Iowa's (41-62) offense struggled against the Isotopes' (60-42) John Ely though, who dealt 7.1 innings of one-run (0 earned) ball and fanned seven for his ninth win of the season. Iowa has lost five straight and eight of their last 12 and all eight contests in Albuquerque this year.
Albuquerque struck first, stringing together four straight hits to start the second. Scott Van Slyke led off the inning with a double to left and scored on a Josh Bard single for the game's first run. An Osvaldo Martinez RBI single plated the Isotopes' second run. Raley then proceeded to retired nine straight batters.
John Ely held Iowa hitless for the first 4.2 innings before Matt Tolbert lined a single to right for the Cubs' first base knock. Brian Esposito opened the sixth with a single to left. Raley tried to help his cause, but he swapped spots with Esposito when his sacrifice bunt became a fielder's choice. The southpaw moved to second on a wild pitch with one down, but Iowa failed to cash in with their first runner in scoring position.
Albuquerque put two aboard to begin the sixth after an Alfredo Amezaga throwing error and Jerry Sands' second single of the day. Josh Bard followed with a single to score Van Slyke and force Raley's exit. The Texas native matched his season high with eight strikeouts. Esmailin Caridad entered with two inherited runners and no outs, but exited the jam unscathed to hold the tally at 3-0.
Caridad followed up with a 1-2-3 seventh for his second scoreless inning. Esposito collected his second hit on the day, driving an RBI double to right to score Jim Aducci to put Iowa on the board in the eighth. The Cubs chased John Ely out of the game, but could not plate another run on Albuquerque's bullpen. Iowa stranded a second runner on for the second time with less than two outs.
Michael Bowden dealt a perfect eighth. Adrian Cardenas looked to start a rally in the ninth with a single to start the inning against Scott Rice. Josh Vitters continued the threat, ripping a double to put the potential tying run at second for the Cubs. Rice then fanned the next two I-Cubs and induced a game ending ground out to record his eight save. Iowa went 1-for-9 as a team with runners in scoring position, leaving six on base after compiling just six hits. Esposito was the only I-Cub with more than one base knock on the afternoon.
Iowa will look to right the ship tomorrow as they head to open a four-game set in Oklahoma City. RHP Rodrigo Lopez (2-5) will take the hill for the Cubs facing off against RHP Armando Galarraga (3-2) for a 7:05 p.m. start. Tune for the On-Deck Circle Pre-game Show with Deene Ehlis at 6:45 p.m.