Des Moines, IA - On his jersey shirt night, Kris Bryant blasted a walk-off two-run homer in the 12th inning to lift the Iowa Cubs (67-60) over the Las Vegas 51s (71-56) 6-5 on Thursday night at Principal Park. The 51s have a 2-1 lead in the four-game series. With the Omaha Storm Chasers' loss, the Cubs took a one-game lead in the American Northern Division with 17 games to play in the regular season.
Logan Watkins started the winning rally by legging out an infield single, his third hit of the night. Bryant followed by taking a first pitch ball from RH Chase Bradford before sending the next offering deep over the right-center field wall to give the Cubs their sixth walk-off win of the year. The homer was the club's second game-ending long ball of the season with the other coming off the bat of Brett Jackson on July 1 in the second game of a double-header against Omaha. Bryant leads the PCL with 18 homers and 47 runs scored since he joined Iowa on June 19, and his 40 home runs on the season lead all of the minor leagues.
Las Vegas' Matt Reynolds had tied the game in the eighth inning and given his team the lead in the 12th with solo homers. His first home run came against RH Armando Rivero in a 4-3 game, while his extra-inning blast was off RH Marcos Mateo. Reynolds has six hits, including four for extra-bases, and five RBI in the first three games of this series. Mateo recorded his second win of the season after striking out four in two innings of work.
The Cubs scored three runs in the third inning to take the early lead. Matt Szczur ripped his second single of the game to center field to get it started, stole his team-best 29th base of the season, and came around to score on a Watkins single. Mike Olt added a long two-run homer to give the Cubs a 3-0 cushion. Olt has all seven of his homers with Iowa since July 31, the most in the PCL in that span, while his 18 RBI in that period lead the league.
The 51s tied the contest on a pair of home runs off RH Dallas Beeler. Allen Dykstra launched his 16th home run of the campaign over the center field wall in the sixth inning, and Satin hit a solo shot to left-center in the sixth inning. Beeler gave up multiple home runs in a start for the first time this year, and he has surrendered just eight long balls in 104.1 innings on the season. Las Vegas leads the league with 153 home runs this season.
The Cubs went back on top in the sixth inning after the first three hitters reached on a double, single, and hit by pitch. Elliot Soto picked up his second RBI in as many days with a sacrifice fly to center field. 51s RH Cory Mazzoni got the next two hitters to escape without any further damage.
Beeler posted his second quality start in a row but did not factor into the decision. He went six innings, allowed three earned runs, six hits, walked one, and struck out five. Beeler has worked at least six innings in 14 straight starts.
LH Zac Rosscup and RH Blake Parker tossed three scoreless innings, with Rosscup striking out two in his two innings and Parker fanning two of the four hitters he faced in the 10th.
The Cubs stole four bags on the night to take over the PCL lead with 129 thefts on the season. Szczur added another, and Watkins had a pair. For the first time in Cubs' PCL history they have three players with at least 20 steals -- Szczur, Watkins (22), and Alcantara (21).
Mazzoni got a no-decision as he struck out seven in six innings, while allowing four earned runs on eight hits.
The Cubs and 51s conclude their four-game series on Friday night at 7:05. LH Eric Jokisch (9-8, 3.54) squares off with RH Matthew Bowman (1-1, 2.70). Joksich comes into the start ranking in the top 10 in the PCL in ERA, strikeouts (131), innings pitched (145.0), and WHIP (1.14). The game will be broadcast live on AM 940 and 104.5 FM. It will also be streamed live at iowacubs.com, with the On-Deck Circle Pre-Game Show starting at 6:45 PM.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.