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September 24 Game Notes: Iowa @ St. Paul

September 24, 2021

IOWA CUBS (51-71) @ ST. PAUL SAINTS (62-60) Friday, September 24, 2021 • 7:05 PM • CHS Field • St. Paul, MN RHP Joe Biagini (3-7, 5.57) vs. LHP Charlie Barnes (6-4, 3.88)

IOWA CUBS (51-71) @ ST. PAUL SAINTS (62-60)

Friday, September 24, 2021 • 7:05 PM • CHS Field • St. Paul, MN

RHP Joe Biagini (3-7, 5.57) vs. LHP Charlie Barnes (6-4, 3.88)

TONIGHT’S GAME: Iowa and St. Paul are set to meet for game three of their five-game set tonight, with Joe Biagini facing off against Charlie Barnes. This year with Iowa, Biagini is 3-7 with a 5.57 ERA in 21 games, allowing 53 earned runs on 96 hits. The righty is scheduled to make his seventh appearance against St. Paul, currently holding a 1-1 record with a 4.42 ERA. In 18.1 innings against the Saints, he has allowed nine earned runs on 18 hits, walking seven compared to 20 strikeouts. Barnes is 6-4 with a 3.88 ERA in 15 starts with St. Paul, and has been dominant against the I-Cubs. The lefty is 3-0 with a 2.11 ERA in four starts against Iowa, allowing just five earned runs on 13 hits. Iowa hitters have walked 11 times and struck out 22 when facing Barnes, but are hitting just .171 against the southpaw.

BUMP IN THE ROAD: Matt Swarmer broke his streak of five straight outings with less than three runs allowed last night when the Saints struck for six against the righty. After a rough start to his Iowa season, Swarmer had been one of the I-Cubs’ most effective starters for the past month. He had logged quality starts in three out of his last five heading into last night’s game, and owned an ERA of just 2.12 (7ER/29.2IP) over that span. St. Paul had his number last night, however, and the six runs they tagged Swarmer with are the most he’s given up since August 19 - another six-run outing in St. Paul. All six of the runs were earned, marking the most earned runs Swarmer has allowed since June 23, when he gave up eight against Omaha. The Saints accomplished most of their scoring on home runs, of which Swarmer gave up three. That makes last night’s outing the first time Swarmer’s allowed more than two home runs since his first outing for the I-Cubs this season, when he gave up three home runs to Omaha. Swarmer is now 3-8 on the season, and his eight losses are the most of any Iowa pitcher this year.

GETTING IN HIS GROOVE: Christopher Morel got his first two Triple-A hits last night in his second game with Iowa, going 2-for-3 with a run scored against the Saints. In his first at-bat in the second inning, Morel singled for his first Triple-A hit. He manufactured a run for the I-Cubs to extend their lead to 2-0, stealing second and scoring from second on a hard hit single to the outfield. The utility man spent the entire 2021 season with Double-A Tennessee, hitting .220 (81-for-368) with 17 doubles, five triples and 17 home runs. He walked 41 times compared to 124 strikeouts, while stealing 16 bags. Since being assigned to Iowa on September 22, Morel is now 2-for-6 in his first two games. He has walked twice compared to just one strikeout, raising his on-base percentage to .500. The No. 20 overall ranked prospect in Chicago’s system by has also swiped two bases already with the I-Cubs.

BACK TO EARTH: Brennen Davis went 0-for-4 last night to secure his first hitless game at Triple-A after collecting at least one hit in each of his first seven games with Iowa. Davis first joined the I-Cubs in Omaha on September 14, then went 10-for-24 with three home runs in his first series. He kept it going with a 2-for-3 night in the opener in St. Paul, but came up empty handed in game two. Davis’ streak saw him hit for a .444 average with five multi-hit games, five extra base hits, four walks, nine RBI, and seven runs scored. The seven-game streak was the longest by any player to open their I-Cubs season this year, and it made Davis the first player to collect hits in each of his first seven Iowa games since Zack Short hit safely in all eight of the first games he played with Iowa in 2019. Before that, the last player to open their I-Cubs tenure with a seven-game hitting streak was Willson Contreras, who did it in April of 2016. Though Davis snapped his hitting streak, he did take a walk and score a run in last night’s game, keeping his on-base streak alive at eight games.

SNAPPED: Both Abiatal Avelino and Brennen Davis had their hitting streaks snapped in last night’s game against St. Paul. Avelino got just one at-bat, a pinch-hit effort in the eighth inning in which he grounded out. The infielder had a six-game streak going from September 11-22 in which he hit .308 (8-for-26) with a home run, four runs batted in and five strikeouts. Avelino was just two games from his longest streak of the year for Iowa, when he recorded at least one hit in eight straight games from May 5-14. Davis had recorded a hit in each of his first seven games with the I-Cubs, a record for the longest such streak of any Iowa hitter this year. The Cubs’ No. 1 ranked prospect showed he was human last night, going 0-for-4 with a run scored, a walk and three strikeouts.

A LITTLE SOMETHING COOKING: Entering Sunday’s game against Omaha, Brendon Little had allowed all seven runners that he inherited to score. In that game against the Storm Chasers, the southpaw got out of a jam, stranding the two runners he inherited for the first time all year with Iowa. Last night, Little inherited a bases-loaded jam and recorded back-to-back swinging strikeouts to keep the I-Cubs in the game. The lefty looked dominant in his 1.2 innings, allowing just one hit while striking out four batters, lowering his ERA to 2.93. In his last two outings, he has thrown 3.1 innings, allowing two hits while striking out seven. The multi-strikeout game marked his sixth game out of 11 at the Triple-A level in which he has two or more strikeouts. He has at least one strikeout in nine of those 11 contests.

AGAINST ST. PAUL: Iowa and St. Paul will play the third game of their five-game set tonight, with the series currently tied 1-1. With the loss last night, Iowa fell to 12-20 on the year against the Saints, but is just two games under .500 against them at CHS Field. They added three home runs last night against the I-Cubs, making their total in 32 games 44 home runs compared to Iowa’s 19.

IOWA ENEMY NO. 1: After snapping a 13-game hitting streak against the I-Cubs in game one of the series, Tomás Telis returned to old habits last night. The first baseman went 2-for-4 with two RBI and a run scored in St. Paul’s victory over the I-Cubs. In 25 games against Iowa, Telis has now hit .310 (31-for-100) with five home runs, 17 RBI, and 17 runs scored. Against Iowa, he leads the Saints’ active roster in hits, home runs, RBI, total bases (48), and batting average (min. 10 at-bats). The 100 at-bats he’s taken against the I-Cubs is third in the Triple-A East Midwest division, trailing only Omaha’s Ryan McBroom (125) and Kyle Isbel (101).

SHORT HOPS: After their two-run loss last night, Iowa is now 6-35 this year when their opponent records 10 or more hits...with his double in the third inning, Johneshwy Fargas extended his hitting streak to five games, his longest of the season with Iowa.