Albuquerque, NM (August 30, 2010)
- The Iowa Cubs (78-58) set season-highs for runs, hits, and home runs in a 20-9 victory over the Albuquerque Isotopes (68-67) at Isotopes Park tonight. The Cubs had seven home runs among their 25 hits in the victory. The Cubs' division lead remains just a half-game though as Memphis beat New Orleans.
The Cubs started their offensive onslaught early and never looked back. Sam Fuld led off the game with a single for the first of his five hits, but was caught stealing. With the bases empty and two outs, Brad Snyder doubled and Jason Dubois blasted a home run to deep left-center field on an 0-2 pitch from Isotopes' starter Seth Etherton to get the Cubs on the board. Bryan LaHair was next and swung and missed at a pitch in the dirt for strike three, but reached first as the pitch skipped to the backstop for a wild pitch. Bobby Scales followed with a home run to right field to extend the lead to 4-0.
The Isotopes didn't score in the bottom of the first and the Cubs got right back to work on offense. Matt Camp led off the top of the second inning with a home run down the right field line for his second home run of the season. Cubs' starter Mitch Atkins followed with a double and went to third on a base hit by Fuld. Etherton got a visit from his pitching coach, then the trainer, and came out of the game with an injury. Josh Lindblom took over and was greeted by a laser off the bat of Marquez Smith that went off the fence in center for a two-run double. Snyder was next and smashed a mammoth home run to center that went over the wall and into the trees at the top of the hill behind the fence for his 23rd homer of the season. Dubois made it back-to-back blasts with his second homer in as many at-bats and the Cubs led 10-0.
The Isotopes got on the board with two runs in the bottom of the third inning, but the Cubs came back with four runs in the top of the fifth. Snyder drove in the first run with an infield hit that went off Lindblom's foot on the mound. Following the Snyder hit, the 'Topes brought in Cory Wade and Dubois ripped an RBI double off the top of the wall in left for his fourth RBI of the game. LaHair drove in his first run with a groundout and Scales capped the rally with a two-out hit to drive in Dubois for a 14-2 Cubs' lead.
LaHair got into the homer act with a two-out solo shot in the top of the seventh inning. After the 'Topes scored three runs in the bottom of the eighth, the Cubs answered with five runs in the top of the ninth. Snyder drove in the first run with a double to deep right-center and missed a chance to hit for the cycle when the ball bounced over the wall for a ground rule double. It the ball stayed in play, he could've reached third easily. Ty Wright drove in two with a pinch-hit double and LaHair capped the scoring with his second homer of the night to center. All five runs came off infielder Travis Denker who was the third position player to pitch for Albuquerque this season. Denker faced six batters without getting an out and the Isotopes had to bring in Juan Perez, their seventh pitcher of the night, to get the final three outs.
Atkins (7-3) worked six innings and allowed two runs on five hits to earn his first win since picking up a victory in relief on July 29th at Albuquerque. David Cales pitched two innings in relief and allowed three runs on six hits. The 'Topes tacked on four runs against Jake Muyco in the ninth. Etherton (5-7) was charged with the loss.
NOTES: Seven home runs in a game is one shy of the Iowa franchise record of eight set on August 9, 2008 at Round Rock...this was LaHair's third multi-homer game of the season and the 14th of his career...Dubois has three home runs and 12 RBI in his last five games. He now has 84 career home runs with Iowa, six shy of the franchise's career record...Fuld's five hits tied the team-high and his career-high. He had five hits on August 18, 2008 with Double-A Tennessee against Montgomery.
The Cubs and Isotopes continue this series with two games tomorrow at Isotopes Park. The teams will first picked up a suspended game from July 30th with the Cubs leading 4-0 and batting in the top of the first inning. RH Jeff Samardzija (11-2, 3.23) will start for the Cubs against RH Charlie Haeger (3-2, 5.40) for the 'Topes. The game will be completed through nine innings and then the teams will square off in a seven-inning game. RH Hung-Wen Chen (2-3, 5.70) will start for the Cubs against RH Edgar Gonzalez (0-1, 6.00) for the 'Topes. Action gets underway at 5:00 Central time. Both games will be broadcast live on AM 940 with the Safeco On-Deck Circle Pre-Game Show starting at 4:35.