Tacoma, WA - Four Iowa pitchers combined on a five-hit shutout in the Cubs (69-69) 8-0 win over the Tacoma Rainiers (71-66) on Monday night at Cheney Stadium. The Cubs lead the Pacific Coast League, and have set a franchise record, with 14 shutouts this year. This was the staff's 10th shutout on the road.
LH Eric Jokisch started the game, but had to come out of the game with two men on and one out in the third inning due to a blister on the middle finger of his pitching hand. RH Alberto Cabrera took over, stranded the two base runners, and then worked a season-high 4.2 innings in relief. Cabrera (4-2) allowed three hits, didn't walk a batter, and struck out two to earn the win. RH Arodys Vizcaino pitched a perfect eighth before RH Armando Rivero finished the ninth. He allowed one hit, but got a double play ball to face the minimum. The Cubs turned three double plays in the game.
The Cubs tagged Rainiers' starter Taijuan Walker (6-4) for five runs on nine hits in six innings. Four of the runs came in the top of the third. SS Elliot Soto led off with a double and scored on a base hit by DH Junior Lake. After a groundout and a walk, RF Jorge Soler smashed a three-run homer to right field to extend the Cubs' lead to 4-0. Soler was replaced on defense in the bottom of the inning.
Soto and Lake combined for the Cubs' final run against Walker in the sixth. With one out, Soto singled and scored when Lake lined a double to the wall in left-center field.
The Cubs scored their final three runs against RH Logan Bawcom in the seventh. 1B Jonathan Mota entered the game for Soler in the third and lined a home run over the wall in left field leading off the inning. It was Mota's second home run with Iowa this year. C Rafael Lopez followed with a base hit and moved to third on a one-out double by CF Jae-Hoon Ha. 2B Andrew Ely lined a base hit to drive in Lopez and Soto brought in Ha with a sacrifice fly.
Omaha lost their game in Reno on Monday night, but Oklahoma City won at home over Albuquerque. With six games left to play, the Cubs are three games back of a first-place tie between the Storm Chasers and RedHawks in the American Northern Division. The Cubs will host Oklahoma City in the final four games of the regular season starting on Friday night at Principal Park.
The Cubs and Rainiers play game three of this series on Tuesday night at 9:05 PM Central time. RH Dan Straily (7-7, 4.00) will start for the Cubs against RH Erasmo Ramirez (5-5, 3.63) for the Rainiers. The game will be broadcast live on AM 940, 104.5 FM, and streamed live at iowacubs.com, with the On-Deck Circle Pre-Game Show starting at 8:40 PM.