DES MOINES, IA - The Round Rock (14-23) offense struck first in the top of the second and never let go of the lead as Iowa (11-23) fell 4-2, Saturday at Principal Park.
Former I-Cub Austin Bibens-Dirkx shut down the Iowa offense for 5.1 innings of seven-hit ball with one earned run, three walks and five strikeouts; as the Cubs' offense fell silent after an RBI single by Ryan Court in the third.
Efren Navarro's single in the first ignited the production, as he extended his hitting streak to nine games. But it was Court and Bijan Rademacher's 2-for-3 nights that highlighted an offense that out hit Round Rock 9-to-7. Aggressive base running and the inability to move runners proved costly, as the club went 2-for-7 with runners in scoring position.
On the mound, the I-Cub bullpen continued to keep the club within striking distance, as Luke Farrell (0-2) took the loss after tossing 3.0 innings in his return from Chicago. The righty was replaced by left-hander Alberto Baldonado after giving up three earned runs off two hits, two walks and two strikeouts.
Baldonado stymied the Round Rock bats for another three innings of work, as he allowed just one hit with three strikeouts to tie his best outing of the season on May 2. Brad Markey relieved the lefty and was tagged for a run in the eighth as Round Rock extended its lead to three.
A ninth inning comeback looked to be in the works, as Gold Glover Jacob Hannemann roped a leadoff double. He would remain stranded at second though, as Round Rock's R.J. Alvarez induced a lineout and a groundout to notch the save on a rainy opening of a four-game set.
Iowa continues its eight-game homestand at 1:08 p.m. Sunday for a Mother's Day matinee with Round Rock. For more information or tickets, visit www.iowacubs.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.