TONIGHT'S GAME: The Iowa Cubs and Oklahoma City RedHawks play the first game of a five-game series at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark. The RedHawks are the Pacific Coast League affiliate of the Houston Astros. This is the 10th game of the Cubs' longest road trip of the season. The team is in a stretch of 14 games over 14 days away from Principal Park. The Cubs are 6-3 on this road trip after going 4-1 in New Orleans and 2-2 at Omaha on their first two stops.
IOWA KEEPS OMAHA IN CHASE MODE: The Cubs split a four-game series with the Omaha Storm Chasers with a 7-4 win at Werner Park on Tuesday afternoon. The Cubs scored five runs in the top of the third inning, capped by a grand slam from 1B Mike Olt, to take control of the game. RH Dan Straily (6-6) allowed two unearned runs and tied a season-high with nine strikeouts over seven innings to earn the win. The Cubs used four relievers to cover the final two innings and LH Zac Rosscup came in with two men on base to get the final out and earn his fourth save of the season. With the win, the Cubs pushed their division lead back to 1.5 games over the Storm Chasers and won the season series 9-7. The Cubs have held the division lead for all but two days since June 29.
POWER BALL: 1B Mike Olt hit a grand slam on Tuesday and OF Jorge Soler added a solo home run to lead the Cubs on offense. It was the sixth grand slam this season for the Cubs, tying El Paso and Round Rock for the league lead. The Cubs have hit 15 home runs in nine games on this road trip and are tied with Round Rock for the league lead with nine home runs this month. The Cubs lead the league with 43 home runs since July 1. 3B Kris Bryant leads the league with 14 home runs since he joined the Cubs from double-A on June 19.
DAN THE MAN: RH Dan Straily has not allowed an earned run in 13 innings nand has struck out 14 over his last two starts. Straily has won both starts for his first two wins of the season with the Cubs.
TO ERR IS HUMAN: The Cubs were able to overcome four errors in Tuesday's win. Amazingly, the Cubs have a 5-4 record when committing three or more errors in a game this year.
VS. REDHAWKS: The RedHawks lead the season series 4-3. The RedHawks won two-of-three against the Cubs in the first series in Bricktown, July 4-6. The teams split a four-game set at Principal Park, July 11-13. The Cubs and RedHawks will meet four four games in Des Moines, August 29-September 1, to finish the regular season. Last year, the Cubs and RedHawks split the season series 8-8, with both teams finishing 6-2 at home. The Cubs have lost seven of their last eight games at Bricktown and are 5-22 in Oklahoma City since the start of the 2011 season. The Cubs lead the all-time PCL series 118-110, but the RedHawks hold a 60-53 advantage in their home games.
ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: 3B Kris Bryant went 2-for-3 with a walk, was hit by a pitch, and scored two runs on Tuesday. He has at least one hit and has scored a run in nine straight games and is batting .400 (12-for-30) with three doubles, three home runs, 14 runs scored, and seven RBI during this stretch. He leads the PCL with 23 runs scored since the All-Star Break. In his first full season of pro ball, Bryant is batting a combined .341 (140-for-410) with 36 home runs and 94 RBI in 114 games between double-A and the I-Cubs this season. He leads the minor leagues in extra-base hits (69), total bases (279), slugging (.685), and OPS (1.131). He is second in home runs, RBI, runs scored (100), and on-base percentage (.446).
STREAKERS: OF Matt Szczur was 2-for-5 on Tuesday has hit safely in a season-high 10 straight games. He has also hit safely in 18 of his 20 starts since the All-Star Break. In his last 10 games, Szczur is batting .325 (13-for-40) with two doubles, five runs scored, and seven stolen bases. He is tied for second in the league with 11 steals since the All-Star Break. 1B Mike Olt had a single and a walk to go with his grand slam on Tuesday. He has also hit safely in 10 straight, a new career-high. Olt is batting .400 (16-for-40) with five doubles, two home runs, and 10 RBI during this stretch. He has hit safely in 16 of 18 games since getting optioned from Chicago on July 23. C Rafael Lopez has hit safely in a season-high seven straight games and is 7-for-22 (.318) with a double and three RBI.
ROSTER MOVES: RH Blake Parker was optioned from Chicago on Tuesday and joins Iowa today. OF Manny Ramirez has been activated from the disabled list.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.