Edwin Maysonet's two-out single in the bottom of the ninth drove in Donnie Murphy with the game's only run, giving the Iowa Cubs a 1-0 win over the New Orleans Zephyrs on Tuesday night.
Murphy led off the inning with a single against Z's reliever Jonathan Albaladejo (3-4), who then struck out Josh Vitters and got Edgar Gonzalez to fly out. After Darnell McDonald ended a long battle with Albaladejo with a single to left-center that moved Murphy to third, the Zephyrs turned to closer Chris Hatcher. But Maysonet laced a line drive down the left field line to hand the Zephyrs their third walk-off defeat of the season.
It also marked the third time in the last two seasons the Z's have lost a 1-0 decision in Des Moines when the Cubs scored in their final at-bat.
New Orleans starter Brian Flynn was brilliant through seven innings, needing only 73 pitches to strike out nine batters while limiting the Cubs to two hits without a walk. The left-hander retired 17 consecutive I-Cubs at one point, and lowered his ERA to 3.36, fifth-best in the Pacific Coast League.
Flynn quickly retired the first two batters in the eighth inning, but was removed from the game after allowing a single to Jae-Hoon Ha and issuing a four-pitch walk to J.C. Boscan.
Albaladejo was summoned and walked Tim Torres to load the bases, then struck out Logan Watkins to end the inning and keep the game scoreless.
The Zephyrs nearly took the lead in the top of the ninth when Kyle Skipworth hammered a fly ball deep to right field, but with the wind blowing in, the ball was caught at the wall for the final out of the inning.
New Orleans was held to one hit in five innings by Iowa starter Guillermo Moscoso, who struck out nine and walked three. The Z's put two runners on in the sixth against reliever Henry Rodriguez, courtesy of a two-out single by Kevin Kouzmanoff and a double by Joe Mahoney, but Rodriguez induced an inning-ending grounder from Nick Green.
Brian Schlitter (1-2) was credited with the victory, as Iowa snapped a four-game losing skid and halted the Zephyrs' three-game road win streak. The Cubs moved into sole possession of first place in the American North, while the Z's dropped a season-high eight games out of first place in the American South.
The Z's and I-Cubs meet in the third game of the series on Wednesday at 7:05 p.m.