TODAY'S GAMES: The Iowa Cubs and Memphis Redbirds play the final two games of a five-game series over three days. The Redbirds are the Pacific Coast League affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals. These are the final two of nine games in seven days for the Cubs on this home stand. The Cubs are 3-4 on this home stand. The Cubs won the opening series against New Orleans, but have dropped three straight to the Redbirds.
SWEPT AWAY: The Redbirds swept the first of back-to-back double-headers in this series, beating the Cubs 5-4 and 6-4 in seven-inning games last night. The Cubs had an early lead in both games, but the Redbirds were able to complete their comebacks. Tim Cooney (10-5) allowed the first five batters to reach and gave up three runs in the bottom of the first inning of game one, but settled in to get through 5.2 innings for the win and move into a tie for the league-lead in wins. Three of his victories have come against the Cubs. Boone Whiting (4-6) matched his season-high with nine strikeouts in game two for the Redbirds. Both of his nine strikeout games have come against Iowa this year.
JAVY STAYS HOT: IF Javy Baez hit a three-run home run in the first inning of each game yesterday and finished 3-for-7 while adding a double and finishing with six RBI in the twin bill. Baez has homered in consecutive games for the fourth time this season. Josh Vitters (May 4-6) and Kris Bryant (June 22-24) are the only Cubs to homer in three straight games this year. Baez ranks tied for sixth in the league with 19 home runs this season and leads the league with five in 11 games since the All-Star Break. He also leads the league with 18 RBI since the Break and has moved to second in the league with 73 overall. Adam Duvall of Fresno leads the league with 79. Baez has hit safely in 20 of his last 21 games and is batting .325 (27-for-83) with nine doubles, eight home runs, 16 runs scored, and 26 RBI during this stretch.
LET'S PLAY TWO: Today is the second of three double-headers in five days for the Cubs and the team's sixth twin bill of the season. The Cubs are 3-7 in double-header games this year, including a 2-4 mark at home. Entering this season, the Cubs were 9-5 all-time in double-headers against the Redbirds. Memphis has swept both twin bills over the Cubs this year.
VS. REDBIRDS: The Redbirds lead this series 3-0 and lead 10-4 in the season series, including a 6-1 mark at Principal Park. This is already the most games the Redbirds have won at Principal Park in a single season. The Cubs went 2-1 at Auto Zone Park, April 11-13, but the last game was rained out. The Cubs and Redbirds endured over 10 hours of rain delays in a series at Memphis, May 27-30. Two games were postponed and one was suspended. The Redbirds won three-of-four, with the last game made up as part of last night's double-header. Last year, the Redbirds won the season series 10-6, but the teams split the eight games played at Principal Park. The Redbirds lead the all-time series 126-111, but the Cubs hold a 69-49 advantage in their home games Des Moines.
WHAT A RELIEF: LH Zac Rosscup pitched a scoreless inning in game one yesterday. He has not allowed a run in 6.1 innings over his last seven games with Iowa. RH Alberto Cabrera allowed a run in two innings of work in game two last night. He has worked multiple innings in nine straight appearances and allowed just three runs in his last 19.2 innings. RH Marcos Mateo pitched a scoreless inning on Friday night, extending his scoreless streak to 9.2 innings over his last seven appearances. RH Armando Rivero has not allowed a run in 9.1 innings over his last six appearances.
DAYS OF OUR LIVES: The Cubs lead the league with a 27-5 record in days games this year, including an 18-3 mark at home. Following today's games, only five of the Cubs' remaining 34 games are scheduled as day games.
FUJIKAWA ON REHAB: RH Kyuji Fujikawa pitched a scoreless inning in game one yesterday. The Redbirds loaded the bases against him in the sixth inning, but Fujikawa escaped the jam by inducing a 5-2-3 double play. Fujikawa has pitched three games with the Cubs this week as part of his Major League rehab assignment. He has allowed one run on four hits in three innings with one intentional walk and two strikeouts and is expected to work another inning today. Fujikawa underwent Tommy John surgery last June after appearing in 12 games with Chicago. Prior to joining the I-Cubs this year, he made six rehab appearances between Rookie Mesa and single-A Kane County, and didn't allowed an earned run in 5.2 innings.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.