TONIGHT'S GAME: The Iowa Cubs and Omaha Storm Chasers play the first game of a five-game series over four days at Principal Park. The Storm Chasers are the Pacific Coast League affiliate of the Kansas City Royals. This is the only series on this home stand for the Cubs.
PUTTING THE "O" IN COLORADO: The Cubs shut out the Colorado Springs Sky Sox 2-0 at Security Service Field yesterday afternoon. LH Tsuyoshi Wada (9-4) allowed six hits, one walk, and struck out eight in 6.2 innings to earn his third consecutive win. RH Marcus Hatley (0.2IP), LH Zac Rosscup (0.1IP), and RH Blake Parker (1.1IP) combined to finish off the team's seventh shutout of the season. The Cubs are tied with Nashville and Colorado Springs for the most shutouts in the league this season. On April 24, the Cubs recorded their first-ever shutout win in 77 games in Colorado Springs. Wada was also the starter in that game. The Cubs won the season series 11-5 over the Sky Sox, including an all-time best mark of 6-2 at Security Service Field.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Arismendy Alcantara was named the PCL Player of the Week for June 23-29 today. He is the second Cub to earn the award this year (Javy Baez, May 19-25). Alcantara batted a league-best .517 last week with six multi-hit games. He has hit safely in a season-high eight straight games and 12 of his last 13. He has reached base safely in 23 of his last 24. In the last 12 games, he is batting .469 (23-for-49) with six doubles, a triple, two home run, nine RBI, 12 runs scored, and six stolen bases. Alcantara leads the league in extra-base hits (42) and triples (10), is tied for first in total bases (163), ranks second in runs (57), and is tied for third in doubles (22). This is Alcantara's first career Player of the Week Award in any league.
WADA WINS AGAIN: LH Tsuyoshi Wada posted his team-leading 11th quality start of the season yesterday while recording his third straight win and fifth in his last six starts. Wada is tied with teammate Kyle Hendricks and Nashville's Jimmy Nelson for the league lead with nine victories. He is second in the league in strileouts (1-1), third in innings pitched (99.0), and fifth in ERA (2.55). As a staff, the Cubs lead the league with 48 quality starts and rank second in the PCL with a 3.88 ERA (303ER/702.1IP).
VS. OMAHA: The Cubs lead the season series 2-1. The teams will play a split double-header tomorrow with seven-inning games at 12:05 PM and 7:05 PM to make up for a rainout at Principal Park during the first series on April 29. The Cubs and Storm Chasers also played a double-header on May 1 and split the twin bill. The Cubs will visit Werner Park in Omaha for four-game series, July 7-10 and August 2-5. Last year, the Cubs won the season series 12-4 over the Storm Chasers 12-4, including a 7-1 mark at home. The Storm Chasers went on to win the PCL title and Triple-A National Championship Game. The Cubs lead the all-time PCL series 134-121, including a 74-53 mark at home.
AMAZING RACE: The Cubs have gone 9-3 in their last 12 games to tighten the division race. Omaha lost at Oklahoma City last night, so the Cubs enter play just a half-game behind the Storm Chasers in the American Northern Division, and a half-game over the RedHawks. Tonight begins a string of 15 consecutive games against the Storm Chasers and RedHawks leading into the All-Star Break. At 13-6, the Cubs have the best record within the division so far this year.
CUBBIE BEAR BRYANT: 3B Kris Bryant went 0-for-4 yesterday, snapping a seven-game hitting streak. Bryant batted .480 (12-for-25) with three doubles, four home runs, seven runs scored, and nine RBI during the stretch. Combined with his double-A numbers, Bryant is now batting .349 (101-for-289) this season. He leads all of minor league baseball in extra-base hits (50) and total bases (205). He is second in homers (27), slugging (.709), and OPS (1.158). He ranks third in runs (69) and OBP (.449), tied for fifth in RBI (69), tied for seventh in hits, and ninth in batting.
THE RIFLEMAN: OF Matt Szczur gunned down a runner trying to stretch a single into a double on Saturday night. He leads the PCL with nine assists from the outfield this year. Five of those assists have gone to second base.
WELCOME BACK: Pitching coach Bruce Walton is back with the team tonight. He missed the series in Colorado Springs while having knee surgery in Chicago.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.