Oklahoma City, OK - The Iowa Cubs (65-58) scored four runs in the top of the first inning and cruised to a 10-2 victory over the Oklahoma City RedHawks (62-61) at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark on Sunday night. The Cubs pulled even in this series and improved to 8-5 with one game left to play on this road trip. Omaha won in extra-innings at Colorado Springs on Sunday, so the Cubs and Storm Chasers remain tied for first place in the Pacific Coast League's American Northern Division.
The Cubs started quickly against RedHawks' starter Asher Wojciechowski. RF Jorge Soler blasted a two-run double off the wall in deep left-center field and 1B Mike Olt followed it up with a long home run off the ribbon scoreboard behind the left field bleachers to put four quick runs on the board in the first inning. It was Olt's third home run in as many at-bats going back to Saturday night's two homer game. Olt has hit safely in 13 of his last 14 games and has 16 RBI during this stretch. Soler has hit in five straight games with three doubles, two home runs, and eight RBI.
The Cubs added another run when SS Elliot Soto led off the top of the second inning with a home run. It was his first triple-A homer and the third of his pro career. The Cubs have hit 23 home runs on this road trip and lead the PCL with 51 home runs since July 1. Wojciechowski (2-4) worked through six innings without allowing another run, but would be saddled with the loss.
Cubs' stater Eric Joksich (9-8) didn't give up a run until a two-out single by Preston Tucker brought in Andrew Aplin in the bottom of the fourth inning. The hit ended a streak of 18.1 consecutive scoreless innings for Jokisch over his last three starts. Jokisch allowed a second run in the bottom of the seventh inning and came out of the game with two men on base, but RH Alberto Cabrera stranded the runners by inducing Joe Sclafani into an inning-ending groundout. Jokisch has won his last four starts and the Cubs have won his last six outings. Jokisch struck out five and leads the league with 131 strikeouts in 145.0 innings. Cabrera finished the final 2.1 innings of the game and earned his second save of the season.
The Cubs broke the game open with five runs against three different pitchers in the top of the eighth. Patrick Urckfitz gave up a leadoff double to 2B Logan Watkins. 3B Kris Bryant greeted Paul Clemens with an RBI single to center field, extending his hitting streak to 13 games. Bryant has also scored a run in his last 13 games. After a pair of walks and a foulout, C Rafael Lopez and Soto delivered consecutive RBI singles. The RedHawks then turned to LH Tommy Shirley, but LF Brett Jackson greeted him with an RBI single to cap the rally. The Cubs are 9-0 when scoring 10 or more runs in a game this season.
The Cubs and RedHawks wrap up this series continues on Monday night at 7:05 PM. RH Dan Straily (6-6, 4.31) will start for the Cubs against RH Alex White (2-4, 7.28) for the RedHawks. The game will be broadcast live on AM 940, 104.5 FM, and streamed live at iowacubs.com, with the On-Deck Circle Pre-Game Show starting at 6:45 PM.