The Iowa Cubs tagged New Orleans Zephyrs starter Brad Penny for eight runs, although five were unearned, and scored five more against the Z's bullpen to hand the Zephyrs a 13-4 loss Wednesday afternoon at Principal Park in Des Moines, Iowa.
Penny (1-1) gave up his three earned runs when Ryan Kalish hit a two-out single in the second inning and Javier Baez hit a two-run double in the third. The next five runs all came with two outs in the fifth inning to break the game open.
Logan Watkins worked a walk on seven pitches after Penny had gotten Iowa starter Dae-Eun Rhee (1-0) to ground out and Matt Szczur to strike out. Baez then singled, and Ed Lucas made an error on a ball hit to third base by Kris Bryant that allowed Watkins to score and give the I-Cubs a 4-1 lead.
Lars Anderson drove in Baez with a single, Josh Vitters snapped a 4-for-54 skid with a single to score Bryant and Ryan Kalish drove in both Anderson and Vitters with a triple that put Iowa ahead 8-1.
Bryan Evans came in from the bullpen to end the inning by getting Eli Whiteside to fly out to right field. He retired Iowa in order in the sixth, but a leadoff walk to Baez in the seventh turned into a run when Anderson hit a two-run home run over the center field wall.
The Zephyrs took a 1-0 lead in the first inning when Juan Diaz reached on an error by Baez and came around to score on a sacrifice fly by Justin Bour that followed a single by Josh Rodriguez, which was the Z's lone hit for the next six innings.
Rhee walked three and struck out two in six innings of work, and Kyuji Fujikawa threw a perfect seventh inning before Jake Marisnick broke the drought with a single against Carlos Pimentel with one out in the eighth.
Pimentel walked Diaz and Justin Bour around a fly out by Rodriguez, and Kyle Jensen cleared the bases with a double that brought his runs batted in total to a team-leading 71.
The I-Cubs responded with three runs in the bottom half of the inning against Rett Varner and have taken two of the first three contests of the four-game series, with the finale scheduled for 7:05 p.m. Thursday at Principal Park.