Christian Villanueva (above) went a combined 3-for-10 with the walk-off RBI single in the bottom of the 12th of game two of the doubleheader Saturday night.
DES MOINES, Iowa - The Iowa Cubs (76-58) swept a doubleheader against the Sacramento River Cats (66-69) in Pacific Coast League action Saturday night at Principal Park. Iowa won game one 5-1, then took game two 2-1 in 12 innings.
Iowa is now on a four-game winning streak and have won seven of its last eight. Its 2-1 win in game two makes Iowa a league-best 25-15 in one-run contests this season.
Iowa shot out of the gates with four runs in the bottom of the first inning of game one. Christian Villanueva started the scoring with a two-RBI single to center field before Mike Olt added an RBI single of his own. Arismendy Alcantara delivered a sacrifice fly to make it 4-0 after one inning.
Olt added tacked on another run with a solo home run to left field in the bottom of the fifth, making it 5-0 Iowa. The I-Cubs scored all of their runs off Sacramento lefty Ty Blach (11-11), who lasted 4.2 innings in the loss.
Iowa starter Eric Jokisch (4-3) rode Iowa's quick start, hurling a 7.0-inning complete game while allowing only one run in the the top of the seventh on Nick Noonan's RBI single. The left-hander allowed five hits and one walk while striking out two in his longest outing of the season.
The I-Cubs drew first blood again in game two, getting an RBI single from Quintin Berry to take a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second.
Iowa's pitching staff cruised through four more innings of shutout baseball before Rafael Soriano surrendered a solo home run to Sacramento's Jarrett Parker, tying the game at 1-1.
Blake Cooper, Yoervis Medina and Ryan Buchter combined for five more shutout innings before Villanueva flared a walk-off RBI single to left field, plating John Andreoli for the 2-1 win in 12 innings.
Buchter (2-0) struck out two in a perfect 12th inning as he earned the win in relief.
Right-hander Chris Stratton spun a quality start, going 6.0 innings while allowing just one run. Right-hander Brett Bochy (6-1) allowed the deciding run in the 12th to take the loss in game two.
Righty Frank Batista got the start for the I-Cubs in game two and worked 4.0 scoreless innings in a no-decision. The right-hander allowed one run and one walk while fanning three. Right-handers Armando Rivero and Trevor Cahill both worked scoreless frames before Soriano's blown save in the seventh.
Olt went a combined 4-for-9 with a home run, two RBI and two runs in the double-dip. Villanueva had the game-winning hits in both games, going 3-for-10 with three RBI and a run. Villanueva now has a combined 87 RBI on the season between Double-A Tennessee and Iowa, setting a career-high.
Javy Baez hit safely in both games to extend his hitting streak to 15 games, the longest such streak for an I-Cub this season. He is now one game short of tying his career-high 16-game hitting streak set in July of 2012 with Single-A Peoria. He went 3-for-10 with a run on the night.
Noonan and Parker were the only River Cats players to record hits in both games. Noonan went a combined 3-for-6 with an RBI and a walk while Parker went 2-for-8 with a home run, two runs and an RBI.
Two wins for the I-Cubs Saturday pulled them within 5.0 games back of Oklahoma City (81-53) in the race for the American Northern Division crown. Ten games remain in the regular season, including five against the Dodgers Aug. 31 through Sept. 4.
Iowa and Sacramento will finish their four-games series, as well as the 2015 home slate at Principal Park, Sunday afternoon at 1:08 p.m. CT. Right-hander Dallas Beeler (6-5, 4.52) will toe the rubber for Iowa against River Cats right-hander Tommy Hanson (3-5, 5.63). The game can be heard live on AM 940, 104.5 FM, and live-streamed at Iowacubs.com. The On-Deck Circle Pre-game Show will begin 12:40 p.m. CT.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.