Tacoma, WA - The Iowa Cubs (70-70) kept their post-season hopes alive with a 3-2 win over the Tacoma Rainiers (72-67) at Cheney Stadium on Wednesday night. The win earned the Cubs a split of this four-game series and wrapped up the team's regular season road schedule with a 35-36 record.
The Cubs broke a scoreless tie when CF Jae-Hoon Ha and 2B David Bote opened the top of the fifth inning with back-to-back home runs off Rainiers' starter James Gilheeney. The blasts were both players' first home runs with Iowa this year. It was Bote's first hit in an Iowa uniform after getting called up from short-season Boise before the game. He joins Javy Baez and Kris Bryant as the three Cubs to homer for their first triple-A hits this season. The Cubs added a third run in the sixth inning on doubles by DH Rafael Lopez and RF Ryan Kalish.
Cubs' starter Dae-Eun Rhee (2-2) faced the minimum through three innings, but Corey Hart led off the fourth inning with a triple to put him on the ropes. Rhee dug in and struck out the next two batters. After a walk and a hit batsman, Rhee got Ketel Marte to ground out to end the inning and keep the Rainiers off the board.
Rhee came out of the game with two on and one out in the seventh inning, but RH Armando Rivero stranded the two runners to keep the shutout intact through seven innings. In the eighth, Rivero walked a man and gave up a single to Hart. After a strikeout, Stefen Romero lined a single to right to drive in the Rainiers' first run. RH Blake Parker came in and gave up a single to Justin Smoak that brought in a second run and an error advanced the potential tying run to third. Parker struck out the next two batters to end the eighth and retired the Rainiers in order in the ninth to secure the win and earn his league-leading 24th save of the season. Parker is one save away from tying the Cubs' franchise record for saves in a season.
Oklahoma City also won their game on Wednesday night. With four games left to play, the Cubs are four games back of the RedHawks in the American Northern Division. The Cubs host the RedHawks for a four-game series starting on Friday night at Principal Park. While the Cubs must win all of their remaining games, Omaha also has to lose at least three of their five games against Colorado Springs at home this weekend in order for Iowa to win the division.
The Cubs will have LH Chris Rusin (8-13, 4.24) on the mound when they host the RedHawks on Friday night. RH Nick Tropeano (9-5, 3.12) will start for the RedHawks. The gates will open at 5:35 PM and the game will start at 7:05. The game will be broadcast live on AM 940, 104.5 FM, and streamed live at iowacubs.com, with the On-Deck Circle Pre-Game Show starting at 6:40 PM.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.