Iowa Cubs (11-23) vs. Round Rock Express (15-24)
Tuesday, May 15 • 12:08 p.m. CT • Principal Park • Des Moines, IA
RHP Alec Mills (1-4, 4.72) vs. LHP Yohander Mendez (0-3, 6.66)
TODAY'S GAME: Iowa and Round Rock play the finale of the set today. Round Rock took the first two games, but Iowa bounced back to win Game 2 of the doubleheader yesterday. Since 2015, Iowa is 9-20 against the Express at Principal thanks, in part, to a 0-8 2016. The two teams will meet for the third time this month in Round Rock next week.
E FOR EFFORT: Efren Navarro recorded a hit in both games yesterday, including a 3-for-3 Game 2. In doing so, he extended his hitting streak to a team-leading 11 games. He is batting .381 (16-for-42) through the streak. In 30 games as an I-Cub, Navarro has a hit in 27 of them and has reached base in 28. His .367 on-base percentage is second only to Bijan Rademacher (.380) on the team.
SHOOTING THE GAP: Iowa managed just two extra-base hits through 14.0 innings yesterday. Iowa's offense has been short on power this season as the lineup has been held to one or fewer extra-base knocks 14 times. Iowa didn't collect more than two extra-base hits through the first eight games of the season and has only collected more than two in 12 games. Seven have come in Iowa's last 15 contests.
ROUND AND ROUND: Round Rock hit Iowa for 11 runs in Game 1 yesterday. it was the first time the I-Cubs have given up double-digit runs this season. Memphis and Oklahoma City remain the only PCL teams to have held opponents to single digits in each game this season. Iowa also matched a season high with 14 hits allowed in the game. The I-Cubs have limited opponents to fewer than 10 hits in 19 of 33 games this season.
STEADY DOES IT: Bijan Rademacher has been one of Iowa's most consistent batters this season, hitting .300 (15-for-50) in April and .279 (12-for-43) thus far in May. The outfielder has reached base in each of his last 12 games, batting .316 (12-for-38) with a .426 on-base percentage. He leads Iowa's roster with a season .390 on-base percentage and is tied with Ryan Court for the most walks with 13.
AGAINST ROUND ROCK: Iowa tallied its first series win of the season against Round Rock last week. Historically, the I-Cubs are 50-56 at Principal Park against Round Rock. Efren Navarro (10-25) and Jacob Hannemann (6-15) are both hitting .400 in the season series, while Wynton Bernard has had trouble cashing in on Round Rock pitching and is 0-for-13.
LOAD 'EM UP: Iowa continues to struggle with bases loaded. The I-Cubs are batting .125 (4-for-22) with four walks and 10 Ks. They have only managed 14 RBI in bases-loaded situations.
LOSING GRIP: Iowa's starting pitchers were on a tear to begin May, posting a 2.47 ERA (13ER/17.1IP) through eight games from May 3-11 (excluding a spot-start from Brad Markey on May 7). In three games since, the rotation has nearly equaled this earned run total, allowing 12 through 14.0 innings for a 7.71 ERA. I-Cub starters are 7-18 with a 4.53 ERA (90ER/179.0IP) on the season.
HOME RUN HAPPY: Iowa went on a home run brigade a week ago, hitting 14 over a 10-game span after hitting eight through the first 21 games. The I-Cubs have now seen a six-game homer drought since May 5 and rank third-to-last in home runs, edging only Omaha (19) and New Orleans (17).
ORDER IN THE COURT: After batting .117 (7-for-60) with 33 strikeouts in April, Ryan Court is finding his swing, hitting .277 (13-for-47) in May. Court has a hit in a season-best four-straight games (5-for-15, .333) and has reached base in 14-consecutive games since April 29, batting .255 (14-for-55) with a .339 on-base percentage over this stretch.
SHORT HOPS: Iowa has split both doubleheaders it has played this season...The I-Cubs are 12-9 when scoring first. They have yet to win a game when opponents score first....Duane Underwood Jr. is seventh in the PCL with a 2.62 ERA. He also ranks in the top-five in WHIP, average and fewest baserunners/nine innings.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.