TONIGHT'S GAME: The Iowa Cubs and New Orleans Zephyrs open up a four-game series. The Zephyrs are the Pacific Coast League affiliate of the Miami Marlins. This is the first game of a nine game home stand over seven days for the Cubs.
SWEEP ELUDES CUBS: The Cubs and Express played to a 2-2 deadlock through nine innings yesterday after both teams had a two-run inning. The Cubs took the lead in the 11th inning with a Rafael Lopez RBI single, but couldn't close out the game as Brent Lillibridge led off the bottom of the frame with a home run against Marcus Hatley. The Express would win the game, and avoid a four-game series sweep, in the 12th inning as Ryan Rua drove in Brett Nicholas with the game winning single.
RUSIN ROULETTE: LH Chris Rusin allowed two runs on 10 hits, walked one and struck out five over seven innings last night, but didn't factor in the decision for the first time in 18 starts this year. He has figured in the decision in 27 of his last 29 starts in an Iowa uniform. Despite making two relief appearances for Chicago this season, Rusin still ranks third in the PCL with 114 innings pitched. He trails teammate Eric Jokisch for the league lead by four innings.
BAEZ GOES STREAKING: INF Javy Baez went 3-for-6 last night to extend his season-high hitting streak to 14 games. He is batting .310 (18-for-58) with six doubles, five home runs, 14 RBI, and nine runs scored during this steak. The hitting streak is the longest for any Cub this season. Baez's .252 batting average on the year is the highest its been this season. Since May 16, Baez has hit .304 (68-for-224) with 20 doubles, 13 home runs and 50 RBI in 60 games.
BIG FLY BRYANT: 3B Kris Bryant homered in the first two games of last series and has 11 home runs in 28 games with the I-Cubs this year. Combined with his 22 home runs at double-A Tennessee, Bryant leads all of Minor League Baseball with 33 home runs. Bryant also leads the minors in total bases (249), extra-base hits (61), slugging (.705), and OPS (1.146). He is tied for first in RBI (84), ranks second in runs (81), fourth in OBP (.441), and fifth in batting average (.346).
VS. NEW ORLEANS: The Cubs lead the season series 4-3. These teams split a four-game series at Principal Park in early April, and the Cubs won two games in a rain-shortened three-game series at Zephyr Field in May. It was their first series win in New Orleans since also taking two of three, June 26-29, 2010. The Cubs make their second trip to New Orleans to finish off the season series, July 29-August 1. Last year, the Zephyrs won the season series 11-5, including a 5-3 mark at Principal Park. The Zephyrs have won the season series over the Cubs in three straight seasons, going 30-14 from 2011-13. New Orleans leads the all-time PCL series 113-112, but the Cubs hold a 66-52 advantage at Principal Park.
POWER BALL: The Cubs hit seven home runs in the four-game series against Round Rock. That tied a season-high for home runs in a series. The Cubs hit seven home runs in their first series at Dell Diamond, May 19-22. The Cubs set their single-game home run record with eight at Dell Diamond on August 9, 2008. The Cubs rank 11th in the PCL with 87 home runs through 101 games. Las Vegas leads the league with 125.
LARS AND IN CHARGE: Lars Anderson went 2-for-4 with an RBI single and run scored last night, and has collected five hits in the last two games. After starting the year 2-for-28, Anderson is batting .392 (20-for-51) over his last 20 games with five doubles, two home runs, 13 RBI and eight runs scored.
LIGHTS OUT RIVERO: RH Armando Rivero tossed two scoreless innings last night, and he hasn't given up a run in his last 7.2 innings, covering five appearances. Rivero has allowed just two earned runs, striking out 20 and walking only five, in his first 14 innings at triple-A level.
FUJIKAWA JOINS ON REHAB: RH Kyuji Fujikawa joins the I-Cubs bullpen on a rehab assignment tonight. Fujikawa underwent Tommy John surgery last June after appearing in 12 games with Chicago. He has made six rehab appearances between Rookie Mesa and single-A Kane County, and hasn't allowed an earned run, while striking out nine and walking just two in 5.2 innings.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.