Round Rock, TX - The Round Rock Express (49-50) avoided a sweep with a 4-3 win in 12 innings over the Iowa Cubs (54-47) at Dell Diamond on Sunday night. Ryan Rua drove in Brett Nicholas with the game-winning run to give the Express (1-5) their first extra-innings win of the season and the Cubs (6-1) their first extra-innings loss. The Cubs won the series 3-1 and won the season series 9-7. It was Iowa's first season-series win over the Express since 2010.
The Cubs claimed the early lead with two runs in the top of the second inning against Express' starter Phil Irwin. Chris Valaika led off with a double and scored on a two-out double by Lars Anderson. Logan Watkins followed with another two-out RBI on a bloop single to shallow left. Irwin would work through 5.2 innings without allowing another run and struck out five.
The Express rallied to tie the game against Cubs' starter Chris Rusin in the fifth inning. The Express loaded the bases with one out and got run-scoring singles from Jim Adduci and Luis Sardinas before Rusin induced a foulout out and a flyout to end the threat. Rusin worked through seven innings and struck out five to post his 12th quality start in 18 outings this year. This was Rusin's first start of the year where he didn't figure in the decision of the game.
Both bullpens did their job to keep the game deadlocked into extra innings before the Cubs took the lead in the top of the 11th against Lisalverto Bonilla. Kris Bryant led off with a double and scored on a base hit by Rafael Lopez. The Express tied the game when Brent Lillibridge led off the bottom of the 11th with a home run off Marcus Hatley.
Bonilla remained in the game and allowed a base hit to Ryan Kalish in the 12th. Kalish stole second and advanced to third when the throw sailed into center field for an error, but Bonilla got a pair of flyouts and stranded the runner. Hatley struck out Michael Choice leading off the bottom of the 12th before Nicholas lined a double to left and scored on Rua's base hit. Hatley (2-4) was charged with a blown save and the loss. Bonilla (2-1) was credited with the win.
Javy Baez singled in his first three at-bats of the game, extending his hitting streak to 14 games. It is now the longest hit streak for a Cub this season.
The Cubs return home to open a four-game series against the New Orleans Zephyrs at 7:05 PM on Monday night. RH Dan Straily (4-4, 4.63) will start for the Cubs against RH Elih Villanueva (8-6, 3.92) for the Zephyrs. 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.