DES MOINES, Iowa - Right-hander Dallas Beeler tossed a career-high 8.0 innings and Iowa's offense exploded for 18 hits as the I-Cubs (77-58) dispatched the Sacramento River Cats (66-70) 9-1 in Pacific Coast League action Sunday afternoon in the season home-finale at Principal Park.
The win earned Iowa a series sweep, its third of the season. Iowa has won five games in a row, and eight of its last nine. The win brings the I-Cubs within 4.0 games of Oklahoma City in the American Northern Division with nine games to play.
Beeler (7-5) cruised through 8.0 innings, allowing only one unearned run coming in the top of the first inning. The River Cats took a short-lived 1-0 lead on a Jarrett Parker sacrifice fly, plating Darren Ford who reached base on a throwing error from Beeler to lead off the game.
Iowa quickly erased the deficit with three runs in the bottom of the first inning as the first four I-Cubs batters reached on hits. Emilio Bonifacio laced his first of four hits on the day, an RBI double to drive in John Andreoli. Javy Baez followed with an RBI single, then was brought home by Christian Villanueva's RBI double.
Bonifacio gave Iowa a 4-1 lead in the bottom of the second with an RBI single, driving in Andreoli once again. Iowa pushed another run across in the bottom of the third, extending the lead to 5-1. With runners at the corners, Quintin Berry roped a one-hopper to Ford in center field allowing Adron Chambers to score although Taylor Davis was forced out at second base, giving Berry an RBI fielder's choice.
The Iowa offense completed their scoring with four in the fourth inning to push Sacramento starter Jake Dunning (4-2) from the game. A Villanueva sacrifice fly, a two RBI from Chris Valaika and an RBI double from Davis off the left field wall put Iowa up 9-1.
Dunning was lifted with one out in the fourth inning but not before allowing nine earned runs on 12 hits and one walk through 3.1 innings of work. Brett Bochy, Clay Rapada and Cory Gearrin spun a combined 4.2 scoreless the rest of the way.
Beeler retired 18 batters in a row between the top of the second inning until he allowed a two-out walk to Darren Ford in the top of the eighth.
Overall, the right-hander allowed only two hits and one walk while striking out seven. Since the all-star break, Beeler has a league-best 1.52 ERA (8ER/47.1IP) while going 6-0, tying teammate Carlos Pimentel for the most wins in that span.
Right-hander Trevor Cahill hurled a scoreless ninth to preserve the shutout and his streak of 7.2 scoreless innings out of the bullpen since joining Iowa. Overall, the I-Cubs' pitching staff is 5-0 with a 0.78 ERA (4ER/46.0IP) over the past five games.
Iowa tied a season-high with 18 hits with the help of five multi-hit performances. Baez and Bonifacio both went 4-for-5 with two runs. Baez extended his hitting streak to 16 games, tying a career-high. He is hitting .444 (32-for-72) during the streak. Davis went 3-for-5, followed up by Villanueva and Andreoli who both went 2-for-4.
Parker went 1-for-3 with Sacramento's lone extra-base hit and RBI as the River Cats were held to two hits.
Iowa will now head to Oklahoma City to play five games against the Triple-A affiliate of the Los Angeles Dodgers. First pitch Monday evening is set for 7:05 p.m. CT. Right-hander Felipe Paulino (4-8, 4.79) will start for Iowa. 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 6:40 p.m. CT.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.