Cubs Offense Backs Rhee's Gem in Rout of Z's

Javy Baez has been one of the top hitters in the PCL in July.

By Matt Grilli / Iowa Cubs | July 23, 2014 5:53 PM ET

Des Moines, IA - RH Dae-Eun Rhee was dominant over six innings to record his first triple-A win, and the Iowa Cubs (56-48) scored their second-most runs of the year in the team's 13-4 rout of the New Orleans Zephyrs (53-51) on Wednesday afternoon at Principal Park. The Cubs lead the four-game series 2-1 and have a 6-4 advantage in the season series. Iowa is a league-best 27-5 in day games, including an 18-3 mark at home.

The only hit Rhee surrendered in his outing was in the Zephyrs' first trip to the plate. The second batter of the game, Juan Diaz, reached on an error. He would advance to third on a single and score on a sacrifice fly to give New Orleans the early lead. Rhee allowed just three walks and a hit batter over his final five innings. He struck out two, got nine ground ball outs, and threw 58 of his 88 pitches for strikes to get the win in his second triple-A start.

The Cubs' offense got going in the second inning against Zephyrs RH Brad Penny. Ryan Kalish delivered a two-out single to plate Kris Bryant from third to even the game at a run apiece. Javy Baez gave the Cubs a lead they wouldn't relinquish in the next inning by lining a double off the center field wall to score Matt Szczur and Logan Watkins, who had both reached on singles. Penny worked a scoreless fourth inning, but he got knocked out of the game in the fifth after the Cubs touched him for five runs. After the first two batters were retired, the next six would reach base. An error by 3B Ed Lucas on a Bryant chopper scored the first run -- and opened the floodgates for the Cubs. Lars Anderson and Josh Vitters each stroked run-scoring singles to give the Cubs a 6-1 lead. Kalish would finish the scoring by ripping a two-run triple just inside the first-base bag. The three-bagger was his second with Iowa and 17th of his professional career. Penny was removed from the game after that hit, having given up a season-high eight runs (three earned) in 4.2 innings.

The I-Cubs added five more runs off two Zephyrs relievers. Anderson launched a two-run home run to right-center field in the seventh inning to extend the Cubs' lead to nine runs. He's homered in back-to-back games for the first time this year and has batted .500 (8-for-16) with two home runs, seven RBI and five runs scored over his last four contests. The Cubs' final tallies came an inning later when Bryant hit a wind-aided double in front of a charging Danny Black in left field to clear the bases. Bryant's 87 RBIs on the year between Iowa and double-A Tennessee lead all of minor league baseball. The 13 runs for the Cubs were their most in a game since they put a season-high 17 on June 9 at Fresno.

Baez was the only Cubs to reach four base times as he had two hits, two walks, two RBI and scored three times. Baez has hit safely in 16 of his last 17 games, batting .309 (21-for-68) with seven doubles, five home runs, 16 RBI and 12 runs scored.

RH Kyuji Fujikawa made his second rehab appearance with Iowa in the seventh and struck out two hitters in a perfect inning of work. Fujikawa's made eight rehab appearances between three stops on his recovery back from Tommy John surgery last June. He's given up just one earned run in 7.2 innings, while striking out 11 compared to two walks.

The Zephyrs' final three runs came in the eight inning off RH Carlos Pimentel. They loaded the bases on a single and two walks before Kyle Jensen hit a ball that Szczur lost in the sun in center field to that cleared the bags. 

The Cubs and Zephyrs wrap up their four-game series Thursday night at 7:05. LH Eric Jokisch (5-8, 4.04) takes the ball for the Cubs against the Zephyrs RH Alex Sanabia (5-3, 4.79). There will be a player autograph session on the field from 6:00-6:20. Fans can get one item signed and line up when the gates open at 5:35. The game will be broadcast live on AM 940 and streamed live at with the On-Deck Circle Pre-Game Show starting at 6:45 p.m.  

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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