL Cubs. After three outings with the Arizona Complex League Cubs, Adam got assigned back to the Iowa Cubs on September 16. Last night, he made his first appearance since May 19, also against the Storm Chasers. He threw a perfect inning last night, striking out two of the three batters he faced along the way.

SHORT HOPS: Iowa's win last night guaranteed them a series win for the first time since August 10-15 when they took four-of-six from the Storm Chasers...with a win tonight, Iowa would set their season long for a winning streak with five straight games.

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