TONIGHT'S GAME: The Iowa Cubs and Oklahoma City RedHawks play game two of a four-game series to finish the 2014 regular season. The RedHawks are the Pacific Coast League affiliate of the Houston Astros.
EXTRA EFFORT: The Cubs kept their playoff hopes alive with a 5-4 win over the RedHawks on a walk-off single by SS Elliot Soto in the 11th inning last night. At 8-3, the Cubs have the best winning percentage in the PCL in extra-inning games this season, including a 4-0 mark at Principal Park. It was the team's 14th win in their last at-bat and seventh walk-off win. The Cubs also beat the RedHawks on walk-off single in game one of a double-header on July 12. C Eli Whiteside delivered the game-winning hit off Kevin Chapman to give the Cubs a 6-5 victory.
RAIN, RAIN GO AWAY: The Cubs and RedHawks got underway 15 minutes late last night due to late afternoon rain and endured an hour and 19 minute delay in the bottom of the fourth inning. Last night was the 12th time the Cubs have been delayed this season with delay times totaling 17 hours and 52 minutes for the year.
JONNY ON THE SPOT: 1B Jonathan Mota had two hits, including a triple, scored two runs, and stole a base last night. Mota has hit safely in seven of his last eight games and is batting .333 (12-for-36) with two doubles, a triple, a home run, five runs scored, and four RBI during this stretch.
HOME SWEET HOME: With one more win in this series, the Cubs will guarantee a winning record at home for the year. The Cubs have finished with a wining record at Principal Park in 12 of the last 13 seasons.
POWER BALL: The Cubs didn't hit a home run last night, ending a season-high streak of at least one home run in nine straight games. The Cubs are tied for second in the league with 35 home runs in August and are tied with Albuquerque for the league lead with 69 home runs since July 1. The Cubs are tied for seventh in the league with 136 home runs for the year. Las Vegas leads the league with 169. This is the most home runs in a season for the Cubs since belting 141 as a team in 2011.
VS. OKLAHOMA CITY: The Cubs lead this series 1-0 and lead the season series 7-6. The Cubs lost two-of three in Bricktown, July 4-6, but won three-of-five in their second visit to Oklahoma City, July 11-13. The teams split their first four-game set at Principal Park, July 11-13, including a double-header split on July 12. Last year, the Cubs and RedHawks split the season series 8-8, with both teams finishing 6-2 at home. The Cubs lead the all-time PCL series 122-112, including a 66-50 mark at home.
ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: 3B Kris Bryant was 0-for-3 last night, but did draw two walks. Bryant is second in the league with 23 walks this month. Since joining the Cubs on June 19, Bryant leads the PCL in extra-base hits (36) and total bases (148). He is tied for second in home runs (21), and runs scored (53), ranks second in OPS (1.052), and third in RBI (51) and slugging (.635). In his first full season of pro ball, Bryant is batting a combined .326 (157-for-481) with 43 home runs and 109 RBI in 135 games between double-A and the I-Cubs this season. Bryant leads all of minor league baseball in homers, extra-base hits (78), total bases (322), slugging (.669), and OPS (1.107). He is tie for first in OBP (.438) and ranks second in RBI and runs scored (114).
HERE HE COMES TO SAVE THE DAY: RH Blake Parker finished the final 1.2 innings and struck out four to earn his league-leading 24th save on Wednesday night. He is one save away from tying Jermaine Van Buren (2005) for the Iowa single-season saves record. He is already the franchise's career leader with 65. On Monday, Parker was named as the relief pitcher on the All-PCL team. Van Buren is the only other I-Cub to receive that honor. No Iowa reliever has ever led the PCL in saves.
ON THE BRINK: The Cubs enter play tonight in third place in the American Northern Division, three games behind Oklahoma City with three games left to play. The Cubs are also 2.5 games behind second-place Omaha. If the Cubs lose another game, or if Omaha wins another game, the Cubs will be eliminated from playoff contention. The Cubs had a one-game lead in the division race on August 14, but have gone 4-10 in the last 14 games. The Cubs have held at least a share of the division lead for 76 days this season.