TONIGHT'S GAME: The Iowa Cubs and Oklahoma City RedHawks play the first game of a four-game series to finish the 2014 regular season. The RedHawks are the Pacific Coast League affiliate of the Houston Astros.
THE END OF THE ROAD: The Cubs finished their regular season road schedule with a 3-2 win in Tacoma on Wednesday night. The win gave the Cubs a split of the four-game series with the Rainiers and gave the club a 35-36 road record for the year. The Cubs finished with an odd number of road game this year because the team lost one game to rain in Memphis in May and made up that game at home in July. This was the Cubs' best road record since 2010 when the Cubs had the best road record in the PCL at 43-29. That is the Cubs' only season with a winning road record in the last 10 years.
HOME RUN DERBY: OF Jae-Hoon Ha and INF David Bote led off the top of the fifth inning with back-to-back home runs off Tacoma starter James Gilheeney on Wednesday night. It was just the second time the Cubs have hit consecutive home runs this season. Eli Whiteside and Logan Watkins did it on Junly 19 at Round Rock off Justin Germano. The Cubs have gone deep at least once in each of their last nine games. This is the team's longest streak of consecutive games with a home run this year. The Cubs lead the league with 35 home runs in August and 69 home runs since July 1. The Cubs rank sixth in the league with 136 home runs for the year. Las Vegas leads the league with 166. This is the most home runs in a season for the Cubs since belting 141 as a team in 2011.
KILLER B'S: INF David Bote joined the Cubs from short-season Boise on Wedensday and had quite a triple-A debut. He was 2-for-3 with a home run, a walk, stole a base, and made a leaping catch of a line drive at second base. He is the third player to homer for his first triple-A hit this season, joing Javy Baez and Kris Bryant on that exclusive list.
ON THE RHEE-BOUND: RH Dae-Eun Rhee (2-2) came back from a loss at Reno to pitch 6.1 shutout innings on Wednesday at Tacoma to earn the win. It was Rhee's third start of at least six innings without allowing an earned run with Iowa this year.
VS. OKLAHOMA CITY: The season series is tied 6-6 heading into this final series. The Cubs lost two-of three in Bricktown, July 4-6, but won three-of-five in their second visit to Oklahoma City, July 11-13. The teams split their first four-game set at Principal Park, July 11-13, including a double-header split on July 12. Last year, the Cubs and RedHawks split the season series 8-8, with both teams finishing 6-2 at home. The Cubs lead the all-time PCL series 121-112, including a 65-50 mark at home.
ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: 3B Kris Bryant was 1-for-4 with his first triple with the Cubs on Wednesday. Since joining the Cubs on June 19, Bryant leads the PCL in extra-base hits (36) and total bases (148). He is tied for the league-lead in homers (21), ranks second in runs scored (53), and third in RBI (51). In his first full season of pro ball, Bryant is batting a combined .329 (157-for-478) with 43 home runs and 109 RBI in 134 games between double-A and the I-Cubs this season. Bryant leads all of minor league baseball in homers, extra-base hits (78), total bases (322), slugging (.674), OBP (.440), and OPS (1.112). He is second in RBI and runs scored (114).
HERE HE COMES TO SAVE THE DAY: RH Blake Parker finished the final 1.2 innings and struck out four to earn his league-leading 24th save on Wednesday night. He is one save away from tying Jermaine Van Buren (2005) for the Iowa single-season saves record. He is already the franchise's career leader with 65. On Monday, Parker was named as the relief pitcher on the All-PCL team. Van Buren is the only other I-Cub to receive that honor. No Iowa reliever has ever led the PCL in saves.
KEEP ON GETTIN' ON: C Rafael Lopez has reached base safely in his last 14 starts and leads the team with a .349 (22-for-63) average this month. He has also drawn 14 walks and is second in the PCL with a .451 on-base percentage in August.
ON THE BRINK: The Cubs enter play tonight in third place in the American Northern Division, four games behind Oklahoma City with four games left to play. The Cubs must sweep this series against the RedHawks and Omaha must lose three of their last four home games against Colorado Springs for the Cubs to win the division. The Cubs had a one-game lead in the division race on August 14, but have gone 3-10 in the last 13 games.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.