Triple-A: Iowa Cubs 7 – Omaha Storm Chasers 6 (F/10)
Trailing 5-2 in the bottom of the eighth inning, Iowa Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant connected for a grand slam that put his club ahead – albeit for a short while. Omaha rallied for a run in the top of the ninth against Iowa closer Blake Parker before Josh Vitters sent the home faithful to the parking lot happy with a walk-off RBI single that gave the Cubs a 7-6 win in the bottom of the tenth.
Chicago’s top prospect, Javier Baez, led off the tenth with a double to left. He then advanced to third on a Chris Valaika sacrifice bunt, giving Iowa a man at third with just one out. Omaha reliever Wilking Rodriguez then opted to intentionally walk both Kris Bryant and Logan Watkins to set up force outs at any base. However, Josh Vitters spoiled the strategic moves, singling to right, scoring Baez and putting Iowa ahead for good.
Iowa (44-38) trailed until late after Omaha plated four runs in the top of the second, coming via a three-run shot by Carlos Peguero and a solo shot by Francisco Pena – both of which came against Carlos Pimentel, who did not factor into the decision Monday. The right-hander allowed four runs on four hits in five innings of work, walking two and striking out eight.
Ramirez hit his first home run of the season in the bottom of the seventh, a two-run shot that Bryant was along for the ride on, in his first home game as a member of the Cubs’ Triple-A club. The veteran outfielder went 3-for-4 on the night with 2 RBIs. Bryant joined the two-time World Champion as the only other Iowa player to record multiple hits, going 2-for-2 with a pair of runs, 4 RBIs and a walk.
Despite the game-winning single, Vitters is hitting just .234 this season with Iowa, and went just 1-for-5 on Monday night.