DES MOINES, Iowa - The Round Rock Express (5-6) and Iowa Cubs (6-5) were locked in a pitcher's duel until a strange fifth inning in which the I-Cubs scored four runs without picking up a base hit, ultimately resulting in a 6-3 win for the home side. The loss snapped a 12-game winning streak for Round Rock at Principal Park.
Express starter RHP Tyler Wagner (0-2, 7.71) suffered the loss after giving up six runs, only four of which were earned, on just four hits in 4.2 innings of work. Wagner struck out three and walked four in what was his third start of the year. Cubs' starter RHP Eddie Butler (1-0, 1.45) collected the win after limiting the E-Train to two runs on four hits while striking out three and walking two in six innings.
Wagner cruised through the first three innings but ran into trouble in the fourth. SS Chesny Young singled before 2B Ian Happ lined a two-run homer onto the berm in right field. Round Rock gained a run right back in the top of the fifth as C A.J. Jimenez worked a leadoff walk then came home on a two-out Luis Marte double.
An unusual fifth inning began with Wagner getting his foot stepped on while covering first base on a groundout. Wagner then hit CF Todd Glaesmann and walked RF Bijan Rademacher, DH Ali Solis and LF John Andreoli in consecutive order to drive in a run. An ensuing Young sacrifice fly scored Rademacher to give the Cubs a 4-2 lead. With two outs and both runners going, Happ slapped a towering pop fly to third that E-Train 3B Drew Robinson misplayed, resulting in a two-run error.
Round Rock attempted comebacks in the next two innings. DH Will Middlebrooks collected a two-out single in the sixth then came racing home on a Jared Hoying double. In the seventh, RF Preston Beck doubled, moved to third on a Ronald Guzman groundout, then scored on a Bernier groundout. However, the Express offense dried up as the team fell by a final score of 6-3.
E-Train RHP Anthony Bass shined once again in relief. The righty surrendered only two hits while striking out five in just two innings. On the year, Bass has recorded an impressive 16 strikeouts in 8.1 total innings.
Sunday's series finale is scheduled to feature Round Rock RHP Allen Webster (0-0, 10.80) up against Iowa RHP Ryan Williams (0-1, 5.79). First pitch at Principal Park is set for 12:08 p.m.
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This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.