Kevin Kouzmanoff delivered an RBI single with two out in the top of the 10th inning, giving the New Orleans Zephyrs a 2-1 win over the Iowa Cubs on Wednesday night at Principal Park.
One night after the teams battled scoreless into the bottom of the ninth, when the Cubs won on a walk-off single by Edwin Maysonet, the Zephyrs flipped the script despite more late-inning heroics from Iowa, picking up their ninth win in 11 extra-inning contests this season.
The game was again scoreless through six innings on Wednesday, before the Zephyrs broke through on a leadoff home run in the seventh by Nick Green. That was the only blemish on Cubs starter Brooks Raley's line, as the left-hander allowed one run and three hits in seven innings with six strikeouts.
With Minor League saves leader Chris Hatcher coming out of the bullpen, a 1-0 lead seemed as though it would be enough. But after Hatcher struck out Jae-Hoon Ha to lead off the bottom of the ninth, Iowa strung together three consecutive singles to load the bases.
The Z's were unable to turn a potential game-ending double play on a grounder by Donnie Murphy, and the tying run scored. Hatcher then struck out Darnell McDonald to force extra innings.
In the 10th, Bryan Petersen drew a leadoff walk from Yoanner Negrin and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Gil Velazquez. Negrin struck out Kevin Mattison for the second out, but Kouzmanoff came through with a single up the middle to score the go-ahead run.
Hatcher allowed a single to Brad Nelson leading off the bottom of the 10th, but got Maysonet to bounce into a double play, and fanned Mike Olt for the final out.
Doug Mathis tossed six scoreless innings for New Orleans, dropping his season ERA to 3.64, the seventh-best mark in the Pacific Coast League.
Despite suffering just his second blown save in 29 attempts this season, Hatcher (2-2) was credited with the victory, while Negrin (3-4) suffered the loss.
The clubs combined to go 3-for-20 with runners in scoring position and stranded 20 baserunners in the game.