Omaha, NE - The Iowa Cubs (48-42) committed two errors that led to four unearned runs in a 7-3 loss to the Omaha Storm Chasers (47-44) at Werner Park on Monday night. With the win, the Storm Chasers moved past Oklahoma City into second place in the American Northern Division, 1.5 games behind the Cubs.
RH Dan Straily made his Cubs' debut on the mound and set the Storm Chasers down in order in the bottom of the first inning, but broke through in the second. With one out, Paulo Orlando singled. With Orlando running, Jimmy Paredes hit a bouncing ball to Josh Vitters at first base. Vitters tried for a force out on Orlando at second base, but the throw was late and Paredes also reached on a fielders' choice. After a foulout, Francisco Pena hit a ground ball that went through the legs of Kris Bryant at third base for an error as Orlando scored. Paul Janish followed with a broken bat, ground ball single to center that drove in two more runs, and Whit Merrifield capped the rally with an RBI triple to right-center. All four runs were unearned against against Straily who worked through five and didn't allow another run.
The Cubs struck back against Storm Chasers' starter Ryan Verdugo in the top of the third. With two on and two outs, Javy Baez launched a long three-run homer to left field. For Baez, it was his team-leading 14th home run of the season and his third in the last four games.
The Storm Chasers padded their lead with two more runs in the sixth inning against Arodys Vizcaino. Orlando singled and scored on a triple by Paredes. Paredes scored as Carlos Peguero hit a ground ball to first that went through the legs of Vitters for the Cubs' second error of the game. Vizcaino was also charged with the Storm Chasers' final run in the seventh inning. Johnny Giavotella singled, stole second base, and scored when Orlando greeted Marcos Mateo with a double. Mateo would finish the final inning and a third on the mound for the Cubs.
Verdugo (5-2) finished five innings and struck out six to earn the win. Spencer Patton and Louis Coleman each pitched two scoreless innings to finish the game on the mound for Omaha. Neither reliever allowed a hit and the pair combined for seven strikeouts.
The Cubs and Storm Chasers play game two of this series tomorrow night at 7:05. The game will be broadcast live on AM 940, and streamed live at iowacubs.com, with the On-Deck Circle Pre-Game Show starting at 6:45.