Colorado Springs, Colo. - Colorado Springs first-baseman Matt Clark clubbed a game-winning two-run home run off left-hander Joe Ortiz (0-1) in the bottom of the ninth to lead Colorado Springs (5-11) past Iowa (7-9) 9-8 in Pacific Coast League action Saturday night at Security Service Field.
Leading 8-7 heading into the bottom of the ninth, the Cubs cut down Matt Long trying to score on a Luis Sardinas groundball for the second out of the inning. On the very next pitch, Clark turned around an Ortiz fastball for his third home run of the season to give the Sky Sox a comeback victory.
Iowa drew first blood in the top of the first inning, scoring four two-out runs against Sky Sox starter Taylor Jungmann. Junior Lake struck an RBI-single, followed by a Christian Villanueva three-run home run, his first Triple-A long ball of the year.
The I-Cubs scratched across single runs each of the next three innings to take a 7-1 lead heading into the bottom of the fourth. It was then that Dallas Beeler, assigned to Iowa today on a major league rehab assignment, ran into trouble. Beeler allowed a three-spot in the inning, keyed by a Bryan Petersen two-RBI single.
Beeler loaded the bases in the fifth inning with nobody out before being lifted after 74 pitches. Right-hander Carlos Pimentel, making his first relief appearance of the season, allowed all three inherited men to score on two wild pitches, a walk and an RBI-groundout.
Beeler only made it through 4.0 innings and allowed six earned runs on five hits and three walks with two strikeouts in his first outing of the season.
Pimentel and right-hander Yoanner Negrin each pitched 2.0 scoreless innings to keep the Sky Sox in check before Clark's ninth-inning heroics.
Jungmann allowed seven earned runs in 4.0 innings on 10 hits and two walks with three strikeouts. Right-hander Corey Knebel (1-0) tossed a scoreless ninth for the Sky Sox to earn the win.
Villanueva led the way for Iowa offensively, driving in five runs to tie a career-high. Matt Szczur and Taylor Teagarden each added three hits in the loss.
Clark paced Colorado Springs, going 2-for-4 with a pair of hits, runs and RBI. Long went 3-for-5 with a run scored.
Iowa will play game two of a four-game series Sunday afternoon, with first pitch set for 2:35 p.m. CT at Security Service Field in Colorado Springs, Colo. Right hander Donn Roach (1-0, 2.60) will make his fourth start on the year opposite Sky Sox right-hander Tyler Thornburg (0-0, -.--). The game can be heard live on AM 940, 104.5 FM, and live streamed at Iowacubs.com. The On-Deck Circle Pre-game Show will begin 2:10 p.m. CT.