- The Iowa Cubs (24-27) beat the Omaha Storm Chasers (31-22) 5-4 at Werner Park tonight, extending the team's season-high winning streak to five games. The Cubs trailed 4-1 after six innings, but rallied with two runs in each of the seventh and eighth innings to get the win in the opener of this four-game series.
Lefty Jonathan Sanchez started for the Storm Chasers on a major league rehab assignment from Kansas City. Clint Robinson staked the Storm Chasers to a 1-0 lead with a solo home run in the bottom of the second. Sanchez retired the first 13 batters he faced to start the game before Josh Vitters ended the streak with a solo homer to right field. Vitters has four home runs in his last 13 games.
Cubs' starter Chris Rusin was on a streak of eight in a row retired before walking Derrick Robinson to start the bottom of the sixth inning. Yuniesky Betancourt, also with Omaha on a rehab assignment, followed with a home run to left that put the Storm Chasers up 3-1. Wil Myers followed with double and scored on a one-out single by David Lough, extending Omaha's lead to 4-1.
The Cubs came back against Doug Davis in the seventh. The lefty, who pitched for both Iowa and Chicago last season, gave up a singles to Vitters and Dave Sappelt to start the inning. Diory Hernandez followed with a ground ball to second base. The Storm Chasers forced Sappelt at second, but couldn't complete the double play. With runners on the corners, Brian Esposito split the outfielders with a double to right-center field that drove in both runners and pulled the Cubs to within one.
In the eighth inning, Alfredo Amezaga and Luis Valbuena led off with consecutive singles to chase Davis from the game. After a sacrifice bunt by Ty Wright, reliever Roman Colon intentionally walked Vitters to load the bases. Sappelt followed with a ground ball to second that could've been an inning-ending double play, but the ball went off the glove of Kurt Mertins, who had checked in on defense for Betancourt. The Storm Chasers got a good bounce as the ball rolled to shortstop Anthony Seratelli for a force out at second base, but Sappelt reached first as Amezaga scored the tying run. After another walk to Hernandez, Colon uncorked a wild pitch that allowed Valbuena to score the go-ahead run.
The Cubs' bullpen made that one-run lead hold up. Jeff Beliveau (1-1), just activated from the disabled list today, pitched a scoreless seventh and earned his first triple-A win. Mike MacDougal walked one in a scoreless eighth and Scott Maine retired the side in order in the ninth to earn his third save. Colon was charged with a blown save and Davis (0-1) suffered the loss for the Storm Chasers.
The Cubs and Storm Chasers continue this series tomorrow night at 6:35 at Werner Park. RH Jay Jackson (2-4, 6.43) is scheduled to start for the Cubs against RH Sean O'Sullivan (4-3, 5.92) for the Storm Chasers. The game will be broadcast live on AM 940 with the On-Deck Circle Pre-Game Show starting at 6:15.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.