Thomas Diamond pitched five innings of two-hit baseball while matching a season-high with eight strikeouts to lead Iowa past New Orleans 5-1 on Tuesday afternoon at Principal Park. Chad Tracy sparked the offense for the Cubs, ending his day 4-for-4 with two solo home runs. It was Tracy's fourth four-hit game as an I-Cub and his first two-homer game.
For just the second time in their last 12 games, the Cubs got on the board first in the first frame of the game. With two outs, Tracy drove a pitch from Zephyrs' starter Brian Lawrence off the right-field wall for a long single and scored one batter later on Micah Hoffpauir's RBI-double to put the Cubs on top 1-0.
Iowa added two more in the next inning as Bryan LaHair singled and Bobby Scales followed him with a double. Chris Robinson plated LaHair on his RBI-groundout and Jim Adduci later brought in Scales with an RBI-single to bring the Cubs lead to 3-0.
Chad Tracy then skied a fly ball over the right-field wall to lead off the bottom of third and make it 4-0.
Diamond (4-2, 2.24) secured the win for Iowa, his first since May 18. Diamond was both efficient and effective over five innings, striking out eight Zephyr batters and at one point retiring 10 in a row. Diamond allowed only two hits on the day and walked none. The Cubs bullpen helped shut down New Orleans' offense, as four I-Cub relievers combined to pitch four innings while only giving up one run.
New Orleans starter Brian Lawrence (4-5, 4.57) took the loss, giving up five hits and four runs over five innings. Lawrence struck out three and walked a batter.
Tracy connected on his second home run in the eighth innings, taking a pitch from Zephyrs reliever Kasey Olenberger into the right-field bleachers.
The Cubs have a day off before starting a four-game road series with Memphis. Iowa RH Casey Coleman (5-4, 3.74) will oppose Memphis RH Brandon Dickson (6-3, 3.34). First pitch is slated for 7:05 p.m.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.