Des Moines, IA - Ryan Kalish hit a go-ahead three-run home run as part of a six-run eighth inning to lead the Iowa Cubs (73-70) over the Oklahoma City RedHawks (74-69) 11-8 before 9,958 fans on Sunday afternoon at Principal Park. The Cubs have won four in a row, including the first three games of this four-game set against the RedHawks.
The Cubs sent 10 men to plate in their six-run rally off three RedHawks relievers to erase a three-run deficit. Eli Whiteside got the Cubs within two with a one-out solo home run into the suites in left field. After a single, Elliot Soto reached on a fielder's choice error as 2B Joe Sclafani fielded a ball and threw to SS Jonathan Villar covering second base, but Villar missed the ball and both runners were safe. Junior Lake drove the next pitch into the right field corner for an RBI double. The RedHawks brought in LH Pat Urckfitz to face Kalish. Kalish greeted him by launching the first pitch over the left field wall to give the Cubs their first lead of the game. He homered for the second consecutive game, and half of his eight long balls on the year have come against Oklahoma City. Jonathan Mota provided the Cubs with some insurance by singling in Rafael Lopez. RH Marcos Mateo, who came on in the eighth inning after being activated from the disabled list earlier in the day, retired the side on 11 pitches to record his third win of the year.
The RedHawks took advantage of two Cubs errors in the third inning to score the game's first four runs. Sclafani started the inning by extending his on-base streak to 44 consecutive games -- the longest streak in the PCL since 2012 -- with a single. After a walk, Matt Duffy plated the first run with single. Ronny Torreyes then hit a sacrifice bunt that RHP Dan Straily fielded and threw wide of first base allowing a run to score. Domingo Santana capped the rally with a two-run single to left field.
The Cubs responded in the bottom half of the frame by scoring four runs of their own to tie the game. RedHawks RH Asher Wojciechowski was one out away from escaping a bases-loaded jam, but Mota laced a two-run single into left field to get the Cubs on the board. Mota has hit safely in nine of his past 10 games and is batting .372 (16-for-43) with eight RBI in that span. Andrew Ely followed with a two-run double into the right-center field gap. Wojciechowski escaped without any further damage. The Cubs batted around for the first of two times in the game.
Oklahoma City re-took the lead on a pair of home runs off Straily. Sclafani launched a solo homer to right-center field in the fourth inning, and an inning later, Ruben Sosa plated Andrew Aplin with his first triple-A home run of the year to give the RedHawks a 7-4 advantage.
The Cubs got a run closer in the sixth inning when Kalish drove in Jae-Hoon Ha with a sharp two-out single to left field, and Soto tried to score from second base but was thrown out at the plate by Sosa. The RedHawks got that run right back in the eighth inning when Sclafani tripled in Sosa to give Oklahoma City an 8-5 lead.
Straily didn't factor into the decision after working five innings and allowing an Iowa season-high seven runs (six earned) on eight hits, while walking three and striking out seven.
RH Alberto Cabrera gave up one hit and struck out two in two scoreless innings of relief. His 1.57 ERA (3ER/17.2IP) in August is the best on team among pitchers who have thrown at least 10 innings.
Kalish and Lopez each had three hits to pace a 17-hit attack where six players recorded multi-hit games. Kalish had a season-best four RBI, while Mota added three.
The win guaranteed that the Cubs will finish with a winning record for the first time since 2010 after finishing .500 or better in five straight seasons from 2006-10.
The Cubs and RedHawks wrap up the 2014 regular season with an afternoon contest Monday at 12:05. RH Dae-Eun Rhee (1-2, 6.14) toes the rubber for the Cubs against RH Alex White (3-5, 6.02). 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 11:45 AM.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.