Cubs Claim Back-and-Forth Affair to Finish First Half
07/08/2012 4:12 PM ET
Des Moines, IA - Adrian Cardenas singled home the game-winning run with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning as Iowa upended Omaha, 6-5, Sunday afternoon in the last of five meetings at Principal Park. The Storm Chasers head into the All-Star break having lost their last three games, all decided by one run, two in walk-off fashion, to dip to 56-35 on the season.
Vin Mazzaro had tossed two shutout innings in relief and had retired the first two hitters in the deciding frame before Alfredo Amezaga singled and stole second base. Dave Sappelt followed with an infield hit to push Amezaga to third and set up Cardenas, who delivered the dramatic finish with a base hit to right field against his former teammate in Sacramento.
Max Ramirez doubled in two runs with two outs in the first to give the visitors the early lead and mark the fifth time in their last six games that the Storm Chasers had scored first. Kurt Mertins added to the advantage with a solo home run in the second, his second of the season.
Jim Adduci, who drove in the go-ahead run in Iowa's win on Saturday, opened the home third with a bunt base hit, stole second base and scored on a single by Amezaga to slice the deficit to 3-1. The hosts then plated a pair of runs in the fourth on a Welington Castillo ground out and a Blake Lalli sacrifice fly to get the game knotted at three.
Iowa moved in front in the fifth with a two-out rally against Omaha starter Mike Montgomery, who has gone five consecutive starts without a win. Amezaga doubled and scored on a single by Sappelt, who wound up at third base when catcher Ryan Eigsti couldn't handle the throw to the plate and then scored on a balk, the first of the year for the 23-year-old left-hander. Montgomery lasted six innings, giving up five runs, four earned, on seven hits while walking three and fanning six.
Ramirez came through again with a run-scoring double in the sixth to trim the lead to 5-4 before the Storm Chasers tied the game in the seventh. Randy Wells walked Eigsti with one out to put runners at first and second base and was lifted from the game. Alberto Cabrera took over and got Derrick Robinson to hit a ground ball that could have been an inning-ending double play but was instead misplayed by Cardenas, the second baseman, allowing Kevin Kouzmanoff to score. Wells did not factor into the decision after yielding five runs, four earned, on seven hits while walking three and striking out three over his 6 1/3 innings of work. Cabrera grabbed the win with 2 2/3 scoreless frames during which he gave up a pair of hits and fanned four.
The Storm Chasers return to action on Thursday with left-hander Doug Davis taking the mound against Iowa right-hander Chris Volstad. Coverage of the game begins at 6:45 pm and can be heard locally on 1180 Zone Two, The Deuce and online at omahastormchasers.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.