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Bryant's clout caps seven-run Iowa rally

Zephyrs squander late lead to end homestand with 10-7 loss
April 16, 2015

Kris Bryant's three-run homer capped a seven-run outburst for Iowa in the sixth inning, powering the Cubs past the New Orleans Zephyrs on Thursday night, 10-7.

Originally scheduled as a doubleheader, the second game was postponed after a steady rain began to fall late in game one and will be made up when the Cubs return to New Orleans in July.

Addison Russell collected three hits and drove in three runs to pace the Cubs, who overcame a 4-1 deficit after four innings. Russell's bases-loaded single off the glove of a diving Derek Dietrich brought Iowa within a run in the fifth, and only a sensational leaping catch by right fielder Cole Gillespie prevented Bryant from belting a three-run homer to give Iowa the lead an inning earlier than they eventually did.

Still nursing a one-run cushion in the sixth, Salvador Sanchez allowed back-to-back doubles to Junior Lake and Rubi Silva to draw the Cubs even.

Pat Urckfitz entered and gave up a single to Roberto Lopez, only for Silva to be thrown out at the plate. But it proved to be only a brief respite, as Kevin Brown ripped a double into the right-center field gap to give Iowa a 5-4 lead.

The Cubs' onslaught continued as Jonathan Mota followed with an RBI single, and Russell added his second run-scoring single two batters later. Bryant then drilled the first pitch he saw from Urckfitz deep over fence just inside the left field foul pole, his fourth home run in eight games played at Zephyr Field.

New Orleans rallied in their final at-bat, bringing the potential tying run to the plate in the seventh. Two singles and a walk loaded the bases for Austin Wates, who lifted a sacrifice fly. With two outs, Miguel Rojas ripped a two-run double into the left field corner, forcing Iowa to bring in James Russell, who struck out pinch-hitter Brady Shoemaker to end the game.

The game was tied 1-1 in the fourth when the Z's scored three times. Scott Sizemore's grounder with the bases loaded and two outs found its way up the middle for a two-run single, and Gillespie later drew a walk with the bases loaded to boost the Zephyrs lead to 4-1.

Gonzalez German (1-0) picked up the win in relief of starter Eric Jokisch, who was charged with four runs and nine hits in 3 2/3 innings.

Urckfitz (0-1) gave up six runs on five hits while recording just two outs and suffered the loss.

Jake Esch, making his Triple-A debut, pitched five solid innings. The right-hander surrendered three runs and five hits and struck out two without a walk.

New Orleans finished 2-5 on its season-opening homestand, and travels to Omaha on Friday to begin an eight-game road trip.