Iowa Cubs (24-14) vs. Omaha Storm Chasers (17-21)
Tuesday, May 14 • 12:08 PM • Principal Park • Des Moines, IA
RHP Duane Underwood Jr. (2-3, 5.29) vs. LHP Brian Flynn (0-2, 5.25)
TODAY'S GAME: The I-Cubs look to bounce back from three-straight losses to the Storm Chasers and avoid the sweep today at Principal Park. The Storm Chasers have not swept the I-Cubs at Principal Park since June 11-13, 2012. The last time Iowa was both swept in a series by Omaha and swept the Storm Chasers in the same season was 2004 -- Iowa swept at Omaha July 1-3 (3 gms) and was swept in Des Moines Aug. 25-29 (5 gms).
OUR FILL OF PHILL: Minor League free agent Phillip Evans has been a great addition to the I-Cubs lineup this season. The infielder paces the PCL with 30 walks and is sixth with a .446 on-base percentage. In 36 games with the I-Cubs, Evans has reached base in 31 of them. Since April 24, Evans is batting .354 (23-for-65) with four home runs and 17 RBI. His 21 walks and two hit-by-pitches give him a .523 on-base percentage over this span.
DOUBLE FIGURES: Omaha scored 11 runs against Iowa yesterday. It was just the second time the Iowa staff had given up 11+ runs in a game this season and is 0-2 in those games. In 2018, the I-Cubs were 0-14 when allowing 10 or more runs.
POWER SURGE: Dixon Machado punched his sixth home run of the season yesterday to match a career high. Machado is second on the I-Cubs roster in home runs, trailing Trent Giambrone with seven. Six of Giambrone's home runs came in the first 15 games of the season. The utility man has not hit one out since May 2 against San Antonio.
FINDING A WAY: Ian Happ has reached base in 11-straight games, thanks to a .256 batting average (10-for-39) and 13 walks through this span. The utility man has struck out just eight times in these 11 games. Happ has reached base in 21 of his last 22 games and boasts 23 walks compared to 14 strikeouts through the stretch.
ROSE GARDEN: Randy Rosario spun another 1.1 scoreless innings yesterday. Since getting optioned at the end of April, Rosario has held opponents without a run through five games and 5.0 innings with Iowa. He has allowed six hits, walked one, fanned six and is 2/2 in save opportunities.
AGAINST OMAHA: After executing a sweep of Omaha at Werner Park last series -- its first sweep in Omaha since June 6-8, 2008 -- Iowa has fallen to 0-3 in this home set. Iowa is batting .277 against Omaha, while the Storm Chasers hold a .231 average. The I-Cubs have outscored the Storm Chasers 39-26 despite the near equal record. Phillip Evans is 11-for-27 (.407) with three home runs, six RBI and a .529 on-base percentage off Omaha pitching.
LIMITING HITS: Dillon Maples gave up one hit, hit one batter and fanned three in 1.1 scoreless innings of work Saturday. Of 47 batters faced with Iowa this season, only 14 have put the ball in play resulting in four hits and 10 outs. Maples has walked nine, hit three and struck out 21 -- good for an average of 18.29 strikeouts per nine innings.
ON THE MEND: Victor Caratini found his swing in game three of his rehab assignment with Iowa, going 3-for-5 with a double and an RBI. The catcher is 4-for-14 (.286) through his time with Iowa.
HOME SWEET HOME: Iowa is hitting a near equal .253 at home and .258 on the road. With 11 runs allowed yesterday, Iowa's home ERA ballooned to 4.26, while the road clip sits at a 3.80 mark. Iowa is just 9-9 in home games and 15-5 on the road.
WHEN IT COUNTS: Iowa is batting .256 as a team - the fourth-lowest mark in the PCL. The I-Cubs are batting .230 with bases empty, but are hitting the ball when it counts. The team is batting .288 with runners on, .285 with runners in scoring position and .285 with RISP and two outs. With bases loaded, the I-Cubs are hitting .327 as a team. In comparison, Iowa pitching is allowing opponents to hit .261 with bases empty, while limiting hitters to a .239 average with runners on, .223 with runners in scoring position, .214 with RISP and two outs and .128 with bases loaded.
SHORT HOPS: Iowa is 18-0 when scoring six or more runs in a game...Rowan Wick's 2.2 innings pitched last night were a career high...Iowa's 13 hits last night tied it's second-most in a game this season.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.