TODAY'S GAME: The Iowa Cubs and Colorado Springs Sky Sox play the final game of a four-game series. The Sky Sox are the Pacific Coast League affiliate of the Colorado Rockies. The Cubs return home tomorrow to start a four-game series against the Omaha Storm Chasers at Principal Park. The Storm Chasers are the PCL affiliate of the Kansas City Royals.
HIGH FIVE: 2B Arismendy Alcantara had a career-high five hits leading the Cubs to a 9-6 win over the Sky Sox in 13 innings yesterday afternoon. The Cubs have won a season-high five straight games, matching their longest winning streak from last season (May 23-26 vs. Las Vegas and Oklahoma City). Alcantara's fourth hit drove in the tying run with two outs in the top of the ninth inning and his last was his league-leading fourth triple that drove in a run in the top of the 13th. Alcantara has hit safely in five of his last six games and is batting .423 (11-for-26) with six runs scored, a double, two triples, two homers, eight RBI, and three stolen bases during this stretch.
MOUNTAIN TOP: The Cubs are a season-best four games over .500. The Cubs haven't been four games over .500 since finishing the 2010 season at 82-62. When Oklahoma City lost last night, the Cubs also moved into first place in the PCL's American Northern Division by a half-game over the RedHawks (13-10). The Cubs held at least a share of the division lead for 35 days last season from June 18 - July 25.
POWER BALL: The Cubs had a season-high three home runs yesterday with solo shots from 1B Chris Valaika, RF Jonathan Mota, and C Eli Whiteside. Valaika is one of four players tied for the team lead with two homers.
HIT PARADE: The Cubs recorded a seaosn-high 16 hits in their first extra-inning game of the season. The team has outscored their opponents 42-12 during this five-game winning streak and reached double digits in hits in four straight games. The Cubs have raised their team average 28 points from .211 to .239 during this streak. The Cubs still rank last in the league in hitting, but are now just two points behind New Orleans (.241).
DAY DREAM BELIEVERS: The Cubs are 8-1 in day games this season, including a 2-0 mark on the road.
VS. SKY SOX: The Cubs lead this series 3-0. These two clubs are scheduled to play 16 times this year as both clubs now compete in the PCL's American Northern Division. The Cubs and Sky Sox used to be in the same division from 1998-2004 when Iowa first joined the PCL. Last year, the Sky Sox won three of four from the Cubs in the only series at Security Service Field. The Sky Sox have gone 3-1 against the Cubs in each of the last three seasons. Yesterday's victory clinched the first series win for the Cubs in Colorado Springs since winning three of four May 21-24, 2001. The Cubs have never swpet a series at Security Service Field, but did sweep the Sky Sox at Principal Park, May 20-23, 2010. The Cubs lead the all-time PCL series 79-71, but the Sky Sox hold a 42-37 all-time advantage in their home games.
ELEMENTARY MY DEAR WATKINS: IF/OF Logan Watkins singled to lead off the top of the ninth inning yesterday and eventually scored the game-tying run. He was 1-for-4 with two walks and two runs scored in yesterday's game, extending his team-high hitting streak to 12 games. Watkins was 0-for-13 through his first six games of the year, but is batting .400 (14-for-35) with two doubles, a home run, 14 runs scored and four RBI during this streak. Watkins has the longest active hitting streak in the PCL and is tied for the fourth-longest streak in the league this season. Watkins has scored a run in five straight games and is tied for second in the league in runs scored since this streak began on April 12.
A NEW SPECIALTY: LH Jeff Antigua entered in the ninth and pitched four shutout innings yesterday to earn the win in his season debut. Last year, Antigua pitched 8.1 innings for Iowa after a game had gone to extra frames. That was more innings pitched than he logged in any regularion inning while totaling 40.0IP in 16 appearances with the Cubs.
SCHLITTER RECALLED: The Chicago Cubs placed RH Jose Veras on the disabled list yesterday and recalled RH Brian Schlitter from Iowa. Schlitter opened the season with Chicago, but was optioned on April 12. In five games with Iowa, Schlitter was 3-for-3 in saves and allowed two runs on six hits in five innings for a 3.60 ERA. Schlitter is second on Iowa's career saves list with 35, behind RH Blake Parker, who earned his 43rd yesterday.