Des Moines, IA - RH Dallas Beeler threw seven shutout innings and was backed by two home runs and excellent defense in the Iowa Cubs (72-70) 3-0 win over the Oklahoma City RedHawks (74-68) on Saturday night at Principal Park. The Cubs have won the first two games of this four-game set and lead the season series 8-6. The Cubs were eliminated from playoff contention earlier in the day with the Omaha Storm Chasers win.
Beeler allowed just four hits -- all singles -- and walked three in his second straight scoreless outing to pick up his eighth win. The RedHawks had baserunners in six of the innings, but only had multiple men on base in one. Beeler has worked at least six innings in 17 straight starts. He has tossed 15 quality starts in 20 outings on the year, including in five straight.
RH Armando Rivero relieved Beeler and struck out two in a 14-pitch scoreless eighth inning. RH Blake Parker entered in the ninth inning and allowed the first two RedHawks to reach, but he retired the next three in order, including two by strikeout, to preserve the franchise-best 15th shutout of the season. He nailed down his league-leading 25th save of the year to tie Jermaine Van Buren (2005) for the Iowa single-season saves record. His 66 career saves with Iowa are a franchise record.
The Cubs broke the scoreless pitcher's duel in the fifth inning when Jonathan Mota lined his third home run of the year into the left field suites off LH Luis Cruz for his second hit of the game. He has hit safely in eight of his last nine games and is batting .368 (14-for-38) with two doubles, a triple, two home runs, six runs scored, and five RBI in that span. Ryan Kalish added insurance with a long one-out, two-run homer to right-center field in the eighth inning against reliever Richard Rodriguez. The Cubs have hit a home run in 10 of their last 11 games and the 71 they have hit since July 1 are tied for the PCL lead.
The Cubs and RedHawks put on a defensive clinic all night. Oklahoma City CF Andrew Aplin tripped on a ball hit his direction by Rafael Lopez in the second inning, but recovered to make a diving catch. An inning later, 1B Mota ranged far to his right to make a terrific diving stop on a ball and threw to Beeler covering first for the out. The Cubs had runners at second and third with one out in the third inning when Joe Sclafani robbed Kalish of an RBI chance. He leaped to catch a sharp line drive and threw to third base to get Jae-Hoon Ha roaming off the bag. Cubs SS Elliot Soto made a nifty stop up the middle and shoveled to 2B David Bote for a fielder's choice out in the fifth inning. The Cubs improved to 41-23 this season when they play errorless baseball.
Cruz pitched his first triple-A quality start but took the loss after giving up one run on six hits in six innings.
The Cubs and RedHawks continue their four-game set by playing the third game on Sunday afternoon at 1:05. RH Dan Straily (7-8, 4.14) toes the slab for the Cubs against RedHawks RH Asher Wojciechowski (4-4, 4.56). The game will be broadcast live on AM 940 and 104.5 FM. It will also be streamed live at iowacubs.com, with the On-Deck Circle Pre-Game Show starting at 12:45 PM.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.