DES MOINES, IA - The Iowa Cubs (62-55) suffered a 5-0 shutout at the hands of the Las Vegas Aviators (68-49) Friday at Principal Park.
It was a 0-0 game through five as the pitching was dominant. Trevor Clifton, making his first appearance since July 28 due to a stint on the Injured List, allowed just one walk and one hit through 4.0 innings while fanning three.
Dakota Mekkes took over for Iowa and spun a scoreless fifth, before stumbling in the sixth. The first three batters of the inning reached to loaded the bags and Iowa, once again, turned to the 'pen. Alex Wilson took the ball and gave up two hits to clear the bags and ultimately, the I-Cubs allowed four runs in the inning.
On the opposite bump, former Cubs farmhand Paul Blackburn scattered five hits through 7.0 shutout innings. He walked just one with four strikeouts. The Aviators' bullpen continued the effort as Ben Bracewell sat down five I-Cubs in order through the last two frames. Phillip Evans kept the I-Cubs alive with a two-out single in the ninth, but Bracewell rebounded to get Mark Zagunis looking to end the game.
• Tonight's shutout was Iowa's second in five games and its sixth of the season.
• Trevor Clifton spun his first scoreless start since April 26.
• Phillip Evans went 2-for-4 and is batting .395 (34-for-86) through his last 21 games.
The I-Cubs begin a series with the Salt Lake Bees, an Angels' affiliate, Saturday at 7:08. The first 1,000 fans in attendance will receive an Iowa Cubs bucket hat sponsored by Principal Financial Group. For more information and tickets, visit www.iowacubs.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.