Iowa Cubs (11-23) vs. Round Rock Express (14-23)
Sunday, May 13 • 1:05 p.m. CT • Principal Park • Des Moines
RHP Adbert Alzolay (2-1, 2.91) vs. RHP Tyler Wagner (0-1, 4.68)
TODAY'S GAME: Iowa and Round Rock play the second game of a four-game series today. With the loss last night, Iowa snapped a three-game winning streak against the Express. Round Rock gained some ground and trails just 2-3 in the season series.
COURT CONTROLLING: Ryan Court is hitting .286 over the last 10 games (10-for-35). He continued to build on his May turnaround last night, going 2-for-3 with the lone RBI of the night, leading to a five-game span of a .333, 6-for-18 stretch. Court trails only Bijan Rademacher (8-for-18, .444) and Efren Navarro (7-for-20, .350) during the past five contests, and is tied with Navarro with a team-leading five RBI during the span.
E FOR EFFORT: Efren Navarro hit safely in all eight games of the road trip, going 11-for-33 (.333) with two doubles, one home run and six RBI. He extended the streak last night to nine games with a single in the first inning for a 1-for-3 night. Nine games ties Taylor Davis and David Bote for the longest hitting streak for an I-Cub this season. In 28 games as an I-Cub, Navarro has a hit in 25 of them and has reached base in 26. His .347 on-base percentage is second only to Bijan Rademacher (.386) on the team.
MAY FLOWERS: The Iowa offense is turning a corner in the month of May, as five of the eight regular I-Cub bats (7+G), are batting above .270 over the last 10 games. The I-Cub's team batting is slowly rising out of the lower ranks of the PCL at .245, after a .270 collective average over the last 10 contests. The .245 pace is still third-to-last in the PCLbehind Round Rock (.239) and Omaha (.237).
SHOOTING THE GAP: Jacob Hannemann recorded Iowa's only extra-base hit last night with a ninth-inning double. Iowa's offense has been short on power this season as that marked the 13th time the lineup has been held to one or fewer extra-base knocks. Iowa didn't collect more than two extra-base hits through the first eight games of the season and has only surpassed that number in 12 games. Seven have come in Iowa's last 13 games.
AGAINST ROUND ROCK: Iowa tallied its first series win of the season against Round Rock last week. Historically, the I-Cubs are 49-55 at Principal Park against Round Rock. Last series, David Bote batted .555 (10-for-18), collecting a five-hit game, and a home run. Chesny Young also excelled in this matchup seeing his overall batting average increase a full 21 points.
FINDING FIGHT: The Cubs continue to search for late-inning rallies as the club owns a 1-for-20 record when trailing after 7.0 innings and is 1-19 when trailing after 6.0. They have yet to win a contest when their opponents score first.
LOAD 'EM UP: Iowa loaded the bases in the third inning last night, but couldn't cash in, which has been a trend for the order. With bases loaded in 2018, the I-Cubs are batting .138 (4-for-29) with four walks and 10 Ks. They have only managed 14 RBI in bases-loaded situations.
WELCOME TO IOWA: Catcher Tyler Pearson made his Triple-A debut last night, batting ninth as the DH. He went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts. Pearson is the third player to make his debut at this level with Iowa in 2018, joining the likes of Adbert Alzolay and Duane Underwood Jr.
PICKING UP THE PIECES: Luke Farrell was chased after three innings last night, causing an early call to the 'pen. Alberto Baldonado and Brad Markey each gave Iowa three strong frames, allowing just one run between them. It was the fifth time this season the I-Cubs bullpen has contributed six or more innings in a game.
KO'D: Ryan Court is tied for third in the league with 51 strikeouts and is whiffing in 45 percent of his plate appearances. He has multiple strikeouts in 18 of 28 games played. Court balances this slightly, tying with Bijan Rademacher for the team lead with 12 walks.
SHORT HOPS: Dillon Maples leads the PCL with seven wild pitches...Iowa is 2-8 in series openers this season.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.